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Launch of Russian spacecraft Gagarin postponed

03-15-2011 14:10 BJT

MOSCOW, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Space Agency Roscosmos has postponed the launch of the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft to the International Space Station, the space agency announced on Monday.

The launch was initially planned for March 30 from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan, But now the launch has been shifted for, alternatively, April 8 or April 15, a source in Russian aerospace industry said.

The delay of the launch has been caused by a communications device malfunction, the source said.

This is the first Russian spacecraft bearing a personal name Gagarin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight on April 12, 1961.

The Soyuz crew consists of two Russians - Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and one American, Daniel Burbank. They have successfully passed the pre-flight tests last Friday.

Roscosmos said they would spend 170 days in the ISS. During the period, they will receive two U.S. space shuttles and three Russian Progress cargo ships and conduct a spacewalk.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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