Russian Cargo Ship Headed for ISS Fails to Reach Orbit


A unmanned Russian cargo ship bound for the International Space Station failed to reach orbit after a problem during its launch Thursday morning from Kazakhstan.

The Progress 65 ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on a Soyuz-U rocket at 9:51 a.m. EST and the early flight went as planned.

But something went wrong during the firing of the rocket’s third and final stage before the spacecraft was put in orbit, NASA confirmed.

The third stage may have separated too early, a NASA TV commentator said, and the flow of telemetry to the ground became choppy.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, later reported that it had lost contact with the Progress, and then that the ship had fallen back through the atmosphere “above the rugged uninhabited mountainous territory of the Republic of Tyva, and most of the fragments were burned in the dense layers of the atmosphere.”

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SOURCE: USA Today; Florida Today, James Dean