Russia's Next Mission to ISS May Launch on December 3

International Space Station

International Space Station

The Canadian Space Agency, however, told CBC News it did not have any updates on Saint-Jacques's mission.

When the Soyuz launch failed earlier this month, uncertainty over the ISS crew launch schedule led to speculation that the space station would have to be abandoned, at least for the time being.

A Russian cosmonaut and US astronaut were forced to abort their mission on October 11 after a rocket bound for the International Space Station failed, sending them plunging back to Earth in an emergency landing.

The first manned mission to the International Space Station since a Russian rocket failed to launch successfully earlier this month may take off on December 3, space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

The incident, on 11 October, was the first serious launch problem by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983.

The current ISS crew, the ESA's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev, are expected to return to Earth around December 20, a week after their originally-scheduled December 13 descent.

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The mission crew that is now working aboard the ISS might return to Earth on December 20, Krikalyov said.

Krikalev said the next launch will now be moved forward to December 3, and will carry the same crew as originally intended on this mission, MS-11: Russian Oleg Kononenko, American Anne McClain, and Canadian David Saint-Jacques.

In the first official report on the cause of the October 11 accident, Roscosmos said a sensor that indicated the separation of the first two stages of the rocket malfunctioned.

The Soyuz rocket used to launch astronauts has three stages, or segments. As a result, one of the side-mounted rocket boosters did not separate properly from the vehicle and collided with the rocket.

Roscosmos is due to hold a press conference Thursday to further detail the findings of the accident probe.

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