Rescuers search for Progress spacecraft wreckage in Siberia

A group of rescuers from the Russian Emergencies Ministry set off on Thursday for the search of remains of the Russian Progress M-12M space freighter in south Siberia.

The wreckage of Progress M-12M space freighter, which sent a breakdown report while separating from the carrier rocket on Wednesday, fell in South Siberia’s Altai Republic.

Alexander Borisov, the head of the South Siberian republic’s Choya District, where the wreckage is thought to have fallen, said it would be hard for rescuers to reach the area where the spacecraft’s remains were.

“It is raining heavily right now… I doubt that they [rescuers] have reached the scene because places there are heavy-going, particularly in such weather,” Borisov said.

The Soyuz-U carrier rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on Wednesday and was scheduled to separate at 5:09 p.m. Moscow time [13:09 GMT].

Russian space agency Roscosmos said the spacecraft failed to reach the designated orbit due to a rocket engine failure.

This was the second spacecraft loss for the Russian space industry within a week. On August 18, the Express AM-4 telecommunications satellite failed to separate from the Proton-M carrier rocket and could not reach the designated orbit.

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