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Group set up to investigate solar array glitch

September 26, 2014, 16:52 UTC+3 BAIKONUR
Ostapenko said cosmonauts will inspect the faulty solar-cell panel of the Soyuz TMA-14M during a spacewalk in October
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Soyuz TMA-14M launch

Soyuz TMA-14M launch

©  EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

BAIKONUR, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Federal Space Agency has established a special commission to investigate the cause of Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft’s solar battery glitch, the Roscosmos chief said on Friday.

“We are already investigating the case, I have selected a special group that is dealing with these issues,” Oleg Ostapenko, who heads the Roscosmos agency, told reporters.

Ostapenko said cosmonauts will inspect the faulty solar-cell panel of the Soyuz TMA-14M during a spacewalk in October.

"As for a spacewalk, which is to be taken shortly, we are sure to inspect it /the solar-cell panelNote by ITAR-TASS/ and puzzle everything out," he said.

The Roscosmos chief said all the preparation works and the launching process of the Soyuz spacecraft was carried out in a normal regime. However, one of the solar batteries failed to unfold after the separation of the spacecraft.

The Soyuz spaceship with an international crew on board was launched from Baikonur spaceport early Friday, at 00:25 Moscow time (20:25 GMT). Despite the emergency situation, the crew managed to implement a six-hour scheme docking with the station. The crew had sufficient energy in the battery of the vehicle for rendezvous and docking.

The faulty solar battery finally unfolded after the spacecraft berthed with the International Space Station (ISS).

The crew of Russia’s Soyuz TMA-14M manned spaceship opened hatches at 09:08 a.m. Moscow time (05:08 GMT), about three hours after docking with the ISS, the Mission Control Center said.

Russian Yelena Serova, her fellow cosmonaut Aleksandr Samokutyayev and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore were met by Maksim Surayev, Gregory Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst, who have been working aboard the station since May this year. The new crew will work in orbit for 169 days.

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