Russia’s Progress 59 cargo spaceship feared to be plummeting back to Earth

Progress 59 cargo spaceship before launch at Baikonur

Progress 59, a Russian cargo spaceship destined for the International Space Station (ISS) was on Wednesday afternoon feared to be  careering back  to earth after its controllers lost contact with it. The spaceship was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday morning, carrying fuel, food, oxygen, equipment for scientific experiments and presents for the crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) and was supposed to  dock six hours later. Almost immediately, however, its  stopped sending data back home after a reported malfunction at the third stage of the launch sent the rocket into a higher orbit than planned. An unidentified space industry source told Interfax that the total financial hit from the failed launch could be around RUB 5bn ($96m). Over the past four years, Russia’s Proton rockets have crashed six times during launch, raising serious questions about Russia’ s space ambitions.