by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Sept 13, 2011
Russia will have to delay the upcoming launch of six US satellites and two commercial European craft due to last month's Soyuz carrier rocket mishap, Russian industry sources said Tuesday.
The launch of six Globalstar mobile communications satellites from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan will have to be pushed back from October to December, Interfax quoted a Russian space official as saying.
The Soyuz accident will also require the recall of two of the four rocket carriers that are being prepared for launches at Kourou, French Guiana, where Russia has been working with the European Space Agency (ESA) under a 2003 accord, another source said.
The delays will not affect the launch of a Soyuz-ST rocket from French Guiana that has been scheduled for October 20 because that mission uses a slightly different modification of the carrier craft, the Russian official said.
A Soyuz-U rocket carrying an unmanned cargo ship to the International Space Station failed to reach orbit on August 24, prompting Russia to ground its manned flight programme until the causes of the accident are found.
Russia is the only country capable of sending manned missions into space, but the accident has also affected the country's lucrative commercial satellite launch programme.
Space officials last week blamed the accident on a one-off production fault in a rocket engine. But they did not name the date of the next manned Soyuz space launch and only requested time for more fine-tuning and checks.
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
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Russian Firm Unveils Plan for Space Tourism
Moscow (VOA) Sept 01, 2011
A Russian firm has unveiled its plans for an orbital hotel by 2016 and space tours to Mars by 2030. The news comes as Russia has grounded its Soyuz rockets after an unmanned cargo vessel, bound for the International Space Station, failed to launch into orbit. Orbital Technologies says it has plans to launch a comfortable space hotel for tourists by 2016. Company officials say the first mod ... read more
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