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US spacewalk may be postponed due to Falcon rocket crash — source

June 29, 2015, 13:23 UTC+3
The Falcon 9 rocket with the Drago cargo spacecraft exploded in 2.5 minutes after the launch on Sunday
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MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. The August spacewalk under the US programme at the International Space Station (ISS) may be postponed due to the recent crash of the Falcon 9 carrier rocket, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS on Monday.

"The spacewalk under the American programme was scheduled for August 17. However, due to the Falcon crash it may be postponed, because the Dragon cargo spacecraft was to deliver to the ISS the equipment needed for the spacewalk," the source said.

The Falcon 9 rocket with the Drago cargo spacecraft was blasted off from the US Cape Canaveral spaceport in Florida at 10:21pm (17:21pm, Moscow time) on Sunday. It exploded in 2.5 minutes after the launch. The spacecraft was to deliver to the ISS about 2 tonnes of cargoes, including food, equipment and materials for experiments and return to Earth in several weeks.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement: "We are disappointed in the loss of the latest SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. However, the astronauts are safe aboard the station and have sufficient supplies for the next several months. We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight."

The current ISS mission crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Korniyenko, as well as NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui are planned to join them in a moth. Kelly and Lindgren were to perform the spacewalk scheduled for August.

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