Not good: Sources in the Russian press say that it will likely be impossible to pinpoint precisely the cause of the Progress failure this week because of a lack of telemetry or data.
The causes of Thursday’s loss of the Progress cargo spacecraft are unlikely to be established, because neither telemetry data nor debris of the Soyuz-U rocket that was taking the cargo vehicle in orbit are available. “Telemetry transmission from the rocket was disrupted instantly, so it is practically impossible to establish the sequence of events to identify the causes of the emergency. As for material evidence, such as debris of the rocket’s third stage that might provide some clues, it is not available, either,” the source said.
They are still searching for debris but have so far come up empty.
Lacking data, they are now beginning to use computer modeling to try to figure out what happened. The prime suspect is the third stage engine.