Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Russian Progress space freighter lost

BBC News - Russian Progress space freighter lost:

An unmanned freighter launched to the International Space Station (ISS) has been lost.

The Russian space agency said the Progress M-12M cargo ship was not placed in the correct orbit by its rocket and fell back to Earth.

The vessel was carrying three tonnes of supplies for the ISS astronauts.

With the retirement of the US space shuttle, there is now a critical reliance on robotic freighters to keep the station supplied.

But with ample stores currently onboard, the more pressing concern will be the status of the Progress freighter's launch vehicle - the Soyuz-U.

This is very similar to the Soyuz-FG rocket that is used to lift manned capsules to the station.