Russian space agency determines Soyuz crash cause

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MOSCOW (AP) ? Russia’s space agency says the crash of a supply ship for the International Space Station has been caused by a manufacturing flaw.

The agency said Thursday that the flaw led to the failure of a gas generator of the Soyuz rocket’s third-stage engine that caused the Aug. 24 crash.

It added that all similar engines will be checked to make sure the fault was singular. The space agency said further Soyuz launches will proceed depending on the engines’ condition, but gave no specific schedule.

With NASA’s space shuttles retired as of July, Soyuz is the only means of getting astronauts to and from the space station.

NASA said the space station will need to be abandoned temporarily if a new crew cannot be launched before the last of the station’s six residents fly back to Earth in mid-November.