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[b]Progress M-12M lost after launch[/b]
Mission Control Moscow reported that its communication with the Progress M-12M (44P) resupply craft was lost five minutes and 20 seconds after its launch at 8 a.m. CDT Wednesday (Aug. 23).
Preliminary data from the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos indicates there was a problem with the propulsion system, and that the vehicle did not reach its desired orbit.
Just after 10 a.m., Mission Control Moscow radioed a report to the crew on board the station:
"At 1300 (GMT), we lifted off, following 320 seconds of flight there was a failure in the upper stage of the launch vehicle. We lost comm after a while with the launch vehicle and we did not report stage separation," Maxim Matuchen, head of the Russian Mission Control Center, said.
"In the previous comm pass we attempted to contact the vehicle through every possible channel. Orbital monitoring telemetry and we have just finished our second comm pass where we invoked all of the communications facilities. We sent commands to activate the comm pass on board, unfortunately it failed."
"Understood," replied Expedition 28 commander Andrei Borisenko on board the International Space Station.
"This is it for the moment, we'll try to figure out what has happened and what the cause was. I just wanted to keep you informed," said Matuchen.
"Thank you for letting us know so quickly," Borisenko added. "Thank you from the entire crew."
[b]Progress M-12M launches on Aug. 24, 2011.[/b] Credit: RSC Energia
Progress M-12M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome into a cloudless sky at 7 p.m. Kazakhstan time bound for the International Space Station and a docking on Friday. At the time of launch, the space station was flying 230 miles over Equatorial Guinea on the west coast of Africa. The spacecraft was carrying 2.9 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station.
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