An unmanned Russian spacecraft could be headed towards Earth after its pilots lost control of it, according to reports.
An unnamed official has said that the ship has begun a descent towards Earth and that agencies have completely lost control.
The Progress craft attempted to dock with the International Space Station, but the procedure failed and the capsule has been floating around in space, unable to make contact with Earth.
“It has started descending. It has nowhere else to go,” an official familiar with the situation told Agence France-Presse on condition of anonymity on Wednesday. The official was speaking ahead of an official Russian space agency statement expected later in the day. “It is clear that absolutely uncontrollable reactions have begun.”
It’s unknown how much of a threat the capsule would pose if it were to come towards the Earth.
The capsule is carrying fuel, oxygen, water and spare parts and other equipment for the astronauts on board the ISS.
Three or four of the ships are launched per year, taking supplies to the space station. When they are finished with, they are usually filled up with the rubbish by the astronauts. After that, on-board thrusters are used to send the capsules back towards the Earth, where they burn up on re-entry.