Russian Progress unmanned ISS resupply vehicle lost during launch

Aug 25, 2011
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For a long time now, the Russians have been using an unmanned resupply vehicle called Progress to resupply the ISS. This week the Progress was launched to head to the ISS with supplies for the astronauts working on the station. The vessel was apparently loaded with three tons of supplies. The rocket used to shoot the Progress M-12M vessel into orbit had a failure the resulted in the Progress not making it to orbit.

According to reports 320 seconds into the flight the third stage of the propulsion rocket shut down early resulting in the Progress not being inserted correctly into orbit. This caused the supply vessel to plummet back to Earth. Officials are reporting that the Progress crashed on land near the Altai province in Russia and there were reports in the area of a loud explosion and some windows were reportedly blown out.

The ISS has enough supplies so there is no danger to the astronauts on the station at this time. The crash site for the Progress is 1,500km northeast of the launch site. There are no reports of injuries on the ground resulting from the crash. The real question is if manned flights using similar rockets will continue or if the rockets will need to undergo testing to determine what went wrong.

[via BBC]


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