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Crewed Soyuz mission to International Space Station scrubbed

The flight of a Soyuz rocket like this one, with three crew members aboard including an American, was aborted Thursday with 20 seconds left on the countdown when engines did not fire. NASA Photo by Bill Ingalls

1 of 2 | The flight of a Soyuz rocket like this one, with three crew members aboard including an American, was aborted Thursday with 20 seconds left on the countdown when engines did not fire. NASA Photo by Bill Ingalls | License Photo

March 21 (UPI) — A Russian Soyuz rocket launch with NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson on board was aborted just before liftoff Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The rocket was expected to leave the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and head to the International Space Station with Dyson and two cosmonauts aboard. The flight was scrubbed aborted 20 seconds before liftoff.

Dyson, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and Belarus spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya will try again as early as Saturday.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias said, according to Space.com, said an automatic system triggered the abort when engines did not fire as planned. Engineers from the Russian space agency Roscosmos quickly arrived at the launch pad to remove the crew and make sure the rocket was secure.

“The vehicle is safe, all fueling operations have ceased,” Navias said. “All safety commands have been provided onboard and the rocket so there’s no danger to the crew. They are perfectly safe.”

Officials said once they arrive at the International Space Station, Dysons and Novitskiy are to stay for six months. Vasilevskaya is to be on the space station for 12 days and return to Earth with the current Expedition 70 crew currently on board.



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