Russian Progress Cargo Space Station Resupply Spacecraft Launches but has Problem


Russian Progress launch.

In the early morning hours today a Russian Progress unmanned cargo spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan with supplies for the International Space Station (ISS). The launch appeared to be picture perfect until it reached orbit.

At that time there was a communication issue. Controllers in Russia were unable to confirm "deployment of navigational antennas or the repressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system" according to NASA commentator Rob Navias.

Russian controllers are having trouble establishing reliable contact with the spacecraft.

The spacecraft was to have arrived at the ISS today after four orbits. That was changed to a Thursday rendezvous and which has now been cancelled.

Complicating matters, video from within the spacecraft shows a significant spin ongoing, something that should not be happening.

Russian ground controllers have already tried four times today to contact the spacecraft as it came within range of their various ground stations but were unable to receive telemetry and command the ship. Ground controllers have been told to stand-down for the rest of the day and will resume attempts to contact the spacecraft no earlier than late tonight.

No rendezvous with the ISS is currently planned until the issue is resolved.

Updated at: 9:39 a.m. EDT.

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