A Russian cargo ship, which was supposed to be carrying supplies to the International Space Station, has spun out of control while entering orbit, according to reports from officials. The launch itself was successful, however, as the craft made it into space and breached Earth’s atmosphere, it began spinning wildly out of control.
Officials have said that the spinning was caused by a computer glitch, where a series of their sensors began reading sporadic numbers. The craft was known as Progress 59 and was set to bring supplies to the International Space Station, which was widely needed after a failed attempt last fall.
The Russian ship was unmanned, and, fortunately, there were no injuries or casualties as the result of the glitch. However, it has raised even more concern around the future of various space programs around the world. Not long ago commercial companies were working to develop spacecraft’s and teams that would take civilians into space.
The underlying truth at this juncture is that the global space programs that exist are in a very bad place, when projects like these, which are oftentimes seen as basic projects – are greeted with such challenge and failure. This being the second failure in a year – by different entities of course, but which both resulted in catastrophic failure. This simply isn’t something that is normal, or expected in the world of space – where technology and knowledge are always put at a premium.
All of this puts a greater burden on something that also is getting less and less funding from traditional sources. Some have even speculated about the potential of going to private parties to fulfill funding efforts, and to ensure that these projects can continue. The International Space Station has become a staple in our space history, but now will see a more difficult future as yet another resupply mission goes awry and fails completely.