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Contact Lost With Cargo Ship En Route To International Space Station

December 01, 2016

Russia's space agency says it has lost contact with an unmanned cargo ship shortly after it blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with supplies for the International Space Station.

The Roscosmos space agency said on December 1 that contact with the Soyuz-U carrier rocket and the Progress MS-04 cargo ship was lost six minutes and 23 seconds after blast-off as the rocket's third-stage engines began firing.

Russian flight controllers were assessing on December 1 whether the ship reached its intended orbit or crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

The cargo ship was scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on December 3.

Roscosmos said was carrying 2 1/2 tons of fuel, food, and equipment. An AFP correspondent in Moscow reported that the cargo included Christmas presents and gourmet food.

A Progress cargo ship launch that failed in April 2015 forced Russia to put all space travel plans on hold for nearly three months.

That failure was blamed on a problem in a Soyuz rocket, causing the cargo ship to disintegrate as it plummeted to Earth.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, TASS, and Interfax

Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/space- station-progress-cargo-ship-lost- contact/28150832.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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