By Ria Novosti
The wreckage of the Russian Progress M-12M space freighter which sent a breakdown report while separating from the carrier rocket on Wednesday, fell in South Siberia’s Altai Republic, a source in the region’s law enforcement structures said.
“At 5:25 p.m. Moscow time [13:25 GMT] we received information about falling wreckage from the M-12M space freighter,” the source said.
The head of the South Siberian republic’s Choya District, where the wreckage presumably fell, said a powerful blast was heard within a 100-km radius.
Russian space agency Roscosmos said earlier in the day the spacecraft failed to reach the designated orbit on Wednesday due to a rocket engine failure.
A source in the Russian space industry earlier said the spacecraft had sent a short breakdown report while separating from the Soyuz-U carrier rocket on Wednesday. The Mission Control was unable to receive any telemetry data from the spacecraft so far as the space freighter left the radio coverage zone.
He said the spacecraft failed to achieve the required orbital velocity.
“The flight sequence, confirmed by Roscosmos, shows that the space freighter failed to separate from the third stage of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket on the 325th second of the flight,” the source said.
The Soyuz-U carrier rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan and was scheduled to separate at 5:09 p.m. Moscow time [13:09 GMT].
This is the second spacecraft loss for the Russian space industry in within a week. On August 18, the Express AM-4 telecommunications satellite failed to separate from the Proton-M carrier rocket and could not reach the designated orbit.