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Progress launch fails
Posted: Wed, Aug 24, 2011, 2:06 PM ET (1806 GMT)
Progress M-11M launch (Roscosmos) A Progress spacecraft carrying nearly three tons of supplies for the International Space Station was lost when its Soyuz rocket malfunctioned during launch. The Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9 am EDT (1300 GMT) carrying the Progress M-12M spacecraft (designated Progress 44 by NASA). According to NASA and Russian officials, the upper stage suffered a malfunction 5 minutes and 20 seconds after liftoff and communications with the vehicle were lost. The Progress failed to reach orbit and crashed in the sparsely-populated the Altai region of Russia. The Progress was carrying 2.9 tons of supplies, including food, water, and propellant, for the station. NASA officials said the loss of the Progress would not have an immediate effect on station activities since there is a large stockpile of supplies on the station. An extended investigation into the launch failure could delay next month's launch of the next crewed Soyuz spacecraft. NASA officials indicated they would extend the mission of the three crewmembers slated to return to Earth in September if that launch was delayed by a short period, but could reduce the crew size to three if there is an extended hiatus in Soyuz launches.
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