Roscosmos decided to postpone launch of Soyuz-FG with Soyuz spacecraft on atop. Spacecraft with members of Expedition 49 should reach space on 23rd September 2016. 

Roscosmos announced about delay in the Expedition 49 schedule on September 17. Mission with launch planned on 23rd September 2016 from Launch Pad 31 at Baikonur Cosmodrome has not new launch date at the moment. Corporation admitted that it was caused by small technical problem, which appeared at assembly facility. According to Russian RIA Novosti news agency, the problem was short circuit spotted after covering Soyuz MS-02 with payload fairing of Soyuz-FG. Agency also announced that new launch date will be announced not earlier then on 20th September, after special state commission will evaluate precisely reason of the problem; probably launch will be postponed to October. Current condition of Soyuz MS-02 is not known, but according to RIA Novosti, Roscosmos is considering swapping MS-02 with different Soyuz spacecraft if problem will not be found and fixed.

It was originally planned, that three members of Expedition 49, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough (NASA), commander Sergey Ryzhikov (Roscosmos) and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko (Roscosmos), will reach ISS on 25th September to replace three crew members who returned to Earth on 7th September inside Soyuz TMA-20M: Jeff Williams (NASA), Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka (both from Roscosmos). On International Space Station commanded by Anatoly Ivanishin from Roscosmos supported by Kate Rubins from NASA and Takuya Onishi  (JAXA) three places are still waiting for Kimbrough, Borisenko and Ryzhikov. Every day of delay means, those three crew members are forced to deal with scientific experiments, maintenance of the ISS and planned service actions alone. Safety is at the first place, that probably ISS will remain with three crew members onboard for few more weeks until Roscosmos and RKK Energia will solve problems with Soyuz.


On picture above: flight engineer Shane Kimbrough (NASA), commander Sergey Ryzhikov (Roscosmos) and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko (Roscosmos).

It was not announced if present delay will effect on ISS schedule; at the moment date of return of Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoli Ivanishin is still scheduled for 30th October, 2016, but it is possible that this date will change if Roscosmos will set new date of launch for the end of October.