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Russia postpones space launch

Tuesday - 1/31/2012, 9:26am  ET

By JIM HEINTZ
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) - The head of Russia's space agency says that a manned launch to the International Space Station is being postponed from March 30 because of faults found in the Soyuz capsule.

Vladimir Popovkin of Roskosmos said Tuesday in televised remarks that the planned launch of three astronauts to the space station will be postponed "likely until the end of April."

He did not specify what the problems were, but the state news agency RIA Novosti cited the director of Russia's cosmonaut-training program as saying leaks had been found in the capsule's seals.

It is be the second significant postponement of a manned Russian launch in the past year.

Since the end of the U.S. space shuttle program last year, Russian craft are the only means to send crew to and from the ISS.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)