A Soyuz 2.1a rocket with the Progress MS-07 spacecraft stands at the launch pad in Baikonur Cosmodrome. Photo Credit: Roscosmos
Less than a minute before it was to take to the skies to deliver the Progress MS-07 cargo freighter to the International Space Station, an unknown issue with the Soyuz 2.1a launch vehicle prompted a rare scrub for the Russian space agency’s workhorse rocket. Liftoff was expected at 5:32 a.m. EDT (09:32 GMT) Oct. 12, 2017, from Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Had the rocket launched, the unpiloted Progress spacecraft was to test out a new two-orbit rendezvous profile to arrive at the space station in about 3.5 hours. Instead, the cargo ship will utilize a longer two-day, 34-orbit profile if it flies during its next opportunity, which is expected to be no earlier than 4:46 a.m. EDT (08:46 GMT) Oct. 14, 2017. This assumes the cause of the scrub is found and addressed before then.
“No reason for the launch delay has yet been given,” said mission commentator Rob Navias on NASA TV. “That information will be provide by Roscosmos in due course.”
Up until the abort, the countdown proceeded with no reported issues. At about ...