17 Oct 2018 09:18

Russian cosmonauts to examine Soyuz MS-09 in mid-December spacewalk before its return to Earth - source

BAIKONUR. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The spacewalk of Russian crewmembers of the International Space Station (ISS) has been delayed for a month due to the Soyuz FG rocket's crash in Baikonur, a Baikonur source told Interfax.

"Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Prokopyev will go on a spacewalk in the middle of December to examine the exterior of the Soyuz MS-09 where a hole was found in the habitation module," the source said.

The spacewalk was initially scheduled for November. Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin was supposed to go on the spacewalk instead of Kononenko but the aborted mission prevented him from traveling to the ISS.

European and Canadian astronauts will go on the spacewalk next.

"Astronauts Alexander Gerst and David Saint-Jacque will go on two spacewalks in December. They will replace batteries of the electric power system in addition to accomplishing other missions," the source said.

A source said earlier that Soyuz MS-11 might be launched to the ISS between November 28 and December 3.

Soyuz MS-09 is scheduled to return to the Earth in late December. "A period, which starts on December 20, is under consideration," the source said.