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Bridenstine Says Russia On Track To Fly To ISS In December

Remarks Come At National Space Council Meeting

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (pictured) said Russia appears to be "on track" to resume manned space flights to ISS in December following the October 11 emergency launch abort.

Spaceflight Now reports that during a meeting of the National Space Council on Tuesday, Bridenstine said that the Russians are "not happy" about the incident, but thankful that the U.S. astronaut and Russian cosmonaut both returned safely to Earth. “They want to be on the International Space Station, and they cannot wait to go again. So we’re grateful for their enthusiasm. NASA is regrouping, we’re replanning and we’re getting ready to go again,” Bridenstine said.

Soyuz MS-10 commander Alexey Ovchinin and NASA flight engineer Nick Hague were aboard the Soyuz spacecraft when one of the four strap-on boosters on the rocket apparently impacted the second stage core of the vehicle after separation about two minutes after launch. The automated safety system pulled the capsule away from the boosters, and the capsule landed about 250 miles from the launch site.

A Russian "state commission" is looking into the accident, but it is not clear when the Soyuz rockets will again be cleared for manned flights. Three of the rockets are scheduled for unmanned flights in the coming weeks, and if those flights go well, Russia could authorize a manned launch as early as December 3, Bridenstine said.

“It is important to note that while this was a failed launch, it was probably the single most successful failed launch we could have imagined,” the NASA administrator said.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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