Soyuz spacecraft to launch Saturday, reach space station Monday, officials say

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 11:32 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A problem that forced the last-minute cancellation of a crew launch to the International Space Station has been successfully resolved and it will now take off on Saturday and dock with the ISS on Monday, Russian officials said.

The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian Oleg Novitsky, Belarusian Marina Vasilevskaya and American Tracy Dyson was aborted seconds before lift-off on Thursday due to what Russian space agency Roscosmos described as a problem with a chemical power source.

Roscosmos chief Yuri Borisov told Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Friday that the issue had been solved and expressed confidence in a successful launch on Saturday, the Belarusian state news agency Belta reported.

Roscosmos said the Soyuz will dock with the ISS at 1510 GMT on Monday. Novitsky and Vasilevskaya will return to Earth on April 6 with Loral O’Hara, a U.S. astronaut currently aboard the orbital station.

The launch site is the Baikonur cosmodrome in the steppe of Kazakhstan.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Nick Macfie)