Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bolden: New ISS Crew in the Fall

Despite earlier media reports suggesting the International Space Station might have to be abandoned, Florida Today reports NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the Russians should be ready to launch a new crew aboard Soyuz this fall.

"We're getting to the point where we're going to satisfy ourselves that we can launch an unmanned vehicle to demonstrate that Soyuz is still okay, and then we'll fly the crew up on a normal Soyuz mission later this fall," Bolden, a former shuttle pilot and mission commander, said.

"So the possibility of de-manning station is always something you think about, but it's not something that is high on my list of concerns right now, because we don't feel that is something that we're going to have to do."

Two current ISS crew members said yesterday they anticipate the new crew by early November.

A Russian rocket could be ready to launch a new crew to the International Space Station by early November, preventing the outpost from being left unmanned indefinitely, two American crew members said from orbit this morning ...

"There's a lot of things that have to stack up to make that happen," said Mike Fossum, one of six Expedition 28 crew members living on the station.

Fossum described the launch schedule as very tentative and likely requiring one or two test flights of unmanned spacecraft before humans, including American Dan Burbank, launch again from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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