The launch of a Progress space freighter to the International Space Station planned for late 2009 has been postponed until 2010, the Russian rocket and space corporation Energia said on Sunday.
“We planned the launches of four piloted Soyuz spacecrafts and six Progress carrier rockets for this year, including one space freighter whose launch late this year we have postponed until next year. We operate the ISS economically and supplies for cosmonauts at the station are sufficient,” Energia President Vitaly Lopota said.
Lopota said the analysis of freight cargo flows showed that one of the planned launches could be rescheduled for a later period.
Progress-series freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS orbit and conduct scientific experiments.
Russia’s last Progress space freighter with an analogue control system was “buried” in a “spaceship cemetery” in the southern Pacific on September 27 after it fulfilled its mission flight to the world’s sole orbiter.
The new generation of Progress vehicles is digitally controlled.