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Mission Over: Progress Cargo Vessel Begins Spinning Out of Orbit

Sputnik News

14:45 29.04.2015(updated 15:19 29.04.2015)

Progress cargo vessel that failed to dock with the ISS earlier is gradually descenting from its orbit, according to a source in the Russian space industry.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Progress cargo vessel that failed to dock with the ISS has begun a gradual uncontrolled descent from its orbit, a source in the Russian space industry said Wednesday.

'Since the attempts to start the engines and take corrective maneuver is failing, the space vehicle is gradually losing its orbit. The rate of its drop will vary depending on the atmosphere's conditions and the solar wind, but overall the ship has lost dozens of meters in altitude only during the last 24 hours. We will be able to calculate the exact date and place of Progress's unburned fragments in the dense atmosphere layers only a few hours before it happens,' the source told RIA Novosti.

Progress was launched from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Earlier on Wednesday, another space industry source said the spacecraft had failed to dock with the ISS and might be designated as space junk.

The vessel is now expected to lower its orbit and then burn in the Earth's atmosphere in about a week.

The Progress cargo vessel is carrying fuel, oxygen, food and scientific equipment meant for the crew working at the ISS.


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