GlobalRussia cancels takeoff of astronauts to space station

Russia cancels takeoff of astronauts to space station

The Russian space agency Roscosmos canceled the launch of three astronauts to the International Space Station on Thursday, moments before takeoff, but the crew is fine, authorities reported.

The Russian Soyuz rocket was to take off from the Baikonur base in Kazakhstan carrying astronauts Tracy Dyson of NASA, Oleg Novitsky of Roscosmos and Marina Vasilevskaya of Belarus.

The takeoff was canceled by an automated safety system about 20 seconds before takeoff scheduled for 1321 GMT. The cause has not been reported, but NASA has said the crew is safe and will be extracted from their Soyuz capsule soon.

While the crew is not in danger, the cancellation is a significant setback for the Russian space program.

It happens after, in October 2018, the rocket carrying astronauts Nick Hague of NASA and Alexei Ovchinin of Roscosmos to the International Space Station suffered a failure two minutes after takeoff, so the rescue capsule returned in Steep drop to a safe landing.

The Space Station, which has served as a symbol of international cooperation after the Cold War, is currently one of the last areas of cooperation between Russia and the West amid tensions over Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine. NASA and its partners hope to continue operating the orbiting outpost until 2030.

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