NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that a new crew will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on 20 December 2018 despite a recent rocket failure, Space Daily reports.
“I fully anticipate that we will fly again on a Soyuz rocket, and I have no reason to believe at this point that it will not be on schedule,” he said.
Last week, a Russian Soyuz rocket transporting two astronauts to the ISS failed upon first stage separation, causing the mission to be aborted and the crew capsule to separate from the booster.
Both astronauts landed safely back on Earth, but the three astronauts currently inhabiting the ISS are now left with a single crew capsule.
This means that while they will be able to return to Earth, if they do so there will be no crew aboard the station until another crew can be launched.
Last week’s Soyuz rocket failure was the first such rocket failure incident in Russia’s recent history, and there is currently no definitive information regarding the cause of the incident.