Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Russian ISS supply rocket crashes ...

(CNN) -- A Russian space freighter carrying cargo to the International Space Station has crashed in a remote area of Siberia, Russian emergency officials said Wednesday.
The unmanned Progress cargo craft, which launched at 7 p.m. in Kazakhstan (9 a.m. ET) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, was due to dock with the ISS on Friday.
Rescue teams have been dispatched to the crash site of the Progress-M12M, the regional branch of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry told CNN.

Officials could not immediately confirm whether the crash might have caused any damage on the ground. Russia's Interfax news agency reported that the rocket had come down in the Altai region.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian government space agency Roscosmos reported that the cargo ship had deviated from its planned trajectory shortly after takeoff, failing to reach the target orbit, and had disappeared from radars.

"The engine system's erratic functioning and its subsequent breakdown occurred during the operation of the third stage at the 325th second of the flight of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the Progress M-12M resupply vehicle," Roscosmos said in a statement.

The spacecraft was to deliver more than 3.5 tonnes (about 3.85 U.S. tons) of cargo to the crew of the ISS now orbiting the Earth, Roscosmos said.
The load included food supplies, medical equipment, personal hygiene items, as well as scientific equipment needed for experiments aboard the ISS, according to space officials.
There are currently six astronauts at the ISS -- three from Russia, two from the United States and one from Japan.

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