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MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) will have to stay in orbit for one more month, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Tuesday.
"We plan make this landing in early June by the decision of the state commission," Vladimir Solovyov, the flight director of the ISS Russian segment, told a news conference.
He said a Progress cargo spaceship would be launched after the landing of the ISS crew and only after that another manned mission would be put in orbit.
It was planned earlier that three members of the ISS crew would return to the Earth on May 14.
The next docking with the International Space Station will be performed in July, Solovyov said. In his words, a cargo spaceship launch would be followed by a manned spacecraft due to safety consideration.
"Under our laws, we cannot make a manned launch next, so we suggested, and Roscosmos supported us, that it would be expedient to launch a Progress cargo ship. A different carrier rocket with a different third stage will be used," he said.
"Preliminarily, we plan to launch a Soyuz with another expedition in late July," Solovyov noted. "We will try to continue the programme, to keep a year’s flight and everything linked with it."
Initially, it was planned to launch another Progress M-28M cargo spaceship on August 6 and a Soyuz - on May 26.
On May 8, a source in the rocket and space industry source told TASS that Roscosmos planned to adjust the program of flights to the International Space Station due to the recent accident involving the Progress M-27M spacecraft. "It is suggested that the return from orbit of the expedition which is currently there be postponed from May 14 to June, then, in late June - early July, a Progress cargo spacecraft be blasted off to the ISS, and then, in the last ten days of July, a manned Soyuz launch be made," the source said, adding the proposal had forwarded by a Roscosmos working group but had not yet been approved.
The Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft was launched on April 28 from the Baikonur space center on a Soyuz carrier rocket. The rocket took the spacecraft to a higher orbit than required to dock with the International Space Station. After a few unsuccessful attempts to get control of the spacecraft, experts gave up the idea. The Progress was to take food, oxygen and other cargos to the ISS crew.