The Russian space agency has conceded its out-of-control cargo spacecraft will not be able to dock with the International Space Station. Roscosmos admitted the Progress 59 freighter’s failed mission will cost 2.59 billion roubles (£32.8 million), a spokesman for the agency said. Igor Komarov, head of Roscosmos, listed a series of problems that had made the vessel tumble out of control since early on Tuesday, Reuters reported. He said:
Because of this, the craft’s continued flight and its docking with the ISS is not possible.
Here’s what else we learned throughout the day:
- Progress 59 launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday without issue
- The spacecraft is 7m long and holds 2.5 tonnes of food, water, fuel and other supplies
- The vessel malfunctioned soon after it reached orbit on Tuesday and went into an uncontrolled spin.
- It is rotating at a rate of 360 degrees every five seconds
- The spacecraft is travelling at more than 16,000 miles per hour.
- The vessel is 160 miles above the Earth.
- It could take up to two weeks for Progress 59 to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, at which point it is expected to break up.
- You can follow Progress 59 using satellite tracking websites Satflare and N2YO.
- Igor Komarov, head of Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, says they are now considering different options for a “water landing”.
My colleagues Ian Sample and Shaun Walker have filed this report. In light of information that Progress 59 could be orbiting the Earth for up to two weeks, we have decided to close the live blog. I’ll leave you with this clip from Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning thriller Gravity to serve as a reminder that the spacecraft was thankfully unmanned. MORE INFO