Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
It’s official: The launch of the next crew to ISS will be delayed until late July to allow both a Progress freighter to launch first as well as give investigators more time to figure out what went wrong with the Soyuz upper stage during last month’s Progress launch.
In addition, the crew that had been slated to return to Earth this week will remain on board for another month to reduce the amount of time the station is manned with only 3 astronauts.
It appears that investigation is zeroing in on the upper stage of the Soyuz rocket, whose tanks apparently depressurized prematurely, causing the freighter to separate early and end up in an incorrect orbit.