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Soyuz problem may delay next ISS mission
Posted: Sat, Jan 28, 2012, 8:22 AM ET (1322 GMT)
Soyuz TMA-03M arriving at ISS (NASA) A problem with a Soyuz spacecraft could delay the launch of the next crewed mission to the ISS by several weeks, Russian officials said Friday. The descent capsule of the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft, slated to launch in late March, did not pass a pressure chamber test recently and will have to be replaced, an industry source told Interfax. That would delay the next mission to at least mid-April and possibly until May, and the following one, planned for the end of May, to at least mid-June. Unlike last fall, when a Progress launch failure forced the ISS to step down to a three-person crew for about three months, this potential delay is not expected to affect the station's ability to maintain a six-person crew.
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