Soyuz, Delta launch successfully

Washington DC
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A Progress-M13 capsule successfully launched on 30 October from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It marks the first flight to the International Space Station (ISS) since the failed Progress launch in August. The Progress-M13 is carrying 3t of food and water to the ISS. It is scheduled to dock on 1 November, where it will remain to serve as a lifeboat.

The August failure was traced to a production line problem in the Soyuz's RD-0110 third-stage rocket, which led to a fuel flow cut-off only 10s after the engine fired, 325s after launch.

The successful 30 October launch allays concerns about resupply to the ISS. A failure of the recent launch would have likely led to the cancellation of the scheduled 13 November launch, which will bring three astronauts to the ISS. As the three astronauts currently in orbit are scheduled to depart soon, a cancellation of the 13 November launch would leave ISS uncrewed for the first time in 11 years.

Two Soyuz flights have occurred successfully since that failure, including the vehicle's first launch from Kourou in French Guiana. Soyuz is currently the only human-rated vehicle capable of launching to the ISS. The vehicle has launched more than 1700 times, making it far and away the most-used launch system in the world.

The NPOESS Preparatory Project was successfully launched on 28 October from Vandenburg AFB, California, atop a Boeing Delta II. The project was scheduled to be the final launch of the Delta II, which has long been used to launch high-value satellites and probes for the US government.

There are five Delta II launch vehicles partially constructed but unsold. There are no currently scheduled launches for the vehicle.