Russian Supply Ship Headed to International Space Station Malfunctions, Burns Up Over Siberia
A Russian supply spacecraft headed for the International Space Station (ISS) had malfunctioned after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday morning. According to reports by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, they had lost all communications with the spacecraft called Progress. The spacecraft was said to have broke off over Siberia.
The unmanned vehicle contained 2.6 tons of food along with fuel and supplies for the astronauts aboard the ISS. While the Progress spacecraft failed to make it to the station, Roscosmos and NASA stated that the loss of supplies on the spacecraft would not affect operations of the ISS or the life of its crew.
"Our astronauts and the Russian cosmonauts are safe aboard the station," stated NASA, adding, "Consumables aboard the station are at good levels."
The cause of Progress spacecraft's' failure is still unclear. Yet, the specifics as to where the cargo craft had broken up have been detailed in a report. Progress had broken up at an altitude of 190 kilometers over a region in Siberia, the Russian Tuva region which borders Mongolia. Locals in the area reportedly saw a flash of light and heard a loud thud west of Kyzyl, the regional capital which is more than 2,200 miles east of Moscow.
As where a Russian spacecraft launch is concerned, this is the third botched launch recorded in two years. In May 2015, a Russian cargo ship plunged into the Pacific Ocean, while in May 2014 a Proton-M rocket broke up in the atmosphere. The said rocket was carrying an advanced satellite.
Despite the failed resupply mission by the Russian spacecraft, another resupply mission is scheduled for next week, which by this time, the Japanese space agency will be in charge. In addition, one resupply mission to the ISS is set for early 2017.