The unpiloted Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft, just launched yesterday, is spinning out of control. Mission controllers are unable to communicate with the craft, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that it will be able to deliver more than 6,000 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies to the International Space Station.
Progress 59 took off yesterday from a launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. But once it reached space, mission controllers were unable to confirm the health of its systems or the status of its navigational antennas. A video on NASA television showed it spinning in orbit.
As of this morning, the spacecraft is continuing “to experience telemetry problems regarding the deployment of navigational antennas and the pressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system.” The scheduled rendezvous with the ISS was canceled as Russian officials try to regain control of the craft.
NASA says the six-member crew of the ISS is in no danger, and they will continue to conduct experiments in the meantime.
[ NASA Blog ]