NASA(NEW YORK) — What was supposed to be a six-hour journey to the International Space Station to deliver supplies has turned into a high stakes space drama.
One day after the Progress spacecraft was launched on the back of a Soyuz rocket bound for the International Space Station, the cargo vessel remains in an uncontrolled spin orbiting Earth after several navigational antennas on the spacecraft failed to deploy and problems were reported with the propulsion system, according to NASA.
On board the Progress is 6,000 pounds of food, fuel and supplies for the six astronauts at the International Space Station.
The spacecraft has made several passes over Russian ground control stations, however officials on the ground reported attempts to issue commands to Progress and troubleshoot its issues have continued to be unsuccessful.
NASA’s supply chain to the space station has been a problem since the space shuttle quit flying, and has been a patchwork of SpaceX, ESA ATV, Japanese HTV and Orbital Cygnus that has been bolstered by the annual four shipments a year on the Progress cargo ship.
If they lose the cargo on this trip, the next supply run to space will be in June when SpaceX’s Dragon, which is currently berthed at the International Space Station, makes another supply run to space.
This is the second issue with space cargo runs in the past seven months.
Last October, an Antares rocket exploded shortly after launch, destroying thousands of pounds of cargo on board Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.