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Report on cause of Progress’ loss published due to technical error

December 07, 2016, 13:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier in the day, a report was published saying that the Progress spacecraft failed to reach the earth’s orbit due to an emergency shutdown of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket third stage’s engine

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MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. The report on the causes of the Progress MS-04’s loss was published on the website of the Mission Control Center (TsUP) as a result of a technical error, and the exact information won’t be expected any earlier than December 20, the TsUP stated.

Earlier in the day, a report was published on the website saying that the Progress MS-04 spacecraft failed to reach the earth’s orbit due to an emergency shutdown of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket third stage’s engine.

"The information was published as a result of a technical error during work on the website," the Mission Control Center told TASS.

The press service explained that currently an interdepartmental commission led by Igor Komarov, Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation, is continuing its efforts to study "all the possible causes of the emergency situation."

"Any versions voiced now are inconsistent with reality, including the incorrect data of cyclogram as the results of the commission’s work will be published not earlier than December 20, 2016," the Mission Control Center said.

The cargo spacecraft Progress, launched on December 1 from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur spaceport by a Soyuz-U carrier rocket to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) was lost at an altitude of 190 km above the southern Siberian republic of Tuva. Most of its fragments burned up in the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, the state space corporation said.

The Progress MS-04 spacecraft was expected to deliver about 2.5 tonnes of various cargoes to the world’s sole orbiter: fuel for the ISS, water and the air for cosmonauts, and also New Year’s gifts for the crew. The spacecraft’s cargo compartment accommodated scientific equipment and spare parts, containers with foodstuffs, clothes, medicines and personal hygiene items.

Roscosmos said the flight of the rocket was normal until the 382nd second, when telemetry stopped.

A source in the space and rocket industry told TASS that the emergency shutdown of the engines occurred after 382 seconds and at the same time the spacecraft’s separation occurred. After that, the flight control system started operating in automatic flight mode and began deploying antennas and solar batteries. However, the spacecraft failed to reach orbit and started falling, only to end up being destroyed in the atmosphere.

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