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Russia investigates top space official for abuse of office

The head of the famed Russian space-rocket company Energia that makes the Soyuz spacecraft faces a criminal investigation into alleged abuse of office, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Wednesday. Vitaly Lopota, president of Energia, is suspected of approving unauthorised loans to an international space consortium, Russia's equivalent of the FBI said in a statement. Lopota is one of the country's most important space officials, responsible for a company that has won the bulk of the contracts for Russian space hardware.

Russia investigates top space official for abuse of office

The head of the famed Russian space-rocket company Energia that makes the Soyuz spacecraft faces a criminal investigation into alleged abuse of office, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Wednesday. Vitaly Lopota, president of Energia, is suspected of approving unauthorised loans to an international space consortium, Russia's equivalent of the FBI said in a statement. Lopata is one of the country's most important space officials, responsible for a company that has won the bulk of the contracts for Russian space hardware.

Russian spacecraft brings three-man crew to ISS after two-day delay

A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man Russian and US crew on Friday docked successfully at the International Space Station after an unprecedented two-day delay caused by a technical hitch. The Soyuz TMA-12M carrying Russia's Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and NASA's Steve Swanson docked at 03:53 am Moscow time (1153 GMT Thursday), Russia's mission control said. "The Soyuz TMA-12M docked automatically to the docking module of the Russian segment of the ISS," mission control said in a statement on its website.

Space launch forces French jumbo to make refueling stop

HAMBURG (Reuters) - An Air France A380 jumbo jet flying from Shanghai to Paris was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Hamburg airport on Wednesday after a space mission launch caused it to run low on fuel, the airline said. Flight AF111 had to make a diversion after airspace over Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was closed for at least 30 minutes for the launch of a Russian Soyuz space rocket, an Air France spokeswoman said.

ISS docking of rocket carrying US-Russian crew delayed

"Complications" have caused a two-day delay in the docking of a Soyuz rocket carrying two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut with the International Space Station, Russia's space agency said Wednesday. The rocket, which took off without a hitch on Tuesday from Russia's Baikonur launching pad in Kazakhstan, was meant to have hooked up with the ISS at 0304 GMT Wednesday after a six-hour flight. The space agency did not explain what the problem was, according to Russian news agencies. It said docking was now expected to take place in "two nights'" time. all/rmb/jw

Russia launches new Soyuz rocket

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia successfully launched an upgraded version of its Soviet-design Soyuz rocket on Saturday, the Defence Ministry said, giving a boost to the country's troubled space program. The launch of the Soyuz 2.1v rocket, which features a new engine and digital guidance system, had originally been planned for the beginning of 2012 but was postponed due to an accident during testing which caused engine damage, Interfax reported. It was then scheduled to be launched earlier this week but was delayed again, Interfax reported.

Europe launches billion-dollar Gaia telescope

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday launched an advanced telescope, Gaia, designed to detect a billion stars and provide the most detailed map yet of the Milky Way. The telescope was successfully hoisted by a Soyuz-STB-Fregat rocket from ESA's space base in Kourou, French Guiana, the agency reported in a webcast. ri/yad

Russia launches Sochi Olympic torch into space (PHOTOS)

A Russian spacecraft carrying three astronauts and an unlit Olympic torch docked successfully with the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday.

Russia launches Sochi Olympic torch into space

Russia on Thursday launched into space a trio of Russian, Japanese and US astronauts carrying an unlit Olympic torch that will for the first time be taken on a spacewalk to mark the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The Soyuz-FG rocket and Soyuz-TMA capsule, emblazoned with the symbols of the Sochi Games and the Olympic rings, blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russia launches rocket carrying three astronauts and Olympic torch

Russia on Thursday launched a rocket carrying Russian, Japanese and US astronauts and an Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi from its Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the mission control said. The Soyuz-FG rocket and Soyuz-TMA capsule, emblazoned with the symbols of the Sochi Games and the Olympic rings, blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) on time at 8:14 am (0414 GMT), it said. "The Soyuz FG rocket and the Soyuz-TMA capsule launched successfully from Baikonur cosmodrome at 8:14 am Moscow time," the Russian space agency said in a statement.
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