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Molniya launch delayed, Soyuz launch rescheduled for October 29
Posted: Tue, Oct 22, 2002, 2:39 PM ET (1839 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) Russian officials said that the launch of a Molniya-M booster, scheduled for Tuesday, has been delayed an unspecified amount of time while the investigation into a Soyuz launch failure continues. The Molniya, a booster similar in design to the Soyuz, was scheduled to launch a military satellite from Plesetsk. No new launch date for the Molniya mission was announced. Russian officials did announce that they plan to launch a Soyuz taxi mission for late in the evening October 29 (October 30 local time), two days later than planned. The Soyuz TMA-1 flight was also postponed because of last week's launch failure. SPACE.com reported that officials believe the failure was due to foreign debris that made its way into the turbopump of one of the first-stage engines on the Soyuz, causing the engine to shut down and thus leading to the launch failure. However, a RIA Novosti report said that the October 30 launch date was still not official.
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