Russian engineers will replace rocket engines on two Soyuz rockets assigned to send a batch of supplies and the next crew to the International Space Station after an investigation revealed foreign objects or a manufacturing defect led to the crash of a Progress cargo craft on launch in December, according to Russian media reports and a statement from the Russian space agency.
Russian mission control said Thursday an unpiloted Progress space station supply ship carrying nearly 5,400 pounds of rocket fuel, food, water and a new spacesuit burned up in Earth’s atmosphere shortly after it blasted off from Kazakhstan, and evidence points to a problem with the third stage of the cargo carrier’s Soyuz booster.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, French-born European Space Agency flight engineer Thomas Pesquet and veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson put on their Sokol spacesuits, boarded their Soyuz capsule and blasted into orbit Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Check out photos of their launch day activities.
By the light of a waning moon, a Russian rocket carrying a veteran cosmonaut, a French flight engineer making his first flight and America’s most experienced female astronaut blasted off and streaked smoothly into orbit Thursday, the first step in a two-day rendezvous with the International Space Station.