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KRASNOYARSK, December 8. /TASS/. The fourth fragment of the Russian Progress spacecraft has been found in the Siberian Republic of Tuva, the regional government’s press service told TASS on Thursday.
"The fourth fragment was found 8.5 kilometers away from the place in the Ulug-Khemsky district where the first fragment had been found," the press service elaborated.
"This is a round fragment, it had landed in an uninhabited area," the press service added.
As TASS reported earlier, experts from Russia’s Roscosmos Space Corporation arrived in Tuva to search for the cargo spacecraft. According to the Tuva government, the search campaign will continue for a few more days, its extension will be discussed after the emergency work is wrapped up. The experts believe that no more than 10% of the spacecraft could have hit the ground.
The photographs of the three previously discovered unburnt fragments of the spacecraft have been sent to the Energia Space Corporation (the spacecraft’s manufacturer) and the Progress Rocket Space Center (the carrier rocket’s manufacturer) for assessment. Tuva’s environmental agencies confirmed that the region’s environment had not suffered any damage. Roscosmos also said that it had established contact with the regional government, the regional emergencies ministry, the ministry of nature and the regional department of Russia’s consumer watchdog.
The Progress cargo spacecraft, launched on December 1 from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur spaceport by a Soyuz-U carrier rocket, was lost at an altitude of 190 km over Tuva. Most of its fragments burned up in the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft was set to deliver 2.5 tonnes of cargo, including Christmas holiday presents for the crew, to the International Space Station (ISS).