Too bad the shuttles are shuttered. A Russian Progress cargo spaceship bound for the ISS crashed in eastern Russia this morning after failing to reach orbit. After launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrom in Kazakhstan in the wee hours today the spacecraft encountered some kind of trouble--Russian broadcaster RT said “engine trouble,” but that could mean a lot of things--and plummeted back to Earth with the nearly four tons of food, fuel, oxygen, and other supplies it was taking up to the International Space Station.
Investigators are on the scene trying to figure out the precise cause of the crash. It’s the second failed launch in a month for Roskosmos, which failed to put the Express communications satellite into the proper orbit after launching it aboard a Proton rocket from Baikonur on August 18.