For the first since 2001 the International Space Station may soon go unmanned. Last week a Russian spaceship crashed back to earth, leaving Russian engineers to determine what caused the crash with only a short term fix available if they decide to relieve the six astronauts currently aboard the space station.
According to Space.com, three of the six astronauts are scheduled to return home in November, however NASA will not allow their astronauts to board a Soyuz rocket until the issue is fixed and several unmanned launches have been successfully performed.
With three expected to return home in September, astronauts currently have enough supplies to last for an extended stay.
According to CNN the Russian space agency was planning to launch a manned mission on Sept. 22 and will now postpone that mission until early October, possibly early November.
NASA officials say that if the ship is left unmanned they will continue to operate it from the ground and the ISS will remain in orbit “indefinitely.”
Too bad NASA recently retired the Atlantis space shuttle, that sure could have come in handy at this point.