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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Space Station Module Scheduled for July Launch




Senior space industry officials convened Monday to set a launch date of July 12 for the delay-plagued Service Module to the International Space Station.


The Council of Chief Designers met in Korolyov outside Moscow to confirm that this key module, which is to provide propulsion and initial living quarters for the station, is fit to take off from Baikonur Cosmodrome, a Russian Air and Space Agency official said.


The president of Rocket Space Corporation Energia, Yury Semyonov, and the chiefs of Russia's other ISS contractors joined with NASA station program manager Tommy Holloway to certify the module is ready to be launched.


However, the final decision to begin "irreversible operations" in preparation for the launch should be made by July 6 and only after another modified Proton is launched, Energia said in a statement.


Having see two Protons crash last year, U.S. and Russian space officials agreed that at least two of these rockets should be modified and launched before another one could be cleared to put the service module into orbit.


One such modified Proton has already been launched and the second one is scheduled for launch July 6.


Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut are to take off in a Soyuz-TM capsule Oct. 30 for the first long-term manned mission at ISS.