Russia’s Soyuz rocket encountered a rare launch failure on Thursday, disintegrating in the skies over Southern Siberia after what appeared to be a catastrophic failure of the rocket’s third stage. Lost in the mishap was the Progress MS-04 cargo spacecraft loaded with supplies for the six crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station.
The venerable Soyuz U lifted off from Site 1/5 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 14:51:52 UTC under the power of its core stage and four boosters, generating a collective liftoff thrust of over 400-metric ton force. Cameras tracked the 46-meter tall launch vehicle as it finished its vertical climb and pitched over onto the standard north-easterly departure path to dispatch the Progress craft into the orbital plane of the Space Station for a two-day rendezvous.
Video witnesses alleged falling debris of Progress cargo ship MS-04. (Official confirmation that the video of the ship wrecks there)
Debris fell supposedly in Tuva, their searches are organized.
But Russian mission control lost contact with the rocket and its cargo payload at around T+plus 6 minutes, 22 seconds, according to Roscosmos. That was more than two minutes before the Progress spacecraft was to arrive in orbit.