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”.