Russia Plans First Manned Launch To ISS Since October Accident

Russia says it will launch its first manned rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) since the October 11 failed launch on December 3.

“The industry is now making significant efforts to move forward the launch to December 3,” the executive director of Russia’s Roskosmos space agency, Sergei Krikalyov, told the RIA Novosti state news agency on October 31.

The mission crew that is currently working aboard the ISS might return to Earth on December 20, Krikalyov said.

In the aborted mission, a space capsule carrying a two-man Russian-American crew malfunctioned after liftoff and landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague were aboard the capsule bound for the ISS and were unhurt in the incident.

Roskosmos said then that the malfunction was caused by a collision of the first and second stages of the rocket during the first-stage separation. Hague and Ovchinin were due to spend six months on the ISS.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and REN-TV

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