Russian space cargo vessel ‘ceased to exist’

Following failure to dock ISS last week the capsule has burned up on re-entry over Pacific

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An unmanned Russian space cargo ship has plunged into Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over Pacific after it failed to dock International Space Station in a cargo run.

"The Progress M-27M spacecraft ceased to exist at 05:04 Moscow time (0204 GMT) on 8 May 2015. It entered the atmosphere... over the central part of the Pacific Ocean," Roscosmos, Russia’s Space Agency, said in a statement.

A few hours after the soviet designed spacecraft was launched on April 28, the control room lost contact with it.

The capsule was carrying more than three tons of food, fuel and other supplies to the crew of International Space Station (ISS).

The deputy head of Roscosmos said that a special commission was assessing the incident.

A source close to commission said that the rocket blasted seconds before the Progress vessel’s separation. According to the reports in Russian news agencies, the accident was not caused by the supply vessel itself but the Soyuz rocket carrying it.

Since the same rocket is used for manned flights, the problem with the rocket must be investigated thoroughly before any further launches.  

The six international astronauts currently stationed in the ISS are not in immediate danger if a supply ship can dock with the station by June 19.  

Russia has launched three or four supply missions to the ISS each year since the US froze its Space Shuttle Program. With its Balkanur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Moscow is the sole launcher of capsules to the ISS.

TRTWorld and agencies