Print 15 comment(s) - last by kjboughton.. on Aug 27 at 3:31 PM

The ISS crew will not receive fresh supplies after the Russian space program suffers another setback

Space officials confirmed the crew of the International Space Station hasn’t been 'stranded' after the unmanned Progress M-12M cargo ship malfunctioned and crashed.

About five minutes after launch from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Progress cargo ship suffered a major malfunction and crash landed back on Earth.  The unmanned resupply vehicle was supposed to deliver three tons of supplies and equipment to the ISS.

The Soyuz-U rocket couldn't help the Progress enter orbit in the right position, and a planned September 22 rocket launch to the ISS will be delayed until an investigation can be completed.  There is one additional scheduled launch before the end of the year, while there is growing anticipation for the ATV-3 cargo ship launch in spring 2012.

"The anomaly 
has only just occurred; there's quite a bit of work to do to sort through where we're at," noted Mike Suffredini, NASA ISS manager.  "If things work out and it looks like the Soyuz will be able to fly then we'll let the crew on orbit stay until we do a normal rotation."

The ISS is currently manned by six crew members, with two Soyuz spacecraft available if a hasty exit from the floating space lab is necessarily.  One NASA astronaut and two Russians are scheduled to return from the ISS in September, and a skeleton crew will be responsible for the operation of the ISS until a later date.

If necessary, the crew could logistically survive for a few more months before a resupply mission must take place.

Since the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle, there is more reliance on Russia to help ferry astronauts and supplies from Earth into orbit.  NASA -- much to the dismay of some U.S. lawmakers -- is paying $63 million per seat to help transport U.S. astronauts into space.

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1st progress failure since...
By Amiga500 on 8/25/2011 8:32:23 AM , Rating: 2

Started launching in 1998 and this is the first to go awry.

I would think it is not a fundamental problem, and more one of quality control.

RE: 1st progress failure since...
By jhb116 on 8/25/2011 8:54:47 AM , Rating: 4
Very true - and there there is statement about dismay over spending $63M - really - $63M is a bargain compared to the estimated $1B for each Shuttle launch. Don't get me wrong - I don't like not having a manned space program but the Shuttle program was to expensive.

Other options?
By Phoque on 8/25/2011 6:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't the ISS rely on some European Ariane rocket for resupply? I'm surprised the US themselves don't have a rocket they could have adapted for these missions.

RE: Other options?
By delphinus100 on 8/26/2011 9:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's been done (2008)...

...and is scheduled to be done again, early next year.

RE: Other options?
By Master Kenobi on 8/26/2011 11:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
Given the ISS is a LEO station, the U.S. has several rockets to choose from if it wanted to send payloads to the ISS unmanned and cheaply. But for whatever reason we don't.

By Dr of crap on 8/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: But
By kattanna on 8/25/2011 10:46:36 AM , Rating: 5
It's very sparce

would you rather they launched in the middle of a densely populated area??

looking like they don't have a very robust program. Kind of like a movie set or something. I'm not impressed by that at all

so.. the launch complex that started the space era for humanity is not impressive to you?

please remember that sputnik was launched from here. also here is a map of the complex

RE: But
By MrTeal on 8/25/2011 10:54:59 AM , Rating: 2
Would you feel more confident if Disneyland was next door?

The Soyuz-U has 724 successful flights and 21 failures, and is only used for cargo these days. The newer Soyuz-FG used for manned flights has 33 successes and 0 failures.

The Russians have had issues in the last few days first with the Proton failure and now one with the Soyuz-U, but that's hardly due to Baikonur not being pretty enough.

RE: But
By kjboughton on 8/27/2011 3:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
Now it's personal..wanna take that bet?:

RE: But
By danjw1 on 8/25/2011 11:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
You are being silly. Why does NASA launch their spacecraft from Cape Canaveral and over the ocean? Is it because their systems aren't very reliable? Or, maybe, just maybe, it is because they know that if they have a failure early in the launch, they won't damage property or kill/harm people. It is just the smart thing to do.

RE: But
By BadAcid on 8/25/2011 12:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, seriously. Isn't it practically on a swamp?

RE: But
By Chernobyl68 on 8/25/2011 1:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
They're barrier islands, mostly sandy soil and brackish lagoons. They're on the coast for a couple reasons. Launching a spacecraft you wnat to go with earths rotation rather than against it, so all non-polar orbit launches go generally eastward. So over the ocean launches provide the best safety factor. The farther south you are, the higher your initial velocity on launch (on the equator would be ideal) and so less fuel is needed for launch than the same weight launched from farther north.

RE: But
By CZroe on 8/25/2011 11:39:10 AM , Rating: 1
Does Sacha Baron Cohen paint your worldview of other countries as well?

RE: But
By Samus on 8/25/2011 2:27:33 PM , Rating: 1
People act like the cold war is still raging and can't give Russia any credit where credit is due. Their modern space program has been more successful than our own simply because they don't have a dysfunctional congress beating down its budget. Granted, Russia is damn near a third-world country with high poverty levels, but they have always invested an extraordinary amount into science, which I have great respect for.

RE: But
By ClownPuncher on 8/25/2011 3:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
Gypsy detected!

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