Progress 59 destroyed re-entering Earth’s atmosphere

The crewless Russian cargo ship was sent to deliver supplies to ISS, but was lost soon after it was launched April 28.

The Progress 59 spacecraft, aboard a Soyuz rocket, launched April 28. Shortly after launch, Russian ground controllers lost contact with the unmanned cargo ship. It was destroyed while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere late Thursday. (Photo Credit/Roscosmos)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – The crewless Russian cargo ship that was lost shortly after its April 28 launch was destroyed late Thursday night as it attempted to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, according to Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

The bulk of the spacecraft burned up after re-entering the atmosphere at approximately 10:04 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. The cargo ship “ceased to exist,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

While a few small pieces are expected to fall to the Earth, no one is in imminent danger as the entry occurred over the central Pacific Ocean.

The spacecraft, Progress M-27M, also known as Progress 59, was supposed to deliver supplies to the International Space Station, but ground controllers lost contact soon after it was launched April 28. According to TASS, the Russian state news agency, the spacecraft overshot its mark and entered orbit at the wrong speed. Within 24 hours of launch, ground controllers were able to re-establish intermittent communication with the spacecraft, but it was deemed out of control.

NASA said the crew aboard the ISS, though affected by the loss of resources, is expected to be OK until the next shipment of cargo can be delivered. According to a CNN report, the next planned re-supply flight for the ISS will be run by SpaceX. It is not scheduled to take off before June 19.

Roscosmos plans to launch its next re-supply mission in late June or early July, per TASS.

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