New attempts to contact Russia's wayward Progress 59 cargo freighter en route to the International Space Station (ISS) have so far been unsuccessful, Moscow-based news agency RIA Novosti reported April 29.

Russian flight controllers have been working to establish control of the rotating, unpiloted Progress cargo spacecraft that failed to deploy navigation antennas and pressurize its rendezvous propulsion system following liftoff on its way to deliver supplies to the space station.

The media outlet said attempts to contact Progress will continue, if only to glean data that could be used in future crisis situations involving the freighter.

In addition to the antenna deployment failure, RIA said the vehicle is in an uncontrolled high-speed spin and that ground controllers have been unable to get telemetry from the ship and send commands.

NASA’s Mission Control Center, meanwhile, suspended efforts to support a backup docking opportunity for the troubled Progress 59 re-supply capsule once planned for early April 30, leaving the fate of its 6,104-lb. cargo at least temporarily in limbo.

The latest in a long succession of normally reliable Progress resupply missions launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz rocket at 3:09 a.m. EDT April 28.

The Progress 59 carries a small amount of food and clothing for the station’s U.S. segment, which serves as home to European, Japanese and Canadian as well as NASA crew members assigned to the six-person orbiting lab. None of the potentially stranded cargo is considered critical or irreplaceable to either the U.S. or Russia, and the station is adequately stocked until the next SpaceX Dragon commercial re-supply mission launches in late June, according to Dan Huot, a NASA ISS program spokesman.

“We’re in very good shape,” he said, as the Russian recovery efforts unfolded.

Earlier this month, NASA officials noted that the Oct. 28, 2014, Antares/Cygnus resupply mission loss experienced by Orbital ATK, the agency’s second U.S. commercial resupply services provider, had made near-term Progress and SpaceX cargo missions all the more crucial to station operations.

While the U.S. segment’s food supply has enough reserves to last until Aug. 21, the date moves to July 5 if it must be shared with their Russian crewmates, according to an assessment provided by the NASA Advisory Council.

After climbing to orbit without indications of a problem, Progress 59 separated as scheduled from its booster’s third stage at the 8 min., 45 sec. mark and deployed power-generating solar arrays, for what was planned to be a four-orbit, six-hr. rendezvous and docking with the station’s Russian segment Pirs docking compartment.

However, moments after the solar array deployments, poor communications with the spacecraft made it impossible for Russian ground controllers to confirm the deployment of two KURS automated navigation antennas essential for the unpiloted linkup with the station.

The control center in suburban Moscow quickly canceled plans for a rendezvous and docking initially scheduled for 9:07 a.m. EDT.

Each of the freighter’s first four orbits of the Earth afforded Russian ground controllers opportunities to receive telemetry from the spacecraft’s flight computer and other systems as well as issue commands to regain control.

After a fleeting indication that the KURS antennas might have deployed after all, each orbital pass brought more bad news. The antennas were returned to the casualty list and joined by the failure of the propulsion system to pressurize and spacecraft rotation that signaled multiple failures of the motion control system.

At the conclusion of the third ground station pass, NASA’s flight control team informed the Russians it would not support a backup docking attempt early on April 30 should the opportunity become available.

“Now that plan has been thrown out the window,” said NASA spokesman Rob Navias, who was with agency flight controllers monitoring the Progress launch and early recovery efforts. “We will not be docking to the ISS with Progress on April 30. But what the next step is by the Russian flight control team is under discussion.”

A fourth ground pass shortly before 9:30 a.m. EDT, came and went with no change and represented the last opportunity to bring Progress 59 within communications range of ground controllers again until 8:50 p.m. EDT April 28.

The freighter’s cargo includes nearly a ton of propellant that fuels ISS thrusters used to adjust the altitude of the ISS, and when necessary carry out maneuvers to avoid collisions with orbital debris. The Progress 59 carries compressed air, water containers, food, spare parts and research gear as well as food and clothing.

The Russian re-supply difficulties follow last fall’s loss of Orbital ATK’s Antares/Cygnus re-supply mission, which exploded shortly after lifting off from a Wallops Island, Virginia, launch complex. An estimated 4,800 lb. of supplies were lost.

While still under investigation, the cause of the Antares explosion has been traced to a problem with the first-stage turbo pump. Orbital ATK has turned to an alternate booster, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5, in a bid to resume ISS cargo deliveries in late November with a launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

So far, two SpaceX Dragon cargo capsules have reached the ISS this year. The latest NASA launch schedule includes SpaceX deliveries in June, September and December as well as a Japanese re-supply mission in mid-August.

Russia’s next Progress cargo mission is planned for early August.