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NASA: Space station may be evacuated by late Nov.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA says astronauts may need to

abandon the International Space Station this fall.

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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.

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A Russian supply ship was destroyed during liftoff last week. The

rocket is similar to what’s used to launch astronauts.

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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.

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NASA space station program manager Mike Suffredini said Monday that

flight controllers could keep a deserted space station operating

indefinitely.

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