The astronauts and cosmonauts on the snag-hit Soyuz spacecraft have taken the long way to come back to the International Space Station (ISS).
NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev will now arrive at the space station on Thursday (March 27) at 7:58 pm EDT (2258 GMT).
Speaking during a webcast, NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean, said, “The crew is in no danger and they have reported that they are feeling great”.
When asked about the reason behind the glitch, Dean said, “NASA and Russian ground controllers are still investigating the exact cause of the docking delay”.
The Soyuz TMA-12M capsule was launched into space atop a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan at 5:17 p.m. EDT (2117 March 26 GMT) on Tuesday.
The Soyuz TMA-12M vehicle was scheduled to dock with the space laboratory about six hours after launch. But it missed an automatic engine burn that prevented the spacecraft from making the expedited docking.
According to preliminary reports, officials think the burn was skipped because the Soyuz vehicle wasn’t in the correct orientation, or attitude, at the time.
Kenny Todd, mission operations integration manager for the space station, said in a NASA TV webcast, “Based on what we’re hearing from our Russian colleagues, it looks like that burn did not execute because they weren’t able through their normal systems checks to confirm the attitude of the vehicle was in its proper condition.”