Russian space rocket Progress M-12M falls in Siberia, NASA confirms

By on Aug 25, 2011 in Asia, Astronomy, Europe, Science, United States Comments

A Russian space rocket called “Progress M-12M” (ISS Progress 44) fell in Siberia while separating from the Soyuz-U carrier rocket on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

Russian rocket Progress M-12M and Soyuz-U file photo
Image Credit: RIA Novosti

As posted by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on their official website, Russian officials confirmed the incident and that the unmanned Progress spacecraft failed to reach its orbit.

According to NASA, Progress M-12M was launched at 7 p.m. (Kazakhstan time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and was set to dock at International Space Station (ISS) on Friday.

“At 1300 (GMT), we lifted off, following 320 seconds of flight there was a failure in the upper stage of the launch vehicle.” Russian Mission Control Center head Maxim Matuchen told NASA.

“We lost communications after a while with the launch vehicle and we did not report stage separation,” Matuchen added, noting that Progress 44 is carrying nearly 3 tons of supplies.

The Russian rocket was assumed to have dropped at Choya District in Southern Siberia and the noise created was heard within a 100-km radius area.

Meanwhile, ISS Program Manager Michael Suffredini held a news conference at the Johnson Space Center and told reporters that there are still sufficient supplies to support the crew despite the Progress loss.

However, Suffredin emphasized that a Russian commission will be formed to investigate the root cause of the incident which apparently may affect Russian spacecraft launches in the future.

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