New spacecraft ‘delayed’ in latest setback for Russia

New spacecraft ‘delayed’ in latest setback for Russia

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Russia’s next-generation spacecraft, Federation, is facing more delays and will now not be tested until 2025, according to reports.

Its first test flights have been postponed until 2025, according to RIA Novosti citing two people in Russia’s rocket and space industry.

Reports suggested this was due to redesigning the spacecraft to suit a different launch vehicle.

The Federation is expected to replace Russia’s legendary Soyuz series of spacecraft which were first launched in the 1960s as part of the Soviet moon-landing programmes.

Following the reports, there has been no official response from Russian space corporation Roscosmos, which has planned to send an unmanned Federation flight to the International Space Station in 2023, and a manned one the year after.

Roscosmos has also decided not to take part in the UK’s prestigious Farnborough Airshow this year, claiming that Russian companies were prohibited from exhibiting military equipment in the country due to EU sanctions.

Although civilian equipment from Russia would not have been in breach of these sanctions, Roscosmos decided not to attend at all.

The delays to Federation are the latest setback for the Russian space industry, which lost a weather satellite late last year due to a programming error according to the country’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Meteor-M was launched on 28 November, but Roscosmos quickly announced that it failed to establish communications with the craft.

Roscosmos has been beset by a number of issues in recent years and dissolved as an agency and transformed into a state-owned corporation in 2016.

(c) Sky News 2018: New spacecraft ‘delayed’ in latest setback for Russia