New Soyuz launch rescheduled:  Cause of Progress 9 accident remains unresolved

The spokesman announced: “To provide manned launch safety, a decision was made to postpone the launching to a later period, performing it two weeks after the launch of the next cargo vehicle which is scheduled for July 3,” and added “This approach enables the investigation into the cause of Progress accident launch on April 28, to conduct additional testing of the spacecraft and the booster and to make certain updates are applied, if necessary”.

The next Progress space shuttle launching will be on July 3rd instead of August 6th. This is to hasten the cargo delivery to the ISS. Progress and Soyuz boosters will go through a standard preparation at Baikonur under the supervision of RSC Energia and Progress Rocket and Space Centre.

It was also said that another Soyuz will be launched on May 26. Included as main crews are Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko , JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren. The assisting crew includes Roscosmos cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenkom , NASA astronaut Timothe Kopra and ESA astronaut Timothy Peake.

The crews assigned for May 8 launching haven’t been announced yet. . The result of the analysis of what caused the Progress 9 accident still remained partially unsolved which the main reason for the postponement.

The launching of Soyuz-2.1a booster carrying the Progress M-27M cargo vehicle in Baikonur last April 28 had failed when controlling the spacecraft became very difficult. It started to plummet and crashed back to Earth on Friday.

Investigations were made to eliminate any mistakes especially on the 3rd stages of the Soyuz-FG and Soyuz-2.1a preparations. The importance lies in that that they use the same engines of separation with the ill-fated booster’s 3rd stage.

The results of the examination created a lot of uncertainties. The system of propulsion modules and the adapter modules of these space shuttles are very similar. The same mistakes may come up without solving the cause of the crash first and another accident would be unthinkable.




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