During what is normally a routine resupply run to the International Space Station on Thursday, Russian ground control lost contact with its delivery vehicle, the Progress MS-04, which has now been confirmed as destroyed.
BREAKING: Cargo ship destroyed during launch to space station – Russian space agency on Twitter
— Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) December 1, 2016
The spacecraft successfully lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just after 9:50pm EST last night, carrying nearly three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 50 crew. However, it ran into telemetry issues, which NASA is categorizing as “an anomaly” during the third stage of the mission. Russia’s Roscosmos agency has monitoring the situation and confirmed that the mission is a bust.
This mission was the third and final Russian resupply mission to the ISS of the year. The space station still has plenty of supplies, according to NASA, so there isn’t much danger of them starving since this delivery effort failed. Furthermore, Japan’s JAXA is planning to launch an H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-6 flight to the ISS on December 9th.