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Russian spaceship docking with ISS postponed indefinitely — source

April 28, 2015, 16:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Mission Control Centre’s commands are not reaching the spacecraft and telemetric data are also transmitted erratically
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© EPA/NASA / HANDOUT

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. The docking of the launched on Tuesday morning Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) has been indefinitely postponed, a rocket and space industry source told TASS.

"The spacecraft is currently very quickly and uncontrollably turning on its axis, one turn in just several seconds. The Mission Control Centre’s commands are not reaching the spacecraft and telemetric data are also transmitted erratically," the source said.

"The docking, originally planned for Aril 30, has been postponed indefinitely," he said.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said earlier on Tuesday that it was planned to switch the Progress spaceship flight from a six-hour to two-day scheme (the spacecraft was initially planned to dock to the ISS on Tuesday afternoon).

The Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the Progress resupply vehicle was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome (Kazakhstan) on Tuesday morning. After that the spacecraft was failing to transmit telemetric data and also missed the target orbit. A Russian space industry source told TASS that the Progress spacecraft failed to deploy two antennas of the Kurs docking navigation system.

Another source said that the antenna failure might be caused by anything: "possibly, something has got there - causing a mechanical glitch, or the signal fails to pass somewhere through the circuit." He said the Kurs navigation system is used for the approach and docking to the ISS. "Antennas of this system transmit information about the distance to the station, attitude rates. Docking with the station is conducted in an automatic mode based on this information," the source said.

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