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MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Russia’s Nauka multi-functional lab module plagued by the contamination problem in its fuel tanks will be delivered to the International Space Station no sooner than August next year, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS on Friday.
"Today, specialists of the Khrunichev Space Center and the Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation will hold a meeting to approve a new schedule for eliminating faults and preparing the module for the launch. According to the most optimistic forecasts, the module can be launched no sooner than August next year," the source said.
However, late 2018 - 2019 is the real timeframe for the launch, he added.
The Khrunichev Space Center told TASS that "work is under way in compliance with the schedule to rectify faults revealed earlier."
"The launch date will be determined following the results of the joint work by the Khrunichev Center and the Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation," the Khrunichev Space Center said.
A source in the Russian rocket and space industry told TASS in early April that specialists planned to cut the module’s fuel tanks in half after finding contamination inside them for their subsequent cleaning.