An unmanned Progress 65 cargo ship that was heading towards the International Space Station crashed in the atmosphere over Siberia just minutes after the take-off on Thursday, December 1. The Russian cargo spaceship was carrying 700 pounds of resupply for the ISS.
As per the reports provided by the Russian space agency Roscosmos, scientists haven’t yet figured out the exact reason behind the blast. The Progress cargo ship had lifted off as scheduled at 8:51 p.m. (1451 GMT) from Russia’s space launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and scientists lost the communication with the spacecraft just 383 seconds after the take-off and soon the spacecraft crashed over Siberia.
Local people saw the burst along with the flash of light in the sky and deep sound of blast from more than 3,600 kilometres (2,200 miles) east of Moscow.
Russia usually sends 3-4 cargo resupplies a year which includes food, fuel and some other stuff required by the astronauts aboard ISS. This was also the routine cargo resupply mission and the spacecraft had 2.6 metric tons of cargo for Expedition 50 crew aboard International Space Station. But, everything got burned along with the Suyoz carrier rocket and remains have fallen somewhere in the Tuva region of Siberia.
Initial findings suggest that the crash might have occurred due to thrid-stage engine failure due to clogged fuel line. A similar blast happened in 2011 when the spacecraft was crashed due to engine failure after fuel line got clogged. The Progress M-12 freighter in 2011 failed to reach the designated orbit and disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere during an uncontrolled fall. Another incident happened in April 2015 when cargo ship failed tp launch and blasted at the launch site.
“A state investigation commission has been formed and started work at Baikonur. A decision is most likely to be made to suspend the launches of Soyuz-U carrier rockets until the investigation of the incident is over,” said officials from Rosmoscos.
The Russian space agency has made it clear that they will send another cargo ship soon which will enable operations on ISS to run smoothly. The ship was taking 192 pounds supply for the NASA astronauts. The US space agency NASA has issued a reassurance for the astronauts that goods will be sent to ISS shortly.