Just as we thought things couldn’t get worse for Russia we were wrong. The planned International Space Station re-boost by the Progress M-26M failed when the engines on the spacecraft failed to start.
The spacecraft which has been docked at the station since 17th February 2015 was supposed to raise the orbit of the station to compensate for drag as it flies around the Earth. Without these occasional re-boosts the station will eventually fall back to Earth, although there is no danger of this happening any time soon, however with the lose of the Progress M-27M does complicate the issue.
The crew are not in any danger and were not involved in the process to re-boost the station which is controlled from Mission Control in Russia. They will now investigate what happened and determine if another attempt can be done next week.
We will post another update once we have more news on the investigation and plan to try again.
UPDATE – Mission control attempted another re-boost this morning Monday 18th which was successful. Below is a quote from the Russian news source.
The orbit correction was made with the Progress M-26M spacecraft engines.
“The manoeuvre has been completed,” the source said.
According to him, the spacecraft’s engines worked for 23 minutes. During this time the ISS orbit was lifted by 2.8 km to reach 405 km on the average.