Russia: Next manned space launch to be Nov. 12

September 13, 2011 - 10:15 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's space agency says it has postponed the launch of the next manned Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station until Nov. 12, just days before the remaining astronauts on the orbiting laboratory are due to return to earth.

The launch schedule for manned Russian missions has been thrown into disarray by the Aug. 24 crash of an unmanned Soyuz supply craft. Since the phasing out of the shuttle, NASA has come to rely entirely on Russia to get its crew to the international space station.

The August accident delayed the next mission, because the upper stage of the unmanned rocket that failed was similar to that used to launch astronauts.

The Russian space agency says another manned launch is scheduled for Dec. 20.