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Three ISS crewmembers to return to Earth on June 11 — source

May 19, 2015, 13:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The landing was initially scheduled for May 14, but was postponed after the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft crashed earlier in 2015
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US astronaut Terry Virts, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and European astronaut Samantha Christoforreti

US astronaut Terry Virts, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and European astronaut Samantha Christoforreti

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. The Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft with three International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers onboard will land on June 11, a source in the space industry told TASS on Tuesday.

"The spacecraft is planned to undock from the Rassvet module of the station’s Russian segment at 1:51am Moscow time. The landing is planned for around 5am," the source said.

Several media reported earlier that the Soyuz will land at 4:40pm on June 11.

The source noted that scheduled landings always take place at dawn, so that the Mission Control Center has enough time to adjust in case of plan changes and rescuers - for search works.

The landing was initially scheduled for May 14, but was postponed after the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft crashed earlier in 2015.

The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Progress space freighter blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on April 28. However, the carrier rocket failed to put the cargo ship into a designated orbit and Russia’s Mission Control lost communications with the space freighter that was intended to deliver supplies to ISS.

The Progress cargo ship burnt up in the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean in the morning of May 8. Roscosmos space agency later said the accident had been caused by the "off-nominal separation of the third stage of the Soyuz and Progress space vehicles" as a result of the fuel tanks’ depressurization.

Currently working at ISS are Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Korniyenko, US astronauts Terry Virts and Scott Kelly and European astronaut Samantha Christoforreti. Shkaplerov, Virts and Christoforetti will return to the Earth on the Soyuz spacecraft.

Three astronauts will be delivered to ISS later this year. Soyuz TMA-17M manned spacecraft will be launched to ISS on July 24, the source told TASS. "For now, the launch is planned for 11:17pm Moscow time on July 24," the source noted, adding that two more Soyuz launches are planned later this year - on September 1 and December 15.

The Soyuz launched on July 24 will take Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and US astronaut Kjell Lindgren to ISS.

Progress M-28M cargo spacecraft will be launched into the orbit on July 3, followed by Progress M-29M on September 21 and new version Progress-MS on November 21.

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