Russian, US space officials work to recover cargo rocket
Russian and US space engineers were working Saturday to solve the problem of recovering a cargo rocket which missed its rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) by 3 kilometres late Friday, DPA reported.
According to the Russian space agency Roskosmos, a new effort to recover the Progress 38 cargo rocket and dock it with the ISS would be carried out at 1600 GMT on Sunday.
Space officials were quick to assure that there had been no danger for the six people on board the ISS - three Russian cosmonauts and three US astronauts - as the Progress 38 approached, then veered out of control and glided past the space station.
The US space agency NASA said that about half an hour before the cargo rocket was due to dock with the ISS, the automatic pilot on board suddenly failed.
By that point, it was too late for the ISS crew to take over manual control of the Progress 38.
"The crew reported how they saw the Progress drift past," a NASA spokesman said.
Engineers were now working to analyze what went wrong. The Progress 38 was bringing 2.5 tons of food, clothing and equipment for the ISS crew.
According to the website Space.com, in early May navigation problems had surfaced during the docking manoeuvres of the previous cargo rocket.
The Progress 38 was launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. dpa mcm bvi dms bve Authors: Marco Mierke, Benedikt von Imhoff