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Soyuz TMA-012M manned launch was successful but rendezvous with International Space Station was delayed by fault

26 Mar 2014, 17:09 UTC
Soyuz TMA-012M manned launch was successful but rendezvous with International Space Station was delayed by fault
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The Soyuz TMA-012M manned spacecraft was successfully launched aboard a Soyuz FG launch vehicle towards the International Space Statikon from the Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan, at 2117 GMT on 25 March 2013. The flight carrying Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev and US astronaut Steve Swanson, was due to use the fast approach method which cuts the time between launch and docking to six hours. However, the third orbital correction burn due to take place as part of this plan did not happen. Engineers are now examining what the cause of this fault was. Initial reports indicate that the spacecraft was not in the correct orientation for the burn and that this was cancelled automatically. The flight to the Internatioanl Space Station will now take two days longer using the standard approach technique. The rendezvous and docking will now take place on 27 March.
Library photo of Soyuz TMA spacecraft. Courtesy: NASA

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