Support The Moscow Times!

Rocket Disaster Forces Roscosmos to Push Back Missions to Space Station

The commission has approved a new schedule for ISS launches for the remainder of 2015.

Federal space agency Roscosmos has pushed back a number of missions to the International Space Station according to a revised launch schedule released Tuesday, after a failed resupply mission forced a temporary suspension in launches.

Roscosmos lost contact with a Progress resupply ship bound for the ISS in late April shortly after the vehicle reached space. The rockets eventually crashed in early May. A replacement supply freighter could not be launched until the reasons for the disaster were determined by a special accident commission, which concluded its work last week.

Now, the commission has approved a new schedule for ISS launches for the remainder of 2015, beginning with a new supply mission launching on July 3, according to a statement published on the Roscosmos website.

The changes have delayed the majority of this year's ISS flights. The next manned launch, designated Soyuz TMA-17M, was scheduled for the end of May but now must wait until July 23-25 to launch.

The time lost by the July crew will be split with a later manned launch aboard Soyuz TMA-19M, which has been postponed from Nov. 20 to Dec. 15. A special 10-day Soyuz mission designated TMA-18M will still launch on Sept. 1.

A new Progress resupply mission which did not exist on earlier launch schedules, designated Progress M-29M, will also launch on Sept. 21. The mission is likely a replacement for supplies lost in April's failure.

The final big change to the launch schedule is the monthlong delay of the debut of a brand-new updated Progress spaceship design, known as the Progress-MS. Instead of launching for the first time on Oct. 22, it will fly to space on Nov. 21.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.