Unmanned ISS cargo ship burns up in atmosphere: Russian space agencyRussia's space agency on Thursday said it lost contact with an unmanned cargo ship shortly after it blasted off for the International Space Station. “Communication was lost today 383 seconds after the launch of the
Russia's space agency on Thursday said it lost contact with an unmanned cargo ship shortly after it blasted off for the International Space Station.
Roscosmos said in a statement that the Progress MS-04 cargo craft crashed at the altitude of 190 kilometers (118 miles) over the remote Russian Tyva region that borders Mongolia. It says most of the space ship's debris burnt up as it entered the atmosphere.
The Progress lifted off as scheduled at 8:51 p.m. (1451 GMT) from Russia's space launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to deliver 2.5 metric tons of fuel, water, food and other supplies. It entered an orbit nine minutes later and was set to dock with the space station on Saturday.
Roscosmos said the craft was operating normally before it stopped transmitting data 383 seconds after the launch. The Russian space agency would not immediately describe the cause of the malfunction, saying its experts were looking into it.
Both Roscosmos and NASA said the crash of the ship would have no impact on the operations of the orbiting lab that is currently home to a six-member crew, including three cosmonauts from Russia, two NASA astronauts and one from the European Union.
Orbital ATK, NASA's other shipper, successfully sent up supplies to the space station in October, and a Japanese cargo space ship is scheduled to launch a full load in mid-December.
NASA supplier SpaceX, meanwhile, has been grounded since a rocket explosion on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in September. The company hopes to resume launches in December to deliver communication satellites.
(With inputs from AP)