Doomed Russian cargo craft PROGRESS-M 27M burns up over Pacific


PROGRESS-M 27M (PROGRESS 59 Cargo) was headed to the International Space Station to deliver 3 tons of supplies and equipment, however all attempts at docking the spacecraft to ISS were called off on April 29, just a day after the cargo freighter was launched. The cargo orbiter is headed for an uncontrolled, untargeted re-entry. 

PROGRESS-M 27M is reportedly decayed according to USSTRATCOM. 
The spacecraft reentry occurred around 08 May 2015 02:20 UTC over Pacific Ocean.

UPDATE MAY 7, 2015 AT 11:45 P.M. CDT (May 8 at 4:45 UTC): The unpiloted Russian re-supply ship due to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere Thursday evening (according to U.S. clocks) appears to have done so. Roscosmos – the Russian space agency – both tweeted and said in an online update that the Progress 59P, also known as Progress M-27M, mission ended and the craft destroyed during a fiery plunge over the Pacific Ocean late Thursday (again, according to U.S. clocks).

Earlier Thursday evening, there were reports from S. America of sightings of the descending spacecraft, as it lost altitude above Earth’s surface. For example, Kirovoleg wrote at an online space forum:

I`ve just watched it pass overhead on Buenos Aires, at first it was quite dim but then it got quite bright for a moment, then dim again and bright. I guess it is still tumbling and that is why it changed intensity. 

The craft – carrying 6,000 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies for International Space Station – was declared lost when, shortly after its April 28 launch, it began spinning out of control. 

Its reentry on May 7-8 was not controlled, which means the exact time and location were unknown in advance. But thanks to spacecraft technologies, computers and global community of space fans on the Internet, the craft was continuously tracked throughout the day Thursday prior to its final fall.

Because over 70% of the surface of Earth is covered by water, there was always a high probability that the Progress 59 would reenter over an ocean. But the spacecraft’s orbital inclination also caused it to pass over land areas. The European Space Agency (ESA), which said it was “in close contact with Russian and U.S. authorities regarding the Progress M-27M / 59P mission situation,” said on April 30:


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