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MOSCOW, May 6. /TASS/. Roscosmos is not dropping plans for the launch of the manned Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft on May 26, a source in the Russian space agency said on Wednesday.
"The preparation for the manned launch on May 26 is ongoing, the carrier rocket is on the standby mode," the source said citing the schedule for launches for May and June.
The main crew of a new expedition scheduled to go to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft comprises Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Kimiya Yui and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren. The back-up crew consists of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, European Space Agency astronaut Timothy Peake (UK) and NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra.
The source also said that on May 29 Proton-M carrier rocket is due to launch the Inmarsat-5F3 communications satellite and the launch of another Proton with the Turksat-4 B satellite is due on June 30.
Earlier reports said the launch of the manned Soyuz TMA-17M could be delayed following the April 28 accident involving the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft that failed to dock with the ISS.
Roscosmos said the decision on the May 26 launch would be taken upon an assessment of the state commission. The space agency also pledged to establish the causes of the Progress loss by mid-May.
The Progress M-27M freighter blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on April 28. However, the spacecraft failed to reach the designated orbit and went out of control. It is expected to be deorbited on May 8 and part of its debris may reach the Earth.