A Mission Control spokesman said on Friday that the Progress M1-10, which sent to connect to the 16-nation space station, plunged back into water after controllers had initiated its descent.

The space cargo ship had been in orbit since 4 September when it uncoupled from the space station manned by an American and a Russian.

"Everything went as planned. Progress M1-10 has finished its work and no longer exists," the spokesman announced.

"It entered the atmosphere and started burning and then whatever was left of it hit the water," he said.

 A new crew is scheduled to blast off in a Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan to the orbiting platform on 18 October to replace the present team who have been in space since April.