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Russia to resume ISS launches in November after failed mission

By
Clyde Hughes
A Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft is launched on October 11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission was aborted and the pilots ejected safely. Photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls/UPI
A Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft is launched on October 11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission was aborted and the pilots ejected safely. Photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Russian space agency Roscosmos said Wednesday it will fly a cargo mission to the International Space Station next month and a manned flight in December, following an aborted mission.

State-run news agency TASS reported Roscosmos will launch a Progress MS-10 unmanned rocket filled with supplies for the space station on Nov. 16.

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Sergei Krikaley, executive director of Russia's space manned programs, said the cargo mission was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was delayed after a "thorough examination of the launch vehicle and its maintenance."

On Dec. 3, a mission will send a new crew to the ISS and return the cosmonauts there now. The existing crew at the ISS will land on Earth about three weeks later.

The current space station crew includes U.S. astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergei Prokopiev and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst. The scheduled crew for the December flight will include Russian Oleg Kononenko, American Ann McClain and Canadian David Saint-Jacques, officials said.

Currently, Roscosmos' rockets are the only way humans on Earth can get to the International Space Station.

American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were on the aborted rocket launch on Oct. 11 and escaped safely.

Krikalyov told TASS a sensor on the rocket failed to properly signal the separation of the first and second stages, per the website Ars Technica. That prevented the side-mounted rocket boosters from separating properly and collided with the rocket.

The collision generated an automatic abort on the Soyuz's abort systems, pulling the crew from the rocket.

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