Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Plans First Manned Space Mission Since Rocket Failure

Sergei Savostyanov / TASS

The first manned mission to the International Space Station since a Russian rocket failed to launch earlier this month may take off on Dec. 3, space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

A Russian cosmonaut and U.S. astronaut were forced to abort their mission on Oct. 11 and perform an emergency landing after a launch accident that Roscomos said was caused by a faulty sensor.

The accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launch pad explosion.

Sergei Krikalyov, a senior Roscosmos official, was quoted by state news agency TASS as saying the next manned launch had been planned for mid-December, but that Russia was trying to bring the date forward so that the ISS is not briefly left without a crew.

The three-person crew may return home on Dec. 20, he was quoted as saying.

"The industry is making significant efforts to move the launch to Dec. 3 so that the station does not switch to autopilot mode, and landing is expected around Dec. 20," he said. 

Read more

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

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.