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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.

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