(CBS SF) — The six International Space Station crew members reportedly have enough supplies on hand to keep them functioning without having to abandon the orbiting outpost after Russia lost all communication and control of a drone resupply ship heading for them.
The “Progress” spacecraft launched Tuesday on a Soyuz rocket, as a Russian alternative to the SpaceX supply missions managed by Bay Area-based Elon Musk’s corporation.
After it separated from the third stage, controllers couldn’t determine whether fuel systems were working properly or navigational antennas had deployed.
A docking attempt has been postponed as the Russians work to make a connection to the computer-controlled unmanned space freighter.
The next mission to ISS is the SpaceX launch in late June.
The currently out-of-control mission has 6,000 pounds of fuel, oxygen, water, spare parts, food and other supplies.
The Progress craft is not expected to pose a danger, and would simply burn up in the atmosphere if it cannot be rescued.