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Russian spaceship fails to reach orbit

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The cargo vehicle was set to blast off to the International Space Station on August 24, 2011.

NASA says the Russian robot spaceship which was carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has failed to reach its destination.

The Progress 44 cargo spaceship was set to blast off on a Russian-built Soyuz rocket at 9 am of August 24 from the central Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The ship which was scheduled to arrive at the station on Friday, dealt with a major problem with the 5-minute, 20-second mark, Science News reported.

NASA officials say the cargo ship was not placed in the correct orbit by its rocket and fell back to Earth.

“So far they have had no success in contacting the Progress at all,” a NASA spokesperson said during the daily mission commentary.

The Progress 44 unmanned craft was packed with about 2.9 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station where six astronauts from the United States, Russia and Japan are at work.

This is the second launch failure within a week for Russia’s space program as the first one happened for Russian communications satellites Express AM4 on August 18, 2011.

The satellite failed to reach its determined orbit after it took off atop a Proton rocket and it was later found drifting in the wrong orbit, Russian space officials expressed.


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