5.4K Lbs. of Supplies Explode in Skies Over Siberia
Russian cargo spaceship en route to International Space Station crashes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2016 12:05 AM CST
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In this photo from Tuesday, the Soyuz-FG rocket booster with the Progress MS-04 cargo ship is installed on a launch pad in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.   (Oleg Urusov/Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service photo via AP)
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(Newser) – The International Space Station crew may find themselves short of a few presents this Christmas: A Russian Progress 65 cargo spacecraft carrying around 5,400 pounds of supplies to the station broke up over Siberia on Thursday, minutes after it was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Bloomberg reports. The supplies on the unmanned ship included hundreds of pounds of food, clothing, and other items for the space station's two American astronauts, three Russian cosmonauts, and one French astronaut.

Russian authorities, who haven't identified the cause of the crash, say mountains near the border with Mongolia are being searched for debris, the AP reports. This is the fourth time an unmanned Russian rocket has failed in the last two years, NPR reports. There have also been failed American supply missions to the station, including an October 2014 one that ended in a spectacular explosion at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. But NASA says the station remains well stocked for now, and Japan will launch another supply mission next week. (The American astronaut who arrived last week broke a record when she got there and will have broken another by the time she gets back.)
 

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