Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Soyuz Concerns May Delay SpaceX Demo Flight

Space News reports that concerns about the recent failure of a Russian Progress cargo module may delay the SpaceX demonstration flight to the International Space Station, currently scheduled for November 30.

How long the delays will be remained unclear as of Sept. 14. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, on Sept. 13 announced that the Soyuz vehicle, which at some 1,750 launches is the world’s most reliable rocket, would return to flight Oct. 30 with another attempt to deliver an unmanned Progress supply ship to the international space station ...

SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif., had been awaiting final NASA authorization to launch its Dragon unmanned station freighter to the station in late November.

That date now looks out of reach. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said that in addition to awaiting a reflight carrying a Progress supply vehicle, the SpaceX launch cannot occur before the second of the two manned Soyuz launches delivers its astronauts to the station.

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