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Progress spacecraft fails to enter designated orbit due to faulty engine stage — source

April 28, 2015, 12:39 UTC+3
As a result, there was no communication with Progress for some time
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© EPA/TASS/SERGEI ILNITSKY

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. The Progress M-27M spacecraft has failed to enter into the designated orbit due to faulty operation of one of the stages of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket, a source in the space industry has said.

"The Soyuz rocket fell 70 kilometers short of the expected orbit. As a result, there was no communication with Progress for some time. It was expected to be at a certain place, while all the time it was in an unexpected orbit. That resulted in telemetry disruptions," the source said.

Russian space agency confirms problems with getting telemetry

The Russian space agency Roscosmos has confirmed problems with getting telemetry from the Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft, launched Tuesday morning.

"The parameters of launching the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the cargo spacecraft Progress M-27M are standard. There is command radio link. It is true that there are some problems with getting telemetry. Roscosmos specialists are now dealing with the problem," the Roscosmos press-service has said.

"Instead of a four-orbit schedule we have shifted to a two-day pattern," Roscosmos said.

The Soyuz rocket with the Progress M-27M spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan at 10:09 Moscow time. After the spacecraft’s separation from the rocket Mission Control near Moscow said no telemetry was available. A short while later a source in the space industry said two antennas of the docking system Kurs had failed to unfold. Also, sources in the industry said the spacecraft fell short of the designated orbit due to a disruption in the operation of one of the rocket’s stages.

According to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) Progress M-27-M entered into a so-called short-lived orbit. Without correcting it there is a risk of the spacecraft’s fall.

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