Specialists to try to regain control over Progress to safely remove it from orbit

Experts from Mission Control continue their attempts to regain control over the progress re-supply spacecraft and the spacecraft will be removed from orbit if these attempts are successful, a source in the space industry told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.

Experts from Mission Control continue their attempts to regain control over the progress re-supply spacecraft and the spacecraft will be removed from orbit if these attempts are successful, a source in the space industry told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.

"The possible docking of the re-supply spacecraft with the ISS is no longer on the agenda. The main thing is to ensure its more or less guided towards safe removal from orbit," the source said.

The source said the main task of the ground specialists now is to restore the spacecraft's orientation and stop it from rotating around its axis. "This has not been done yet, although attempts continue," the source said.

The source said the time that the specialists have is limited: "if the problem is not resolved in the next few hours, the spacecraft will begin its natural descent from orbit by dispersal in the upper layers of the atmosphere. According to tentative estimations, the uncontrolled descent of the spacecraft from orbit may take place in the first ten days of May," the source said.

The source said debris of the spacecraft that will not burn in the solid layers of the atmosphere may fall in any point of the zone restricted by the 52nd parallel north and 52nd parallel south.

The cargo spacecraft Progress M-27M was launched from the cosmodrome Baikonur at 10:10 a.m. on Tuesday using a Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle. Initially, it was expected to reach the International Space Station (ISS) six hours after the launch.

The total loss will be around 5 billion rubles ($96.6 million), including the cost of the launch vehicle Soyuz-2.1A and the spacecraft itself, the source in the space industry told. According to earlier reports, the cost of one unmanned launch of the Soyuz rocket is estimated at $80-90 million.

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