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In February 2005, a launch date for return to flight is set for May 15, 2005. The second post-Columbia launch was then expected on July 12, 2005.

Expected space exploration events in 2005:

Jan. 12: Delta II launches Deep Impact probe toward Comet Tempel 1.

Jan. 14: The Huygens probe from the Cassini spacecraft to descend on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan.

March: A Proton to launch Express-AM-5 comsat for the Russian communications organization.

March: European Rosetta spacecraft to flyby Earth.

May 7: Soyuz TMA-6 (Mission 10S) launch toward the ISS

May 15: Shuttle to resume flights after the Columbia accident (March 6 launch as of January 2004).

May: The Soyuz-U to launch Foton-M2 material-processing satellite from Plesetsk.

July: Japan's MUSES-C (Haybusa) spacecraft to approach asteroid Itokawa.

July 12: The Shuttle Atlantis to fly to the ISS (as of Feb. 18, 2005)

Aug. 10: NASA to launch Mars Reconaissance Orbiter.

Oct. 26: Soyuz-Fregat booster to launch European Venus-Express mission from Baikonur.

Nov. 15: Soyuz TMA-7 (Mission 11S) launch toward the ISS.

November: Russian launcher to send ESA's Venus Express toward Venus.

November: Japan's MUSES-C (Haybusa) spacecraft to take samples from asteroid Itokawa.

End of 2005: Proton Breeze M to launch ARABSAT 4A comsat from Baikonur.

End of 2005: Proton to launch WORLDSAT 3 comsat from Baikonur. (Mission announced in March 2004)

End of 2005: The Soyuz rocket to launch first Galileo spacecraft for the European navigation network from Baikonur. (Mission announced in March 2004)


Missions with unconfirmed dates

Japan to launch Lunar-A and Selene toward the Moon.

Angara to fly its first test mission from Plesetsk.

Proton to launch Anik F1R comsat from Baikonur.

Proton/Breeze M to launch MEASAT-3 comsat for Malaysia's Binariang Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd. from Baikonur to serve Malaysia, Southeast and Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Australia. The agreement on the launch was announced on Sept. 4, 2003.

Launch of Meteor-3M weather forecast satellite.


Deep Impact near Comet Tempel. Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings