Antenna Issue Delays Docking of Russian Cargo Ship

Russian Progress Cargo Ship

Finally, Russian ground controllers announced to postpone the docking of a Progress supply freighter.

On Tuesday, Russia sent off its second cargo supply mission to the International Space Station. However, the cargo faced a major problem shortly after the launch.

The rocket, A Soyuz 2, was loaded with 3 tons of food, water and fuel supplies for six member station crew. It reached the orbit nine minutes after the launch. The spacecraft set out a trio of communication antennas and power-producing solar arrays. Unfortunately, the mission ground controllers were unable to make any contact with the spacecraft. They were not sure whether the antennas were successfully deployed or not.

Later on, the Russian Space Agency scientists found that three of the radar navigation antennas were not deployed. In addition, they got to know that rocket released the spacecraft into a 123.5 by 305.5 Km instead of 193 by 238 Km. The off beam release sent spacecraft in substantial denser atmosphere. Scientists from Russian Space Agency fear that the cargo ship may hit back to the Earth. As a result, the Russian scientists decided to abandon the mission at once. The team is carefully analyzing the issues.

This is not the first time when Russia lost its cargo ship. On August 2011, the space agency could not communicate with Progress Cargo Ship.

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