ISS Could be "Abandonded" if Soyuz Delayed ISS Could be "Abandonded" if Soyuz Delayed

If the next launch of Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft is delayed too long, the International Space Station (ISS) could be “abandoned in November” according to’s headline.

The website quotes ISS program manager Mike Sufferdini as saying that “Logistically, we can support [operations] almost forever, but eventually if we don’t see the Soyuz spacecraft, we’ll probably going [sic] to unmanned ops before the end of the year.”

With the space shuttle program terminated, Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft — launched by the Soyuz launch vehicle — is the only way to get crews back and forth to ISS. A Soyuz launch vehicle boosting a Progress cargo spacecraft (with no one aboard) failed last week. There are several variants of the Soyuz launch vehicle. Russia is investigating what happened and what effect it will have on other launches involving the Soyuz launch vehicle.

Sufferdini is due to give a press briefing tomorrow morning at 9:00 am CDT (10:00 am EDT) that will be aired on NASA TV.

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