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Russian Spaceship Named Progress to Crash Back to Earth on Friday

An unpiloted ISS Progress resupply vehicle approaches the International Space Station.

The Russian supply spacecraft “Progress” will fall to Earth on Friday after failing to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) last week, federal space agency Roscosmos said in a statement Wednesday.

The descent will destroy the supply ship, Roscosmos said.

“The ship will completely burn up in the dense layers of the Earth's atmosphere,” the statement said, adding that only a few hardened structural components will survive re-entry and hit the ground.

The Progress spacecraft was launched last week on a mission to deliver fresh supplies to the ISS, but Roscosmos lost control of the craft shortly after achieving orbit.

Space officials have not yet determined the cause of the incident, but video received from the ship's exterior camera showed that it was in a wild spin.

With no control over the ship, trace elements of the Earth's atmosphere are working to slow Progress' speed, which will result in the ship falling back to Earth.

Roscosmos will on Thursday release more detailed estimates of when and where the spacecraft will fall, the statement said.

The supply ship's destruction will leave the crew of the ISS without fresh food until at least June, although planned supply missions may be launched ahead of schedule.

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