Following the crash of a Russian cargo spacecraft a few days ago, the country has postponed its next mission to the International Space Station, originally scheduled for September 22nd. Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, hopes to complete that mission by late October or early November--but if it gets delayed again, the ISS may be left unmanned for the first time in over a decade.
Too bad the shuttles are shuttered. A Russian Progress cargo spaceship bound for the ISS crashed in eastern Russia this morning after failing to reach orbit. After launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrom in Kazakhstan in the wee hours today the spacecraft encountered some kind of trouble--Russian broadcaster RT said “engine trouble,” but that could mean a lot of things--and plummeted back to Earth with the nearly four tons of food, fuel, oxygen, and other supplies it was taking up to the International Space Station.
If it’s a space race the Russians want, a space race they shall have. But et tu, Europe? Russian news outlet Ria Novosti is reporting that the European Space Agency (ESA), long the ally of Cold War champion NASA, is teaming with Russia on a joint manned mission to Mars, and that their crew will be the first to set foot on the Red Planet.
In what is sure to be one of the most--if not the most--expensive crashes ever, Russia’s space agency said today that when the International Space Station has completed its life cycle in 2020, it will be crashed into the ocean.