KRASNOYARSK, December 2. /TASS/. A search team of the fire-fighting garrison in the Ulug-Khemsky district of the Republic of Tyva in south Siberia has not found any fragments of the defunct Progress MS-04 spacecraft at the expected crash site, the regional emergencies services told TASS on Friday.
According to an eye-witness’s evidence, the cargo spacecraft could have fallen in the outskirts of the village of Ishtii-Khem.
"An operational group of the fire-fighting garrison went to the scene to check information received by the integrated on-duty dispatch service of the Ulug-Khemsky district from a resident of the village of Ishtii-Khem that he had seen flashes high in the sky resembling falling stars. The group surveyed the adjacent territory around this populated area with a total radius of 2 km and the nearby forest from the village’s southern edge. No fragments of the fall of the cargo spacecraft have been found," the emergencies services said.
The cargo spacecraft Progress launched on Thursday from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan by a Soyuz-U carrier rocket to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) was lost at an altitude of 190 km above Tyva. Most of its fragments burned up in the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, the press office of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos said.
The spacecraft’s remaining fragments could have fallen 60-80 km west of Kyzyl in a scarcely populated area, a source in the rocket and space industry said.
According to the source, specialists have notified all ministries and departments concerned, including Russia’s Emergencies Ministry, about the spacecraft’s accident and the expected crash site.
The Progress MS-04 spacecraft was expected to deliver about 2.5 tons of various cargoes to the world’s sole orbiter: fuel for the ISS, water and the air for cosmonauts. The spacecraft’s cargo compartment accommodated scientific equipment and spare parts, containers with foodstuffs, clothes, medicines and personal hygiene items.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has organized interaction with an air defense unit of the Defense Ministry in the search for the fragments of the failed cargo spacecraft, the ministry’s press office reported.