Space station crew: Russia's spinning supply ship total loss

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Russia Loses Space Supply Ship


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A Russian supply capsule that went into an uncontrollable spin after launch was declared a total loss Wednesday, but the astronauts at the International Space Station said they will get by without the delivery of fresh food, water, clothes and equipment.

The space station's one-year crew members, American Scott Kelly and Russian Mikhail Kornienko, told The Associated Press during an interview that flight controllers have given up trying to command the cargo carrier.

The unmanned Progress vessel, loaded with 3 tons of goods, began tumbling shortly after its launch Tuesday from Kazakhstan.

Kelly said the craft will fall out of orbit and re-enter the atmosphere sometime soon. He's not sure exactly when.

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Space station crew: Russia's spinning supply ship total loss
In this Feb. 5, 2014 photo provided by NASA, an ISS Progress resupply vehicle approaches the International Space Station. On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, NASA and the Russian Space Agency declared a total loss on an unmanned Progress capsule, carrying 3 tons of goods to the station. The spacecraft began tumbling when it reached orbit Tuesday, following launch from Kazakhstan, and flight controllers were unable to bring it under control. (NASA via AP)
The Canadarm 2 reaches out to capture the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and prepare it to be pulled into its port on the International Space Station Friday April 17, 2015. The Canadarm2 robotic arm will maneuver Dragon to its installation position at the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module where it will reside for the next five weeks. (AP Photo/NASA)
U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, gestures prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
In this image from NASA television astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, left, and Terry Virts begin wiring the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival in July of the international docking port for the Boeing and Space-X commercial crew vehicles early Saturday morning Feb. 21, 2015 to (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
In this image from NASA television astronaut Terry Virts installs an antenna and boom during the third spacewalk outside the International Space Station Sunday March 1, 2015. American astronauts Terry Virts and Butch Wilmore had 400 more feet of power and data cable, as well as two antennas, to install Sunday. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
Russian Space Agency experts help U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, to stand up after inspecting his space suit prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. SpaceX is on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-15M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. The Russian rocket carries U.S. astronaut Terry Virts, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
FILE- In this Nov. 23, 2014, file photo, U.S. astronaut Terry Virts, left, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, center and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, walk to the rocket prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Astronauts hurriedly evacuated the U.S. section of the International Space Station and moved to its Russian module after a problem emerged Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, but Russian and U.S. officials insisted all six crew were not in any danger. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool, File)
U.S. astronaut Barry Wilmore, member of the next mission to the International Space Station, attends a news conference at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. U.S. astronaut Barry Wilmore, and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova are the next crew scheduled to travel to the International Space Station on September 26. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
IN SPACE - OCTOBER 7: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst takes a photo during his spacewalk, whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on October 7, 2014 in Space. Gerst returned to earth on November 10, 2014 after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the 'Blue Dot' mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan's description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). (Photo by Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images)
ZHEZKAZGAN, KAZAKHSTAN - MARCH 12: (Alternate crop of #465931716) In this handout provided by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos March 12, 2015 near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Samokutyaev and Serova are returning after nearly six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42 crews. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
STAR CITY, RUSSIA - MARCH 5: In this handout from the In this handout from National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA, (L to R) NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly is seen inside a Soyuz simulator at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) March 5, 2015 in Star City, Russia. The three are preparing for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 28, 2015. As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. (Photo by /Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
WALLOPS ISLAND, VA - OCTOBER 28: In this handout provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard suffers a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on October 28, 2014 on Wallops Island, Virginia. William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and Michael Suffredini, NASA's International Space Station Program Manager also participated in the press conference via phone. Cygnus was on its way to rendezvous with the space station. The Antares rocket lifted off to start its third resupply mission to the International Space Station, but suffered a catastrophic anomaly shortly after lift off at 6:22 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images)
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The capsule is expected to burn up in the atmosphere, as is the case for all Progress carriers, once they have delivered their shipments and are filled with trash.

"We should be OK," said Kelly, one month into a planned one-year mission, which will be a record for NASA. "The program plans for these kinds of things to happen. They're very unfortunate when they do."

He added: "The important thing is hardware can be replaced."

Kornienko called it "a big concern." But he expressed "100 percent confidence" that operations will continue as planned until the next shipment arrives. The private SpaceX company plans to send up a load of supplies in June.

This is the second cargo ship lost in the past half year.

In October, Orbital Sciences Corp. suffered a launch explosion in Virginia that destroyed a cargo ship that had been intended for the orbiting lab.

SpaceX is currently NASA's sole supplier. The Japanese Space Agency also periodically sends up cargo; it is aiming for a summer shipment.

Six people are currently living on the space station: two Americans, one Italian and three Russians.

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Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

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