In a somewhat surprising announcement, the South Korean astronaut Ko San was dropped from the upcoming Soyuz TMA-12 mission because he apparently removed some training manuals from Star City without authorization. The manuals are Soyuz flight manuals – not exactly state secret material – so they seem to have been making more of a statement about his doing things he wasn’t supposed to do:
“The Russian space agency has stressed that a minor mistake and disobedience can cause serious consequences,” Lee told reporters. Lee said he believed the materials in question were not classified.
It seems a bit harsh, though. His backup is a woman, Yi So-yeon, so she will get to go up instead. (James Oberg comments at FP Space.)
As reported at the Buran-Energiya site, the experimental space shuttle Buran OK-GLI will be shipped to the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum in Germany from Bahrain where it has been languishing for over 4 years during a dispute over its ownership. The model was exhibited in Sydney in 2000 but the organization that owned it then went bankrupt. It will at last be properly looked-after, though it’s a pity it could not be returned to Russia and exhibited. (CollectSPACE thread: Buran found, sold to German museum.)
The ATV Jules Verne ran into a technical problem after its successful launch: one of the four “electronics chains” controlling its propulsion system detected an anamoly and shut down. It is only a glitch so far; it’s unclear if the fault is with the electronics or the propulsion system.