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Launch of Russia’s new series cargo spaceship Progress-MS postponed till Dec 21

October 27, 2015, 11:24 UTC+3
The postponement was caused by the necessity to complete all the work linked with the Progress cargo spacecraft’s failed launch that took place this April
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Part of a rocket booster stage in the assembly room at Progress State Research and Production Space Center

Part of a rocket booster stage in the assembly room at Progress State Research and Production Space Center

© Pyotr Gridin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The launch of Russia’s new series Progress-MS cargo spacecraft that was originally planned for November 21 has been postponed for a month - until December 21, President of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RKK Energia) Vladimir Solntsev told TASS on Tuesday.

"The launch will be postponed for a month," he said. Asked by TASS if the specific date - December 21 - was meant, Solntsev replied: "Yes."

The postponement was caused by the necessity to complete all the work linked with the Progress cargo spacecraft’s failed launch that took place this April, as well as to conduct additional checks for avoiding similar incidents in the future.

The Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft was launched on April 28 from the Baikonur space center Russia leases from Kazakhstan on a Soyuz carrier rocket. The rocket took the spacecraft to a higher orbit than required to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). After a few unsuccessful attempts to get control of the spacecraft, experts gave up the idea. The Progress was taking food, oxygen and other cargos to the ISS crew.

The Progress M-27M spacecraft lost the near-Earth orbit and burned in dense atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean at 05:04 a.m. Moscow Time [02:04 UTC] on Friday, May 8, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos told TASS. "The spacecraft entered dense atmosphere at the 160th coil above the central part of the Pacific," Roscosmos said then.

Roscosmos found out that the incident was caused by the "contingency separation" of the third stage of the Soyuz rocket and the Progress spaceship due to depressurisation of the rockets’ fuel tanks that resulted from a specific design linkage of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket and the space freighter.

"A design peculiarity in the joint use of the spaceship and the rocket related to the frequency-dynamic characteristics of the linkage between the spaceship and the rocket’s third stage is the cause for the damage done to the spaceship as a result of the emergency separation of the carrier rocket’s third stage and the transport spacecraft," Roscosmos said following the investigation of the incident.

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