Russia's space agency said it had lost contact today with an unmanned cargo ship shortly after it blasted off to the International Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. "Communication was lost today 383 seconds after the launch of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the cargo ship Progress MS-04," space agency Roscosmos said in a statement, adding that its specialists were looking into the problem. The ship, which was scheduled to arrive at the ISS on Saturday, was carrying 2.4 tonnes of fuel, food and equipment, Roscosmos said. A Progress cargo ship launch failed in April 2015.
The failure, which Russia blamed on a problem in a Soyuz rocket, saw the ship disintegrate as it plummeted to Earth. The incident forced Russia to put all space travel on hold for nearly three months. Last month Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and American astronaut Peggy Whitson launched to the ISS for a six-month mission.
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