Unmanned Russian Supply Ship for Space Station Crashes

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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An unmanned Russian spacecraft carrying supplies for the International Space Station has crashed into Russia's Siberia region shortly after the launch of a rocket that failed to send it into orbit.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, says the Soyuz rocket suffered a failure Wednesday about five-and-a-half minutes into its flight from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome. The agency says the rocket failed to place the Progress M-12M cargo vessel into the correct orbit.

Russian media quoted officials as saying the spacecraft crashed into an uninhabited area in southern Russia's Altai province. No casualties were reported.

Roscosmos says the accident will not have a negative impact on the space station's six-person crew because its existing supplies are sufficient. U.S. space shuttle Atlantis delivered about one year's worth of food and other provisions to the station last month, in the final mission of the U.S. shuttle program.

The retirement of the U.S. space shuttles has made Russian spacecraft such as Progress the main supply link to the station. The next manned mission to the station is scheduled for next month.