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Space and Physics

Russian Spacecraft Fails On Its Way To Orbit

author

Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer

clockDec 1 2016, 18:06 UTC

File photo of a Progress spacecraft. NASA

An unmanned Russian spacecraft taking cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) today appears to have failed, and possibly exploded, on its way to orbit.

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The Progress MS-04/65P vehicle seemed to lift off without any issues from Kazakhstan at 9.51am EST (2.51pm GMT) today. It was due to deliver 2,450 kilograms (5,400 pounds) of food, water, waste containers, propellant, and various other bits of equipment to the ISS when it arrived this Saturday, December 3.

But, six minutes after launching, telemetry (communications) from the spacecraft were lost.

Early reports coming in said the spacecraft may have exploded over the Russian town of Tuva, with some suggestions that an explosion was witnessed, and wreckage may have fallen to the ground.

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The failure of the spacecraft was later confirmed by Roscosmos, but reports of the wreckage are unconfirmed at the moment.

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We'll update this story when we have more information.

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