Roscosmos, The Russian Space Agency has confirmed that one of their unmanned Progress 65 cargo ships, launched towards the International Space Station (ISS) has crashed only after 6 minutes of being launched from the Baikonur launch pad.
The cargo ship was carrying 2.6 metric tonnes of food, fuel and supplies for the 50 person crew at the ISS, and was being lifted by the Soyuz carrier rocket. This is an anomaly as Russia usually sends 3-4 of these cargo ships every year to top up the supplies of people working at the ISS.
It lost connection after 383 seconds of being airborne, and possibly crashed soon after that. Its remains have been found in the Tuva region of Siberia.
The cause of this unfortunate crash is being investigated by the state Commission, and the crash has brought up the memories of a similar accident in 2011 where a third-stage engine failure was caused due to a clogged fuel line in the Progress M-12 freighter. As a result it failed to reach its designated orbit and disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Below is the official statement released by Romoscos on the matter:
“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”
Romoscos and NASA have immediately reassured everyone that this will not affect the astronauts and their operations on the ISS, and they still have ample of supplies. 315 kg of the total supplies were destined to reach the ISS, out of which 87 kg were for meant for NASA’s astronauts.