Russia Delays Next Crew Launch to Space Station
The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft, originally scheduled to bring three new crewmembers to the International Space Station Sept.23, 2016. The launch has now been delayed for unspecified technical reasons.
Credit: NASA via Flickr

Russia has delayed the next scheduled crew launch to the International Space Station for technical reasons, according to a very brief report from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

The report, posted Saturday (Sept. 17), stated that the Soyuz MS-02 launch has been postponed after tests at the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan, the rocket's launch site. The launch was originally scheduled to bring NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko up to the station on Sept. 23.

The Soyuz craft is currently the only crewed spacecraft able to deliver people to the International Space Station. This would be the second launch of a Soyuz version (Soyuz MS) that has a number of upgrades; the first such launch brought three people to the station in July.

Sputnik reported that a space industry source told the Russian news site RIA Novosti that the delay was due to a short circuit found during the testing and that the launch would likely not occur before October. (The Russian article is here.)

The three current occupants of the space station — NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, who is commanding the station — were originally scheduled to come back to Earth Oct. 30.

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