MOSCOW — The return of two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut to Earth from the International Space Station was pushed back by a day to Saturday because of problems encountered while undocking, the head of the Russian space agency said.
The space fliers were told Friday to return to the station from the Russian Soyuz capsule that was to carry them to a landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan, said Roscosmos head Anatoly Perminov.
American astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson and Russia's Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko rejoined their three crewmates staying on board the space outpost. They were reported to be in good shape.
"The preliminary analysis, according to the technical commission, showed that a false signal appeared in the onboard computer system about the lack of a hermetic junction after closing the hatch on the station," Perminov said in comments shown on Russian state TV.
Perminov said the commission decided to reschedule the landing for Saturday. "It could be done today, but in order not to risk anything, we need reserve time," he said.
However, Rob Navias, a spokesman for the US space agency NASA, said there were also problems opening hooks and latches on the space station side of the capsule.