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Post by Mr007 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:09 am



The Progress mission was the 44th such cargo delivery flight to the space station.

It lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 13:00 GMT (17:00 Moscow time).

It appears the Soyuz rocket's third and final propulsion stage shut down early. As a result, the Russian federal space agency (Roskosmos) said, the Progress vessel "was not placed in the correct orbit".

The failure occurred some 320 seconds into the flight. Telemetry from both the rocket and the freighter were lost.

It was the first big Progress anomaly in the history of the ISS programme.

Officials reported the ship coming down in Russia's Altai province, some 1,500km northeast of the launch site. A loud explosion was heard in the region and there were reports of windows being blown out, but it is not thought there were any injuries on the ground as a result of wreckage coming out of the sky.

The space station is currently manned by the Expedition 28 crew. This is commanded by Russian Andrey Borisenko. His flight engineers are Satoshi Furukawa (Japan), Mike Fossum (US), Ron Garan (US), Alexander Samokutyaev (Russia), and Sergei Volkov (Russia).

They were informed of the situation by mission control in Moscow shortly after the failure.

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