TASS news agency announced about setting new launch date for delayed Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft, which was originally planned for September 23 from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The news was unofficial and was given for the first time to public by Russian TASS news agency on September 26, 2016. Source, which was quoted by TASS, claimed, that MS-02, will be launch on October 19, 2016. Yesterday Roscosmos announced officially, that is targeting for October 19 with launch of Soyuz MS-02. According to some sources technicians finished changing burned wires and isolating bent cables behind seats inside descent module already on September 25. After testing Soyuz seemed to operate perfectly fine and it was possible to think about setting new launch date.
Date will be confirmed on following days by State Commission, which was responsible for evaluating reason of the problems with MS-02 electrical system. Final confirmation will be given probably on 8th October after last tests of Soyuz MS-02. It is worth to mention, that first Soyuz from MS series also suffered for technical problems spotted before launch. Spacecraft with members of Expedition 48 was finally launched after solving problems with guiding system after one month delay on July 7, 2016.
Soyuz MS-02 will be launched from Pad 31 at Baikonur Cosmodrome on atop of Soyuz-FG rocket. It will deliver to International Space Station members of Expedition 49: Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko from Roscosmos along with NASA astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough. Crew members will leave Star City near Moscow and fly to Baikonur and accommodate at Cosmonaut Hotel on 7th October. Final preparations for launch: last health examination, dressing Sokol space suits and farewell to families separated with special glass (direct contact is impossible due the risk of infection) will take place on October 18. Later Sergei Ryzhikov, Andrei Borisenko and Robert Shane Kimbrough will take their places inside Soyuz MS-02: Sergei Ryzhikov as commander will take central seat, Andrei Borisenko as Flight Engineer 1 will sit on his left side and Robert Kimbrough will take place on his right side as Flight Engineer 2. For Ryzhikov it will be first spaceflight, for his crew mates it will be the second. Soyuz will reach ISS and dock on the second day of its journey according to same scheme as Soyuz MS-01.