Unmanned ISS cargo rocket crashes after blastoff
Aug 24, 2011, 20:19 GMT
Moscow - An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft crashed in eastern Siberia shortly after liftoff Wednesday, Russia's space agency Roskosmos said.
An ignition problem occurred in the third stage of the rocket carrying a Progress M 12-M spacecraft.
Launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the vessel was bound for the International Space Station with 2.6 tons of cargo for the orbiting crew.
There were no injuries on the ground.
Roskosmos said that the causes of the accident were under investigation, and future Progress launches have been postponed.
It was not immediately clear what the disruption of the Russian supply vessels means for resupply of the ISS. Japan and the European Space Agency have their own cargo spacecraft that can reach the space station.
The Progress vessels are launched with the same rockets as Russia's manned Soyuz spacecraft, which are currently the only means to bring crews to the ISS, after the US space agency NASA retired its ageing shuttle fleet after last month's final mission by the Atlantis orbiter.
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