Astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS), that was scheduled to launch in late September, have held the temporary shutting down of the shuttle while details of the failed Russian Launch are being figured out.
Six men on board the space shuttle announced Monday that ground controllers were figuring out how best to leave the complex running in case of temporary abandonment, the Associated Press reported.
The shuttle set to launch in the coming weeks will be held at least until November after a Russian rocket carrying space station supplies failed during liftoff, crashing into Siberia. Russian engineers are in the process of figuring out what went wrong.
The investigation is still ongoing for what happened with the Soyuz booster, said astronaut Mike Fossum . The whole path from here to launching humans - there's a number of steps along the way: finding the problem, fixing the problem, having a few unmanned test flights. There are a lot of things that have to stack up to make that happen.
Astronauts have been living on board the station uninterrupted for almost 11 years according to the Associated Press. Six men are currently on board, three of them are set to leave next week in order to keep a full team on the shuttle while the new crew of three that were set to blast of this month, are delayed.
The teams in Houston are in the preliminary stages of deciding everything, from what ventilation we're going to leave running, what lights we're going to leave on, what condition each particular experiment will be on, every tank, every valve, every hatch, Fossum said speaking at a news conference from space.
According to Fossum it is too early to get worried, It will take us a few weeks to finish that up, but we have another nine or so weeks here, my crew of three. So we've got plenty of time for those kinds of things, he said.
NASA's space program manager, Mike Suffredini said there were plenty of options but the focus was on crew safety.
The unmanned Russian Progress M-12M cargo ship that crashed was carrying three tons of supplies for the astronauts on the ISS, whose cost has been estimated at $100 billion, the BBC reports
U.S. astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. pointed out that science experiments still are going full speed ahead.
We are breaking records every week with the number of hours devoted to scientific research, he said.