Progress failed launch caused by out-of-control release of rocket's third stage, space freighter - Roscosmos

The failed launch of the Progress-M-27M transport cargo ship (TCS) was caused by its damage as a result of an out-of-control release of the third stage of the launch vehicle (LV) and the TCS, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has said.

The failed launch of the Progress-M-27M transport cargo ship (TCS) was caused by its damage as a result of an out-of-control release of the third stage of the launch vehicle (LV) and the TCS, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has said.

"The cause of the damage in the ship resulted from the out-of-control release of the LV third stage and the TCS, which is the constructive feature of the joint use of the TCS and the LV third stage related to the frequency-dynamic characteristics of the TCS-LV third stage bundle," a Roscosmos spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Interfax-AVN on June 1.

"This constructive feature was not fully taken into account at the trial and design stage of the efforts to create this space rocket complex," the spokesperson said.

"No restrictions were detected for further use of the Soyuz-2.1A LV with other spacecraft," the spokesperson said.

"On June 9, 2015 Roscosmos will decide on an adjusted schedule for the 2015 manned mission program [including for the TCSs]," the spokesperson also said.

"Currently, Roscosmos is working on a plan of measures to conduct further tests of this space complex," the spokesperson said.

The state commission has come to its conclusions "as a result of a broad analysis of the causes of the failed launch and completion of full-scale experiments," the spokesperson said.

The Progress M-27M space freighter blasted off atop the Soyuz-2.1 rocket from Baikonur on April 28. The cargo ship was supposed to deliver necessary supplies to the ISS (International Space Station) crew, including fuel, oxygen, research equipment, parcels from cosmonauts and astronauts, May holiday presents for the crew members and food supplies.

The cargo ship was expected to dock with the ISS six hours after blastoff. The Mission Control Center, however, stopped getting telemetric data from the ship and lost control over it. The ship started an out-of-control descent from orbit and ceased to exist at 05:04 a.m. Moscow time on May 8. It entered the dense atmospheric layers on the 160th spin over the central part of the Pacific Ocean.

On May 12, Roscosmos chief Igor Komorav announced a preliminary cause of the failed Progress launch: the loss of pressure in the engines of the LV third stage.

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