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Progress M12-M crashed

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A Russian space freighter Progress M12-M, carrying cargo to the International Space Station has crashed in a remote area of Siberia. The unmanned Progress cargo craft was launched from the main Gagarin launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly called Roscosmos, said they received a breakdown report from the Progress M-12M before it left the radio coverage zone. The wreckage of the Progress M-12M space freighter fell in the Choya District of South Siberia's Altai Republic.

The spacecraft was to deliver more than 3.5 tons of cargo to the crew of the ISS now orbiting the Earth. The load included food supplies, medical equipment, personal hygiene items, as well as scientific equipment needed for experiments aboard the ISS. It should be noted that currently there are currently six astronauts at the ISS — three from Russia, two from the United States and one from Japan. The disaster of Progress is the fourth space failure of Russia in the last twelve months. In December, 2010 the space program and the Russian military lost connection with three GLONASS satellites, when the satellites used for navigation plunged into the Pacific Ocean. In February, 2011 a satellite belonging to the Defence Ministry of Russia ceased functioning properly and on August 18, 2011 the Express satellite was lost after its launch on-board a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket from Baiknour. The satellite had been sent into orbit in a bid to broaden telecommunications for Russia and the CIS countries.

Major concern: The accident has raised many concerns over the reserves of the six crew members on board the ISS. As it has been mentioned earlier, the ship was loaded with over 3.5 tons of supplies for the ISS, including scientific materials, oxygen, water and food. The Russian Space Scientist believe that the loss of these supplies will not affect the ISS crew as there are enough stocks of necessities for two to three months. However, it still casts some shadow over the ISS program that relies on Russia exclusively following the retirement of U.S. shuttles. Another major concern is that the scheduled launches of the Soyuz rockets are suspended by Russia until the reasons of the accident are established. This means that current crew members of the ISS would likely stay longer in the space than planned, as the new members might not be able to replace them on schedule.