Search Underway for Remains of Russian Spacecraft

Posted August 25th, 2011 at 4:50 am (UTC-5)
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An aerial search is underway in Russia's Siberia region for the remains of an unmanned Russian spacecraft that crashed shortly after the launch of a rocket that failed to send it into orbit.

The Russian Progress M-12M was carrying supplies for the International Space Station when it went down Wednesday in Russia's Altai province.

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

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.