Progress M-12M
Progress M-12M identified by NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 as Progress 44 or 44P, was an unmanned Progress spacecraft that was lost in a launch failure in August 2011, at the start of a mission to resupply the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

. It was the twelfth modernised Progress-M
Progress-M , also known as Progress 7K-TGM, is a Russian, previously Soviet spacecraft which is used to resupply space stations. It is a variant of the Progress spacecraft, originally built in the late 1980s as a modernised version of the Progress 7K-TG spacecraft, using new systems developed for...

 spacecraft to be launched. Manufactured by RKK Energia, the spacecraft was to have been operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency
The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...


Planned mission

Progress M-12M's planned mission had included resupplying ISS with 2.67 tonnes of supplies, including oxygen, food and fuel. The planned mission also included three reboost
Reboost is the process of boosting the altitude of an artificial satellite, to increase the time until its orbit will decay and it re-enters the atmosphere...

s to the ISS.

Progress M-12M was due to dock with the aft port of the Zvezda module of the International Space Station at around 14:40 UTC on 26 August, just over two days after launch. It would have remained docked for six months, before undocking on 5 March 2012.


Progress M-12M was carrying 2670 kilograms (5,886.3 lb) of cargo to the International Space Station. This included 420 kilograms (925.9 lb) of water, 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) of oxygen, and 996 kilograms (2,195.8 lb) of fuel. Of the fuel, 746 kilograms (1,644.6 lb) would have been used to refuel the ISS, and the remaining 250 kilograms would have been expended by the Progress spacecraft whilst docked, in its three reboost manoeuvres.

The spacecraft also contained 1204 kilograms (2,654.4 lb) of dry cargo, which consisted of parts for the station's air, water, power, lighting and thermal regulation systems, its control panels, and power supply system. Amongst the rest of the cargo was a further 4 kilograms (8.8 lb) of spare parts, 94 kilograms (207.2 lb) of hygiene supplies, 17 kilograms (37.5 lb) of protective equipment for the crew, 267 kilograms (588.6 lb) of food and 66 kilograms (145.5 lb) of medical and personal hygiene supplies, including air purification systems and new clothes for the crew. The spacecraft would also have delivered 139 kilograms (306.4 lb) of personal supplies for the crew, including letters, parcels and cameras. Of this, 37 kilograms (81.6 lb) was for the entire crew, and the remaining 102 kilograms (224.9 lb) was for the Russian crewmembers only.

Equipment to be installed in the various modules of the ISS was also aboard the Progress, with 31 kilograms (68.3 lb) to be installed in the Zarya
Zarya , also known as the Functional Cargo Block or FGB , was the first module of the International Space Station to be launched. The FGB provided electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance to the ISS during the initial stage of assembly...

 module, 10 kilograms (22 lb) for Pirs, 77 kilograms (169.8 lb) for Rassvet
Rassvet (ISS module)
Rassvet , also known as the Mini-Research Module 1 and formerly known as the Docking Cargo Module , is a component of the International Space Station . The module's design is similar to the Mir Docking Module launched on STS-74 in 1995. Rassvet is primarily used for cargo storage and as a docking...

, and 367 kilograms (809.1 lb) for installation in US modules. A further 38 kilograms (83.8 lb) of the cargo consisted of twelve scientific experiments to be performed aboard the station.

Launch failure

Progress M-12M was launched by a Soyuz-U
The Soyuz-U launch vehicle is an improved version of the original Soyuz LV. Soyuz-U is part of the R-7 family of rockets based on the R-7 Semyorka missile. Members of this rocket family were designed by the TsSKB design bureau and constructed at the Progress Factory in Samara, Russia....

 carrier rocket, flying from Area 1/5
Gagarin's Start
Gagarin's Start is a launch site at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, used for the Soviet space program and now managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency....

 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome
The Baikonur Cosmodrome , also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, about east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 meters above sea level...

. Liftoff occurred at 13:00:11 UTC on 24 August 2011.

Approximately 325 seconds into flight, a malfunction was detected in the RD-0110 engine powering the Blok I third stage of the Soyuz-U rocket, which caused the onboard computer to terminate the flight through thrust termination. As a result, the vehicle failed to achieve orbit, reentering over the Altai Republic
Altai Republic
Altai Republic is a federal subject of Russia . Its capital is the town of Gorno-Altaysk. The area of the republic is . Population: -Geography:...

 region of Russia. It was the first failure of a Progress spacecraft since launches began in 1978, and the third consecutive orbital launch failure worldwide, following the failures of Ekspress-AM4 and Shijian XI-04 less than a week prior. On 9 September, the FKA
Russian Federal Space Agency
The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...

 announced that the loss was caused by a blocked fuel duct, which caused the engines to shutdown prematurely. The failure was not expected to have any immediate effect on the crew of the International Space Station, as the outpost was stocked with reserves of food, water and oxygen. The spacecraft was insured for three billion Ruble
The ruble or rouble is a unit of currency. Currently, the currency units of Belarus, Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria, and, in the past, the currency units of several other countries, notably countries influenced by Russia and the Soviet Union, are named rubles, though they all are...

s (US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

103 million). As a precaution, the launch of a GLONASS
GLONASS , acronym for Globalnaya navigatsionnaya sputnikovaya sistema or Global Navigation Satellite System, is a radio-based satellite navigation system operated for the Russian government by the Russian Space Forces...

 satellite on a Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat
Fregat is a type of rocket stage developed by NPO Lavochkin in the 1990s. Its main engine is a liquid propellant rocket that uses UDMH and N2O4 as propellants.- Specifications :...

, which had been scheduled for 26 August, was delayed.

See also

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