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Russia’s defunct Progress spacecraft may leave orbit already on Thursday evening — ESA

"Any reports claiming precise re-entry times and locations at this stage are speculative," head of ESA Space Debris Office said

MOSCOW, May 7. /TASS/. Russia’s defunct Progress spacecraft may fall anytime between Thursday’s evening and Friday’s midday, head of European Space Agency (ESA) Space Debris Office Holger Krag said on Thursday.

"We are forecasting an uncontrolled re-entry by Progress M-27M any time between later in the evening today through to midday tomorrow, 8 May," Krag said.

"Any reports claiming precise re-entry times and locations at this stage are speculative," he added.

Russian space agency 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, Roscosmos 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.