MOSCOW, Russia - Russia on Wednesday struggled to restore contact with a cargo spaceship named "Progress 59," which by early afternoon was reported to be crashing back to earth in what risks becoming the latest in the country's series of prominent launch failures.
An unidentified source told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday that the ship had started descending because it had “nowhere else to go.”
Progress 59 was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday morning at 10:09 a.m., carrying fuel, food, oxygen, equipment for scientific experiments and presents for the crew on board the International Space Station (ISS). According to plan, it was supposed to dock at the station six hours later.
But almost immediately, Progress 59 stopped sending data back home, the Interfax news agency cited an industry source as saying. An unidentified source in Russia's mission control center told the agency that there was a malfunction at the third stage of the launch that sent the rocket into a higher orbit than planned. Source: ENT Rush Newswire