MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Russia will offer space aboard the Progress cargo craft to NASA so that it could deliver to the International Space Station a part of the American cargoes, which were to be delivered there by the Dragon craft that was lost minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Sunday, Vladimir Solovyov, the flight operations director of the Russian segment of the station told TASS.
The Falcone 9 launch vehicle exploded 2 minutes 19 seconds after the liftoff. NASA said the precise causes of the explosion were still unclear by the time of reporting although some experts believed it might have been caused by a buildup of excessive pressure in the reservoir for liquid oxygen.
"We can’t tell you much right now but the Progress craft is to start off into space in a week’s time and we’ll make our proposals known to the American counterparts tomorrow," Solovyov said. "We’ll tell them which of their cargoes we could take along."
He said the Dragon cargo ship did not have any Russian cargoes aboard, as the Russian space agency Roscosmos did not have any need for using this flight to consign a payload to the ISS at the moment.
The ship was expected to deliver a payload of 2 tons including foodstuffs, equipment and materials for research experiments to the station.
The Dragon was due to dock to the ISS on Tuesday, June 30. After a mission of several weeks at the station, it was to bring results of experiments and other cargoes back to the Earth.
The launch vehicle and the cargo craft belonged to SpaceX corporation.
Under a contract with NASA, the Dragon was to make twelve flights to the ISS until the end of 2016. The contract was worth $ 1.6 billion.
Expedition 43 currently working aboard ISS includes Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padakla and Mikhail Korniyenko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. Korniyenko and Kelly who arrived at the ISS at the end of March are expected to stay there for almost a year - their mission will last 342 days.
In a month’s time, they will be joined by a new trio - Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, and the astronaut of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Kimiya Yui will start off towards the ISS in a Soyuz spacecraft on July 24.