Russia postpones space launch

January 31, 2012 - 10:35 AM
Russia Falling Spacecraft

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 file photo the Zenit-2SB rocket with the Phobos-Ground probe blasts off from its launch pad at the Cosmodrome Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin said Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, cosmic radiation was the most likely cause of the failure of a Mars moon probe that crashed to Earth this month. (AP Photo/Russian Roscosmos space agency, File)

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.