Russia’s Unmanned Cargo Spaceship is Falling Back To Earth

russhia cargo spaceshipAn unmanned Russian spacecraft, scheduled to supply food, fuel, and other goods to the International Space Station (ISS), is falling back to Earth, according to the several media reports.

The Progress 59 spacecraft blasted off atop a Soyuz rocket on Tuesday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan. On April 28th, the spaceship experienced a glitch soon after launching toward the space station.

On Tuesday, NASA reported that Russian flight controllers were continuing to troubleshoot issues with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft. The spacecraft experienced telemetry problems regarding the deployment of navigational antennas and the pressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system.

Currently, Russian officials confirmed that they are losing control of the spacecraft.

“It has started descending. It has nowhere else to go,” AFP reported citing an anonymous official. “It is clear that absolutely uncontrollable reactions have begun.”

Progress 59 carries more than 6,000 pounds (2,720 kilograms) of food, fuel, and supplies for the space station crew. It was scheduled to arrive at the orbiting lab just six hours after liftoff, at about 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.

Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts and his five crew mates are conducting a variety of microgravity experiments on board the space station as they await the arrival of Progress 59. NASA said that the six-person crew aboard the ISS will have no issue if this mission is failed. They have enough food and fuel, and other supplies.

“The spacecraft was not carrying any supplies critical for the United States Operating Segment (USOS) of the station,” CNN reported, citing NASA. “Both the Russian and USOS segments of the station continue to operate normally and are adequately supplied well beyond the next planned resupply flight.”

It is expected that Russia’s space agency Roscosmos will issue an official statement regarding Progress 59 today.

Progress 59 is one of four robotic spacecraft that supply cargo to the space station. Those spacecraft include Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle, the Dragon, and Cygnus. The last two of these are built by SpaceX and Orbital ATK.

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About the author

Nadeem has more than 5 years of experience as a news writer/editor. He started his career as a business news reporter at a Virginia-based financial research firm in 2008. At Morning Ledger, Nadeem is responsible for writing news stories on health and science topics.