Russian Supply Ship Burns Up On Its Way to Space Station

World - Mohit Shah - Dec 02,2016

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russian supply ship burns up on its way to space station

A crew-less flight to resupply the International Space Station blazed in the atmosphere during the third-stage separation from the rocket booster.

The loss of the Progress 65 spacecraft has been confirmed by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. This cargo ship was launched on 1st December from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but communication with the spaceship broke after 382 seconds into the flight.

The Soyuz rocket couldn’t complete the third stage and was lapsed “earlier than planned”, as per NASA’s live broadcast of the event. This spacecraft burned up in Earth’s atmosphere somewhere around 9:51AM ET. Debris from the torched spacecraft were spotted in Tuva Republic, Siberia. 

The spaceship was carrying more than 2.5 tons of cargo including food, propellant, water and other supplies. However, the loss of this mission hasn’t caused any scarcity of supplies for the crew present at the space station. "Consumables aboard the station are at good levels", was stated in a blog post by NASA.

Progress spacecraft are self-governing and can fly on their own to the space station. Moreover, they have the ability to park at one of several docking ports. The amusing aspect is that, the cosmonauts in the station can take access through remote control for handling Progress vehicles if required. The final stage of the mission involves loading of the Progress vehicles with trash and all the unnecessary items. The spacecraft is then undocked from the station and deliberately burned up in the Earth's atmosphere.

The next resupply launch to ISS will hopefully take place next week, while the third mission is set to take off in early 2017. Roscosmos is one of four bodies that hold the capability to operate ISS resupplying missions. Next week’s mission will be managed by the Japanese space agency.