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Soyuz-U might be replaced by other rocket to launch next Progress spaceship — source

The Progress MS-04 cargo spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan at 17:52 Moscow time, but soon problems occurred

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. The Soyuz-U carrier rocket might be replaced by another vehicle to launch the next Progress cargo spaceship in February 2017, a source in the space industry told TASS on Thursday.

"Specialists will check the Soyuz-U rocket. Should they have any claims, it will be replaced by another carrier rocket," he said.

The source did not rule out that in case the loss of the Progress MS-04 is confirmed, the next cargo spaceship might be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) earlier than initially planned.

The Soyuz-U rocket carrying the Progress MS-04 cargo spacecraft loaded with 2.5 tonnes of cargoes for the ISS crew, was launched from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan at 17:52 Moscow time. Roscosmos said later that problems occurred shortly after the launch of the Progress MS-04. Telemetry transmission was disrupted on the 383rd second. A TASS source in the space rocket industry said the flight went wrong when the third-stage engine RD-0110 manufactured by a design bureau in Voronezh was on.

It was the Soyuz-U’s last but one launch. The last such carrier rocket is to be blasted off from Baikonur on February 2 with another Progress cargo spacecraft. Further launchers are planned to be conducted with the use of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier vehicle.