According to official representatives of the Russian Mission Control Center (MCC), a special working group is currently investigating the reasons for the failure of the maneuvering engines on the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft. It was planned that on Wednesday, March 26, the spacecraft would deliver three new crew members to the International Space Station (ISS).
Astronaut Steven Swanson, cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev started from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 3:17 local time. They were supposed to join the station crew in 6 hours. However, the orientation engines of the Soyuz did not turn on at the scheduled time, so arrival will be delayed at least until Friday evening. During a NASA telecast, mission commentator Rob Navias reported that there was no danger to the astronauts. If necessary, the ship’s resources will be enough to provide the crew for more than two days.
According to NASA Speaker Josh Beyrle, in the near future, the MCC staff will determine what exactly caused the engine malfunction. It is probably related to software malfunctions or mechanical problems.