It's been kind of a crazy week everywhere for pretty much everyone, so I am going to keep this post short and sweet. According to Spaceflight Now, a NASA official has said this last week's Progress launch vehicle failure may cause the International Space Station to be unmanned by year's end. NASA was relying on Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts back and forth to the ISS. This failure comes at a particularly unfortunate time due to the very recent end of the shuttle program.
Obviously and understandably, Russia's space program would like to take their time to work out their launch vehicle issues before they place people inside their capsules (and trust me, I am behind that 100%). Also, re-starting spaceflights in winter is kind of a bad idea, because winter conditions in Russia = nightmarish recoveries of landed Soyuz capsules.
NASA is holding a press conference Monday, August 29th at 10:00 AM EDT to discuss their options following the Russian launch vehicle failure. Let's try our best to be positive through this difficult time for manned spaceflight. Also, if you're in Hurricane Irene's path, stay safe out there.