Soyuz Flights Could Resume In October Says WSJ

Soyuz Flights Could Resume In October Says WSJ

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times both are reporting this morning on the findings of the Russian commission investigating the Progress M-12M launch failure; carried the story yesterday.

In short, the third stage of the Soyuz rocket failed because of a blockage in a fuel line that the Russians consider an isolated event.

The Wall Street Journal goes so far as to predict that crewed Soyuz flights could resume “in mid-October.” The New York Times, however, says “the panel offered no guidance on when this type of rocket would again be considered ready for manned missions.”

Three of the six International Space Station (ISS) astronauts will come home next week. The launch of their replacements is on hold pending resolution of the issues surrounding the Progress M-12M launch failure. ISS program managers had been considering the possibility that the ISS would have to be destaffed in November, when the three remaining ISS crew members return home, if the Soyuz was not yet ready to fly again. Yesterday, NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier sounded a very optimistic note that that would not be necessary, however.

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