According to NASA, a Russian space shuttle whirled out of control not long after dispatch on Tuesday, undermining 2.7 tons of fuel, water, sustenance and supplies planned for the International Space Station.
Ground control lost contact of the shuttle, unable to affirm if its communication system was still working. They have no idea whether it was capable of being steered to reach the orbital station which flies around 418 kilometers above the Earth.
NASA’s Mission Control later reported that a camcorder on the Progress demonstrated it to be turning at a “Rather significant rate,” and the Americans informed their Russian partners that because of this Thursday would not be the right time to have it docked.
Russia attempted again at 8:50 p.m. ET on Tuesday/0050 GMT to contact the ship.
Russian shuttles, including those used to send space travelers to the International Space Station, have been used extensively for the six-hour travel to the orbiting station.
The cargo shuttle in question additionally was to tasked to bring a duplicate of the Banner of Victory, the same banner raised over the German Reichstag in Berlin during the victorious invasion of the Soviet soldiers in 1945. I guess it’s not going to happen soon with the cargo ship hurtling towards Earth totally out of control.
The station, which is manned by pivoting teams of six astronauts and cosmonauts, presently has enough food for over four months. Different space shuttles, including a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship, another Progress capsule and a Japanese HTV vessel, are all due for dispatch over the coming months.
NASA now only have a single cargo ship, the SpaceX Company.