Astronauts aboard ISS afraid of aborting space launch

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Moscow, Oct 15 (IANS) In the wake of a booster failure that forced a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to make an emergency landing last week, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were worried whether their space launch would be cancelled.

“What cosmonauts and astronauts are afraid of is the cancellation of their space launch,” Sergei Prokopyev, a Russian cosmonaut currently stationed aboard the ISS, was quoted as saying by the Sputnik news agency on Sunday.

“They all hope that everything goes as planned,” Prokopyev said.

Last week, the Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague onboard, made an emergency landing after their rocket malfunctioned.

According to NASA, there was an “issue with the booster” and the crew returned to Earth in a ballistic descent mode, which is a sharper angle of descent compared to normal.

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Ovchinin and Hague safely returned to Earth in a jettisoned escape capsule.

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history.

The crash is being investigated by a special commission of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. All manned launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome have been suspended until the commission reveals the causes of the failure.

Earlier, mission control head of the ISS Russian segment Vladimir Solovyov said that ISS has enough supplies of food, water and life-supporting materials until the next summer.

Solovyov, also a cosmonaut, made the remarks at a lecture at the Moscow State University, after a Russian spacecraft failed to deliver new crew and materials to the station, according to TASS news agency.

Prokopyev, US astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and German astronaut Alexander Gerst are now working on the ISS.

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They flew to the orbit taking Russia’s Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft that blasted off on June 6 and they are scheduled to stay onboard the space station for 187 days.

–IANS

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