Russian Progress cargo ship fails to reach designated orbit   2011-08-24 21:51:04 FeedbackPrintRSS

MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- A Russian Progress M-12M cargo ship, which was launched to the International Space Station from Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, has failed to reach the orbit, the Interfax news agency reported.

The news agency, citing a source from Russian space forces, said the malfunction happened on the final stage of the Soyuz-U rocket on the 340th second of the flight, which is just a few seconds before the vessel should reach the orbit.

The spacecraft was expected to reach a near-Earth orbit in about nine minutes after launch.

It is still not clear what caused the failure which may result in the loss of over 3.5 tons of supplies for the ISS on Aug 26, including scientific materials, oxygen, water and food for the crew.

This is the second failure of the Russian space launch in less than a week and the third one this year. On Aug 18, a carrier rocket Proton M failed to deliver to the orbit a communication satellite Express-AM4. In February, Russia lost another satellite Geo-IK2.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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