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-- tense moments high above earth today mission control in Moscow.
Lost contact -- astronauts returning from the International Space Station.
Mission commanders say the Russian Soyuz capsule did not respond radio calls for several minutes watch the touchdown it -- -- that.
Didn't respond for several minutes -- eventually landed safely -- apparently that's what it's supposed to do three astronauts on board that capsule one of them American.
The US relies on Russia to send astronauts into space -- -- into the shuttle program over the summer.
Today's communications breakdown comes after similar unmanned Russian rocket crashed last month.
That delayed the launch of the space station's new crew until November.
The officials warn any more delays could leave the fate of the very expensive program very much up in the -- Trace Gallagher -- Los Angeles those silent minutes man that must -- felt like forever.
Yeah because as NASA will tell you shed anytime you lose contact with the spaceship view almost always assume the worst of course the first -- comes to mind is the Space Shuttle Columbia which broke up during reentry even though they they lost contact with this Soyuz capsule for several minutes mission control in Russia still had tracking contact -- -- the problem is is they didn't know the status of the astronauts and they couldn't do anything to help.
Here's former astronaut Tom Jones listen.
I think the crew handled this very well.
They had the training to conduct the landing went out.
Intervention from the ground but when you have these little hiccups like this it raises questions about the reliability of your partners transportation system.
Yet it wasn't until that plane that was circling the landing area actually saw the parachute on the capsule.
That they find the new at mission control of things we're going to be okay Asia.
Tracy and in this could really further delay trips to the space station -- You know it could if there's an electronic problem with the communication system on -- isn't -- after recheck things remember.
After that Soyuz rocket the unmanned rocket crashed last month they already pushed back the next -- the International Space Station until November.
If they have to delay it even further that means experts say it would almost certainly.
Bring those astronauts aboard the International Space Station home and that would leave the space station -- man.
Again here's Tom Jones.
We need to have a -- redundant way to get to the space station.
American commercial companies need to be brought along faster by NASA so.
The bottom line is NASA needs more funds to get this transportation system backed up sooner than they had planned and I think that's a path of policy failure.
But the bottom line is we don't right now we have to rely on the rush ends and if for some reason the space station is left -- -- any little problem.
Could cascade into a series of problems and jeopardize.
That multi billion dollar space relationship Trace Gallagher and Los Angeles this afternoon Trace thank you.
Well Luke Skywalker may have seen it.
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