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NASA confirms delay of next Soyuz flight
Posted: Fri, Feb 3, 2012, 7:08 AM ET (1208 GMT)
Soyuz TMA-03M arriving at ISS (NASA) The launch of the next crew to the ISS will be delayed from late March to mid May because of problems with a Soyuz spacecraft, NASA officials confirmed Wednesday. A Soyuz spacecraft had been scheduled to launch on March 30 carrying two Russians and one American, but that flight will be delayed to May 15. NASA said that during pressure testing of the Soyuz spacecraft they were to use, the capsule was overpressurized and caused a leak. That Soyuz will be replaced while the overpressurization event is studied. The following Soyuz mission, which was scheduled for late May, will now launch in mid July. NASA ISS manager Mike Suffredini said that despite this and other recent incidents, including a Progress launch failure in August, the agency still had confidence in the capabilities of the Russian program. Separately, NASA reported that the SpaceX Dragon cargo mission that was scheduled for early February is now planned for launch for no earlier than March 20. Suffredini said he expected the mission to actually launch in early April.
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