The launch of a Soyuz rocket with a Progress refueling and resupply freighter was aborted seconds before liftoff Thursday in a rare scrub for Russia’s workhorse rocket, delaying the start of a journey to the International Space Station until at least Saturday and thwarting plans to test out a new automated fast-track rendezvous sequence.
A Russian Proton rocket lifted off Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the AsiaSat 9 satellite destined to provide television broadcast, video networking and data delivery services over the Asia-Pacific region. Launch occurred at 1852:16 GMT (2:52:16 p.m. EDT), beginning a series of maneuvers expected to last nine hours before AsiaSat 9 is deployed from the rocket.
Russian Soyuz commander Alexander Misurkin and two U.S. astronauts — flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba — lifted off Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The trio began their six-hour journey to the International Space Station with a launch aboard a Soyuz rocket at 2117 GMT (5:17 p.m. EDT), and docking occurred at 0255 GMT (10:55 p.m. EDT).