Russian spacecraft burns up after re-entry over Pacific Ocean

Posted on 8 May 2015 by Aiden Burgess

A Russian spacecraft, Progress M-27M, which failed in its attempt to carry supplies to the International Space Station, has burned up on re-entry over the Pacific Ocean after falling back to Earth.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement: “The Progress M-27M ceased to exist at 05:04 Moscow time (02:04 GMT) May 8, 2015. Log into the atmosphere occurred in the coil 160 over the central Pacific Ocean.”

The final demise of the Russian spacecraft came after control of the unmanned cargo ship was lost shortly after launching from Kazakhstan on April 28.

The Progress M-27M was carrying more than three tonnes of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), set to deliver food, water, fuel oxygen and clothing to the six astronauts stationed on the ISS.

Despite the loss of the Progress M-27M, the astronauts have enough supplies to see them through until their next expected delivery on June 19.

The Russian spacecraft is only the second Progress ship not to reach the ISS, after another Progress was lost when the Soyuz rocket carrying it failed after launch in 2011.

The Progress M-27M had been slowly descending to earth after it began spiralling out of control due to a software glitch causing a critical antenna array not to be deployed shortly after its initial launch last week.

Spacecraft such as the Progress M-27M are designed to breakup in the atmosphere during re-entry after delivering their cargo.

Roscosmos said only tiny fragments of the ship were expected to hit the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian space agency said that results of the investigation into why the spacecraft ran into trouble would be released next week.

“The results of the investigation of the incident related to the Progress M-27M will be presented no later than May 13 following the completion of the state commission.”