The International Space Station will face a blackout on Thursday as the first crewed mission of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Cygnus spacecraft is headed for the space station, a Russian cosmonaut has told Reuters.
The Russian cosmodrome, located in the southern reaches of the country’s Arctic, has been hit by a power failure this week that has prompted the cancellation of two planned spacewalks by the International Space Agency.
The mission of a European spacecraft, Cygnu, which is slated to blast off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 31, is due to take place on Thursday.
A Russian space station crew member, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the mission would be the first to be shut down for more than 24 hours without an emergency power supply.
“The spacecraft will not survive an extended period without a power supply,” Andrei Solovyov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, told reporters in a conference call on Friday.
“There is no other way to proceed.
We don’t have any other options,” Solovykov said.
Russia’s space agency will also not be able to use its Russian Soyuz spacecraft for the next two days due to the power failure, Solovyakov said.
The International Space Research Organization (ISSRO) and NASA, the U.S. space agency, have already postponed their planned March 1 launch of the Cygnos spacecraft and its Soyuz rocket from the Baikov station.
A spokesman for ISSRO said the Soyuz launch was still being planned and was not impacted by the power loss.NASA also said it was not affected by the outage.NASA and its partners are in talks with ISSRO to reschedule the March 1 mission, the spokesman said.