An unmanned Russian spacecraft headed to the International Space Station, lost control, and is spinning back to Earth. The cargo carrying supplies, went out-of-control on Tuesday, and flight controllers failed to establish a two-way communication with the spacecraft.
The uncontrolled spin around the Earth’s orbit, made its docking with the ISS spacecraft impossible. The craft is heading towards the Earth, and is likely to crash by next week. However, scientists are concerned about the location of the crash as they are unable to determine the location. The uncontrolled return of the spacecraft to Earth might lead to fragments crashing on the land.
“I can’t say that the chance of getting hit by the debris is zero, it’s very close to zero,” said William Harwood, a BS News Space consultant.
With three-quarters water on Earth, the cargo might also be saved if it lands on the water. Harwood mentioned that the material is unlikely to cause harm to people on land, though the odds of someone in danger is not zero. United States Air Force Joint Functional Component Command for Space’s Joint Operations Center has notified NASA that it is tracking the cargo and will provide a warning of any potential crash.
Experts are clueless about the reason which caused the spacecraft to go haywire. The spacecraft went into a wrong orbit after it was separated from the third stage of Soyuz booster. An unknown “propulsive event” had triggered the spacecraft into an uncontrollable spin. The spacecraft will orbit the earth for five days before crashing into the Earth.
The failure of the mission is likely to hurt Russia’s space industry, and might affect the manned flight that is set to take off from Baikonur on May 26. The failure of the mission has cost Roskosmos £25 million. Agency director Igor Komarov stated that the money will be recovered through insurance. Deputy prime minister of Russia’s space industry Dmitry Rogozin has convened a meeting to investigate the incident.