NASA: Space station may be evacuated by late Nov.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) ? NASA says astronauts may need to abandon the International Space Station this fall.

If Russian Soyuz rockets remain grounded beyond mid-November, there will be no way to launch new crews before the current residents are supposed to leave.

A Russian supply ship was destroyed during liftoff last week. The rocket is similar to what’s used to launch astronauts.

Three of the six space station astronauts, meanwhile, will remain in orbit for at least an extra week. They were supposed to return to Earth on Sept. 8. And the late September launch of a fresh crew has been delayed as well.

NASA space station program manager Mike Suffredini said Monday that flight controllers could keep a deserted space station operating indefinitely.