Russian Cargo Ship To Fall To Earth Friday Morning

Russian spacecraft, Progress 59, encountered a glitch last week before it could complete its mission to resupply the ISS. The error left the cargo ship unable to dock with the ISS. The spaceship is currently spinning out of control and hurtling toward Earth–Not to worry, the craft shouldn't actually impact Earth. Most of it will burn up from intense heat as it re-enters the atmosphere. The three-ton payload of supplied will burn up in its demise. The ship, and everything on it have been written off as a total loss. It is likely to fall to earth early Friday morning, U.S. time.

Scientists know exactly where the spacecraft is. But, it is still difficult to predict exactly where the space craft will fall to earth because reentry will throw a wrench in tracking capabilities as the ship's might respond unpredictably to reentry's intense friction and drag.

Progress 59 was carrying a 6000 pound payload of propellant, fresh water, supplies and clothing for the next batch of astronauts that will join the current ISS crew. Not to worry, a SpaceX mission to re-supply the ISS will lift off in June, and a Japanese mission will send supplies in August. The ISS maintains at least a 4-month supply of cargo at all times, in preparation for unforeseen circumstances like the Progress's fatal glitch.

The majority of the craft will burn up upon reentry, leaving only small bits debris to impact the earth. It's unlikely that the debris will hit a populated area. Of course the Progress 59 is an unmanned mission, yet its impending crash and falling debris harkens back to NASA's fatal 2003 Columbia mission, when debris scattered over East Texas.

Source: CBS News