Update: NASA Not Worried About Loss of Russian Supply Ship
An unmanned Russian supply vehicle that launched this morning to deliver supplies to the International Space Station crashed back to Earth a little over five minutes after launch.
The Russian Space Agency has confirmed that the wreckage of the Progress resupply spacecraft came down in the Republic of Altai, which shares a border with China. There are no reports of injuries or property damage.
The loss of the 44P mission, a Russian Progress vehicle, is going to cause problems for plans to keep the space station supplied with food, water and other essentials -- now that the American space shuttle has been retired and taken out of service.
The Russian Soyuz capsules are now the only means NASA has to get astronauts to and from the space station, until NASA can build a ship and launch system to replace the shuttle orbiters.
Losing this vehicle today will cause major concerns for NASA, because the Progress and Soyuz vehicles use a common launch system.
It's uncertain how soon the Russian Space Agency can launch another resupply ship to replenish the space station's dwindling supplies.
But NASA says it's not overly concerned.
Along with basic supplies of food, water and other necessities, the ship was also carrying a silicon dioxide chip experiment developed by Rice University chemist Jim Tour.