Tags: unmanned | russian | spacecraft | tumbles | earth

Unmanned Russian Spacecraft Loses Communication, Tumbles Toward Earth

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 11:26 AM

An unmanned Russian spacecraft bound for the International Space Station is tumbling back to earth after Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, lost communication with it shortly after launch.

Quartz reported Wednesday that "As of 8:55 a.m. ET, the spacecraft was flying westward over London at 4.67 miles per second, 120 miles in the sky."

The Progress 59 spacecraft, launched April 28 from Kazakhstan, was set to resupply the ISS with more than 6,000 pounds of food and fuel. NASA explained that the cargo included 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,128 pounds of spare parts, supplies, and scientific experiment hardware. It was expected to arrive on April 30 to the six crew members currently aboard the ISS.

Russia lost communication with the spacecraft shortly after it separated from its rocket, and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted Wednesday that engineers were trying to reestablish control.



The spacecraft is expected to plummet all the way down to the Earth's surface, and much of it will likely burn away as it falls through the atmosphere. Some pieces may survive and fall to the surface, but there is a high likelihood that they will fall into the ocean.

Agence France-Presse reported via Yahoo that Russia lost a similar Progress supply ship in 2011, and has experienced a number of similar setbacks in recent years.

SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship is the next resupply vessel slated to arrive at the ISS, and should dock on June 19.



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An unmanned Russian spacecraft bound for the International Space Station is tumbling back to earth after Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, lost communication with it shortly after launch.
unmanned, russian, spacecraft, tumbles, earth
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2015-26-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 11:26 AM
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