Space freighter crashes in Siberia, Russia says
An unmanned Russian "Progress" supply ship, like the one pictured here, has reported an "abnormal situation."
August 24th, 2011
11:50 AM ET

Space freighter crashes in Siberia, Russia says

[Update 11:50 a.m. ET] A Russian space freighter carrying cargo to the International Space Station has crashed in a remote area of Siberia, Russian emergency officials said Wednesday.

The unmanned Progress cargo craft, which launched at 7 p.m. Kazakhstan time (9 a.m. ET) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, was due to dock with the ISS on Friday.

Rescue teams have been dispatched to the crash site of the Progress-M12M, the regional branch of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry told CNN.

Officials could not immediately confirm whether the crash might have caused any damage on the ground. Russia's Interfax news agency reported that the rocket had come down in the Altai region.

[11:11 a.m. ET] Russia's mission control has reported an abnormal situation with a space freighter that launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome bound for the International Space Station, NASA said Wednesday.

The rocket is carrying 2.9 ton of food, fuel and supplies, NASA said, but has no passengers on board.

The Progress 44 cargo craft, which launched at 7 p.m. Kazakhstan time, is due to dock with the ISS on Friday.

Mission Control Houston said it had received a report of an "off-nominal situation" during the rocket's third and final stage, at five minutes and 50 seconds after launch.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, told CNN that contact with the space craft had been lost about three minutes before it was to reach orbit.

"We have no confirmation of a crash from the Russians," he said.

Navias said the Russians launch a supply vessel roughly every three months.

The six people currently living on the ISS are "well supplied - actually oversupplied" since the delivery of goods by the final U.S. shuttle mission, carried out by Atlantis last month, he said.

NASA is now reliant on the Russian space agency to ferry U.S. astronauts to orbit, since the grounding of the U.S. shuttle fleet has left the United States with no way to lift humans into space.

Plans are in the works for private companies to begin shipping cargo to the station, and eventually to carry astronauts as well.

Progress-series space freighters have been the backbone of Russian space cargo operations for decades, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports. In addition to taking supplies to the ISS, they have been used to carry out scientific experiments and help adjust the space station's orbit, the agency reports.

The Johnson Space Center in Texas is home to NASA's astronaut corps and trains astronauts from the United States and other nations.

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Filed under: Space
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Brent

    Check your captioning. I think you meant "supply ship" rather than "supply sh-t." 😀

    August 24, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. JT

    wow, profanity in the photo caption?

    and the first link in the "we recommend" sectoin is "F-bomb in valedictorian's speech heard 'round the world"


    August 24, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat2u

    What happened ? Did they lose control of the craft ? If so, will they be able to keep it from slamming into the IST ? Are the personnel on the space station in danger ? Do they have a means of escape in case of an imminent danger ?

    August 24, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • JT

      I think they have an escape capsule similar to the one they use to get up there.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      JT, it's unmanned so I doubt there's much need for an escape capsule.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Brent, bobcat was refering to the ISS, which is manned by US and Russian astronauts/cosmonauts

      August 24, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      And Brent, if they have indeed lost control of the capsule, and it is already on a trajectory with ISS, yes that escape capsule may be needed.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      Sorry - misread / misunderstood your comment. 🙂

      August 24, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Name*Derek in ireland

    ' not thought to have passengers on board' maybe research the story before publishing it!

    August 24, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      Didn't CNN just run a story on fact checking and vetting?

      August 24, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. dera

    Did the rocket make it to the space station or is it still on the way but with problems/complications? And how fast can a new rocket be launched to deliver the supplies if in case this one doesnt make it?

    August 24, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. DD

    Perfect picture captioning!

    August 24, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    That caption is great. It shows how much you care.

    August 24, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. William

    CNN, quit knocking Russian technology by calling it sh#%. People up there need those supplies, it's not like they being supplied with the latest Billy Mays product.

    August 24, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      I dunno. I bet there are at least a couple cases of ShamWows on board! 😀

      August 24, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Yesterdays

    Does this mean they have to ban themselves from their own forums for the cussing?

    August 24, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Holly

    "is not thought to have had passengers on board." It is well known that there were no passengers on board!

    August 24, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Woods

    "NASA said, but is not thought to have had passengers on board." The Russians are sneaking people into space aren't they!

    August 24, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. Leyton Jay

    Lazy jounalism, my 5yr old son could've told you that Russian Progress modules CAN NOT carry people. But I suppose saying that it's 'uknown' will create more hype, that's how American media seems to work 🙂

    August 24, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. JK

    Of course the UNMANNED supply sh1t (sic) probably doesn't have passengers on board.

    August 24, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jturner

    Spell check please in the

    August 24, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. michaelfury

    August 24, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
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