updated 10/7/2010 10:44:03 AM ET 2010-10-07T14:44:03

Russia's space agency chief says that a spacecraft that is used to ferry crew to the international space station in December has been damaged during transportation by rail.

Anatoly Perminov said Thursday that experts found a shift between two components in the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft caused by a violation of transportation safety requirements.

He said all the necessary repairs will be made to ensure the flight safety.

Soyuz spacecraft are assembled at a factory in Korolyov just outside Moscow and then transported by rail some 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) southeast, to the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Perminov said that the launch could be delayed by a few days if experts rule that the craft needs to be sent back to the manufacturing plant for repairs.

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