Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will have to hang out there a little longer. Last month's failed resupply mission raised concerns that the problem might also affect spacecrafts carrying people. The three ISS crew members scheduled to return this week — NASA's Terry Virts, ESA's Samantha Cristoforetti, and Russia's Anton Shkaplerov — will now come back to Earth in early June.
So far, the investigation suggests that the Soyuz rocket's third stage separated early, according to Reuters. The Progress ship, carrying more than 6,000 pounds of fuel, food, medical supplies, and spare parts, spun out of control and burned up in the atmosphere. The space station can support crews without resupply until "fall of 2015," NASA wrote in a statement.
The launch of a crewed flight from Earth, carrying NASA's Kjell Lindgren, Roscosmos' Oleg Kononenko, and Japan's Kimiya Yui, was postponed from May to "late July." The next cargo craft will launch in July to deliver food and supplies, NASA said.
Roscosmos' final assessment of the Progress mishap will be presented on May 22nd, according to The Moscow Times.