Russian officials have called off a mission to resupply the International Space Station, as the unpiloted Progress 59 spacecraft continues to tumble uncontrollably through space, a NASA official said Wednesday morning.

After it launched from Kazakhstan on Tuesday, the spacecraft encountered problems when it reached orbit and separated from the Soyuz rocket booster's third stage. Russian officials scrambled to communicate with the spacecraft, which was carrying 6,000 pounds of food, fuel and supplies to the space station, but were unable to gain control of the spacecraft.

They tried again Wednesday but apparently had no luck, and now "Russian flight controllers are continuing to assess the vehicle and what the plan going forward will be," said Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson.

It appears that the spacecraft will fall toward Earth, eventually burning up in the atmosphere, as Chris Hadfield, a former commander of the space station tweeted.

The failed resupply mission is the second in recent months. In October, an Anteres rocket operated by Orbital Sciences that was carrying food and supplies exploded shortly after taking off from Wallops Island, Va.

Even without the new food and supplies, NASA said that the six-member crew aboard the space station "are safe and continuing regular operations with sufficient supplies." The station was resupplied just a couple of weeks ago by a SpaceX Dragon capsule, and the company is scheduled to launch another resupply mission in June.

The Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center said it has detected 44 pieces of debris around the Russian spacecraft, which it will track to make sure there aren't any collisions as the debris whizzes around Earth. In space, where debris travels at great speeds, even small pieces can have catastrophic effects.

"Human spaceflight safety is our chief concern," said the center's Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond.

Meanwhile, the Russian space ship continues to spin wildly, at a rate of 360 degrees every five seconds, the center said. Check it out here: