Russian Officials Confirm Delay in Next ISS Crew Launch

Russian Officials Confirm Delay in Next ISS Crew Launch

Russian space officials confirmed today that the next launch of a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) will be delayed until the end of April or mid-May.   The delay is due to a testing failure of the Soyuz descent module last week.

Russian space agency (Roscosmos) director Vladimir Popovkin said the launch would be postponed until the end of April.  The mission, Soyuz TMA-04M, was supposed to be launched March 30.   Alexei Krasnov, the head of human spaceflight programs at Roscosmos, told RIA Novosti that the launch would be delayed 30-45 days, or possibly until mid-May, and the exact date would be established after consultation with NASA.

The ISS is a partnership among the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and several European countries, with NASA and Roscosmos holding the key roles in ISS operations.

The three crew-members who will be launched on this mission are Russians Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and NASA’s Joseph Acaba.

According to, the Soyuz descent capsule was subjected to higher pressures than expected during a test last week and a weld ruptured making the capsule unusable.

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