Science News

Russia Writes Off $50 Billion ‘Progress 59’ Spacecraft After Losing Control

Progress 59 Lost

Russian space agency Roscosmos has written off their $50 billion spacecraft, known as Progress 59, and its payload after several failed attempts to communicate with the unmanned spacecraft.

The spacecraft, which was launched on a Soyuz rocket out of Kazakhstan on Tuesday, is spinning uncontrollably in the atmosphere and is, according to, expected to completely burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere this upcoming week.

Progress 59 is carrying over 6,000 pounds of supplies intended to be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). As far as the supplies are concerned, NASA indicated in a statement that they’re “replaceable”.

The supplies intended for the space station include food, fuel, and other supplies intended for the International Space Station’s crew.

The unpiloted cargo craft was launched at 3:09 a.m. (EDT) and was scheduled to arrive at the space station at 5:03 a.m. on Thursday, however, Russian flight controllers were unable to confirm the status of the systems after launch, as commands issued through the onboard telemetry system returned inconclusive data. Flight controllers also had trouble uplinking commands, according to a status update on NASA’s space station blog.

Thus far, Roscosmos has been unable to establish two-way contact with the spacecraft following its separation from the Soyuz rocket from which it was deployed; they’ve also been unable to confirm whether or not the craft’s navigational antennae had been activated.

In other coverage of the International Space Station here on Immortal News, the ISS was partially evacuated earlier this year following the detection of an ammonia leak which turned out to have been a false alarm caused by a faulty electronics box.

What are your thoughts on the potential loss of Progress 59?

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