The following is an excerpt from NATALIYA VASILYEVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS | December 1, 2016 | abcnews.go.com |
An unmanned Russian cargo spaceship heading to the International Space Station broke up in the atmosphere over Siberia on Thursday due to an unspecified malfunction, the Russian space agency said.
The Progress MS-04 cargo craft broke up at an altitude of 190 kilometers (118 miles) over the remote Russian Tuva region in Siberia that borders Mongolia, Roscosmos said in a statement. It said most of spaceship's debris burnt up as it entered the atmosphere but some fell to Earth over what it called an uninhabited area.
Local people reported seeing a flash of light and hearing a loud thud west of the regional capital of Kyzyl, more than 3,600 kilometers (2,200 miles) east of Moscow, the Tuva government was quoted as saying late Thursday by the Interfax news agency.
The Progress cargo ship had lifted off as scheduled at 8:51 p.m. (1451 GMT) from Russia's space launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to deliver 2.5 metric tons of fuel, water, food and other supplies. It was set to dock with the space station on Saturday.
Roscosmos said the craft was operating normally before it stopped transmitting data 6 ? minutes after the launch. The Russian space agency would not immediately describe the malfunction, saying its experts were looking into it.
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