Russia postpones space flight to ISS for ‘technical reasons’
Russia has reportedly canceled a planned manned space launch expected to take place within a week due to what it described as “technical reasons” without further elaboration or a new launch date.
“(Russian space agency) Roscosmos has decided to move the launch of Soyuz MS-02 ship planned for September 23 due to technical reasons after holding tests on the Baikonur cosmodrome,” the official agency announced in a Saturday statement.
It further stated that “the date of the space launch will be announced later.”
According to reports, the next space crew to blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) includes two Russian cosmonauts, Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko, as well as American astronaut Shane Kimbrough.
The three are already in the final training stages at Russia’s Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan as preparations had been proceeding according to schedule.
The development came over a week after the safe return to earth of manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-20M, which landed in Kazakhstan on September 7, with crew of Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka as well as NASA astronaut Jeffrey William.
According to a statement by the Russian space agency, prior to the arrival of the next crew of the ISS, the current crew of the space station, including Russian commander Anatoly Ivanishin, Japanese flight engineers Takuya Onishi and American astronaut Kathleen Rubins will continue their work on the Earth’s orbit.