Roscosmos Postponing Launch Of New Crew To ISS
January 31, 2012

Roscosmos Postponing Launch Of New Crew To ISS

Roscosmos said on Tuesday that the launch of a new crew for the International Space Station has been postponed by about 45 days.

Vladimir Popovkin of Roscosmos said Tuesday that the planned launch of three astronauts would be postponed "likely until the end of April."

A previous announcement said three new crew members were scheduled to launch on March 30 and dock two days later.  However, the launch has been delayed due to faults in the Soyuz capsule.

Alexei Krasnov, head of manned flight programs for Roscosmos, said the launch will be delayed by 30 to 45 days, but the exact date would be clarified after a conference with NASA officials.

Roscosmos officials discovered an air leak in the Soyuz capsule on Sunday while performing test.  The director of Russia's cosmonaut-training program said the leaks were discovered in the capsule's seals.

NASA is now relying on Russia for transportation to and from the International Space Station since it retired its space shuttle fleet last year.

This is the second significant postponement of a Soyuz launch in the past year.


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