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Progress fragments present no threat to residential areas — expert

May 07, 2015, 17:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Fragments that will reach Earth will most likely fall in the ocean, the expert stressed
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Dzhanibekov

MOSCOW, May 7. /TASS/. The possibility of defunct Progress spacecraft debris falling on a residential area is very low, director of the Institute of Geosphere Dynamics at the Russian Academy of Sciences Yuly Zetser said on Thursday.

"[Progress fragments] present no threat. We and Americans are watching it. I think that people should worry about as much as they worry about meteorite fall, which is not very likely," Zetser said.

Fragments that will reach Earth will most likely fall in the ocean, the expert stressed. Roscosmos space agency said earlier that Progress will burn down in the atmosphere, and only small fragments may reach the Earth’s surface.

Roscosmos said that the spacecraft will cease to exist in the small hours of Friday, May 8. The defunct satellite will leave orbit between 00:45 and 06:36 Moscow time, the agency added.

The Institute of Space Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences said earlier on Thursday that defunct Progress M-27M spacecraft will leave the orbit at around 2.30am Moscow time on Friday.

A Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying the Progress cargo vehicle blasted off from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan, on April 28. It soon turned out that the craft entered a wrong orbit and communication with it was lost. After several failed attempts to put it under control specialists agreed its docking with the International Space Station was impossible.

The government probe looking into the likely causes behind the loss of the cargo spacecraft Progress M-27M believes that the mishaps occurred in the Soyuz-2.1a rocket, a source in the space rocket industry said earlier on Thursday. "The inquiry has arrived at the conclusion that the loss of the Progress craft was in no way related to the vehicle itself, but occurred inside the carrier rocket," the source said.

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