A spacecraft that experienced difficulties Tuesday while trying to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) is spinning out of control, NASA said Wednesday.
A video released by NASA shows a point-of-view perspective from within the unmanned Progress 59 Cargo Craft, which has now entered into a “slow spin” as Russian flight controllers attempt to regain control of it.
The resupply vehicle is rotating once every five seconds, according to a statement released by the Joint Functional Component Command for Space’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) early Wednesday morning. The JSpOC has also observed 44 pieces of debris near the resupply vehicle, though it cannot confirm which part of the vehicle the debris came from.
Former ISS commander and astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted Wednesday that he predicts the spacecraft will now slowly fall back to Earth, burning up before it reaches the surface, while officials monitor it closely.
NASA has not yet confirmed what will happen to the spacecraft, though it is normal for resupply vehicles to fall back to Earth and disintegrate in the atmosphere after the missions are complete, says Stephanie Schierholz, a spokesperson for NASA Human Space Flight.
The spacecraft had launched successfully on a Soyuz rocket Tuesday morning, but an “unspecified problem” prevented controllers from establishing communications with the vehicle. Meanwhile, the six crew members aboard the ISS are safe and are continuing regular operations with sufficient supplies, NASA said Tuesday. The next planned delivery is scheduled for no earlier than June 19.
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