New York: The next launch of Russia's manned spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) can be carried out in early November this year, NASA astronaut Michael Fossum said during a press conference organized by the Mission Control Centre in Houston (Texas).

As a result of the August 24 Progress spacecraft crash as a result of abortive launch, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had to revise the ISS rotation schedule.

It is planned preliminarily that the launch of the next manned ship will be carried out on November 2, Fossum said on Tuesday, noting that the investigation into the causes of the failure of the propulsion system during the Progress blast-off continues.

Several stages will be passed before the manned spacecraft launch: determining the cause of the failure, fixing the malfunction and one or two test launches using one and the same propulsion system, the astronaut explained.

Michael Fossum also noted that the ground services have started preparations for a possible operation of the ISS in an unmanned mode; however, no measures have been so far taken in orbit for this.

Given that the investigation is still ongoing, "there are a lot of things that have to stack up" to allow for an early November launch, said Michael Fossum. He said he and his two crewmates will leave the space station in the best possible condition if it must be vacated, a news agency
reported.

(Agencies)