Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
ISS Space Science

Russian Supply Vehicle To ISS Burns 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the shuttle-for-sale-slightly-used dept.
First time accepted submitter Oxford_Comma_Lover writes "The Russian cargo spacecraft 'Progress' developed problems and burned up in the atmosphere shortly after its launch at 1300 GMT. From the article: 'The Russian space agency said the Progress M-12M cargo ship was not placed in the correct orbit by its rocket and fell back to Earth. The vessel was carrying three tonnes of supplies for the ISS astronauts.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Russian Supply Vehicle To ISS Burns

Comments Filter:
  • Mmmm... BBQ.

  • it was automated. No loss of life, thank goodness. Here's hoping the engineers find the fault quickly so we can keep our astronauts on schedule.
  • I got this game [kerbalspaceprogram.com]. Learned how to put a rocket into orbit. Pretty cool.

    Could the Russians use a little sim training, perhaps? Orbital insertion is really not that hard, once you get the hang of it.

    • "Orbital insertion is really not that hard, once you get the hang of it."

      Being /. I'm guessing that jokes on insertion not being hard would be a waste of time... ;-)
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Have you tried Orbiter? Great space sim, not really a game. Yes, you do have to break out your orbital mechanics textbook and do some math.

    • by jackbird (721605)

      I love that game, but I feel like I'm missing something. I get a kilometer or so above the pad and then my stack flips over and augers into the ground. Or just falls apart and explodes on the pad. Did I mention this game is awesome?

    • by sjames (1099)

      They know how to do it (they've done it often enough), they just had a failure in the 3rd stage this time (1st in the history of Progress).

  • You know, SpaceX is looking pretty good about now.

    • Given the lack of life loss in this, I'd guess that the folks at SpaceX see reason to celebrate this error. It certainly helps hold the door open for them.

    • Re:SpaceX (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @02:55PM (#37194602)

      I like SpaceX as much as the next guy, but there's more to the puzzle. Orbital Sciences, Boeing's CST-100, Sierra Nevada's DreamChaser, ESA's and JAXA's resupply vehicles, and even Orion-reborn (to name a few) are all critical to maintaining a foothold on the frontier.

      I think what this should teach us (potentially having our only way to get things and people to the ISS grounded) is that no single solution can be depended on. In addition to the sought cost benefits of competition, we need multiple vehicles because none of them will be perfectly reliable and all run a risk of being taken out of service temporarily and leaving a gap if nothing else is available.

    • by Mercano (826132)
      Unfortunately, Progress is one of only two vehicles that can deliver fuel to the station and the other, ESA's ATV, only has a flight rate of about one per year. While SpaceX can make up for the lost cargo, they dock (well, berth) at the US end of the station, so there's no way to transfer fuel to the Russian segment. Same story with Japan's operational HTV program (also one flight per year) and the other various commercial project NASA has contracts with. Using the cargo ship's own engines for reboost is
      • Unfortunately, that port is currently tied up with PMA2, the now-unneeded shuttle docking adapter.

        Just out of curiosity, couldn't they get rid of the shuttle docking adopter? Or is there an "old docking interface" behind it?

  • by Groo Wanderer (180806) <[moc.etaruccaimes] [ta] [eilrahc]> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @02:38PM (#37194350) Homepage

    In related news, food prices on the ISS are expected to spike in early trading tomorrow.....

    In more news, 17 Murdock newspapers printed leaks about concerns that relatives of ISS crew have about their safety.

                    -Charlie

  • Since Progress uses the Soyuz rocket, I was curious about the Soyuz escape system. Looks like [russianspaceweb.com] it's pretty well thought through.

    Still, I'd like to see Space X's Falcon 9 [sciencesortof.com] ready to replace the Soyuz rocket.

  • Bad luck lately (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prefec2 (875483) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @02:40PM (#37194374)

    They had a lot of bad luck lately. Losing at least three launches this year. I hope they get back on track soon. Who else could transport new people up and down to the ISS. Freight can be done by ESA's ATV, but human space flight is right now Russia only.

    • They had a lot of bad luck lately. Losing at least three launches this year. I hope they get back on track soon. Who else could transport new people up and down to the ISS. Freight can be done by ESA's ATV, but human space flight is right now Russia only.

      And China.

      • by prefec2 (875483)

        Is China really able to deliver to the ISS? I know they have some taikonauts in space in a sojus-like craft. But the big question is: Can they guarantee delivery? And can they dock?

        But, yes they can do manned spaceflight.

        • I wasn't referring to ISS interceptablility, but I'm pretty sure that the answer is no is regards to docking almost certainly. They would need a mockup of existing docking rings to engineer and test their own.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      That's what happens when there's no competition.

      And for the humorously inclinde, yes, I am being tongue-in-cheek.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @02:46PM (#37194458) Homepage
    Things are not looking good for the Russian space program right now. This is the second loss they've had in a week. On August 18, rocket failure resulted in a new communication satellite going into an essentially useless orbit. The real worry about this sort of thing is what it will do to the human space program. The US may not be as willing to hire the Russians to go into space when things are running this badly. I can't imagine a PR disaster much worse than American astronauts getting killed on a Russian spacecraft. On the other hand, I'm very happy that this problem occurred on an unmanned supply vehicle rather than anything with people on it. It is also a bit scary to note that even a very well-understood set of systems like the Soyuz still sometimes runs into such severe problems. Hopefully they will be able to identify what precisely caused this problem.
  • by SeeSp0tRun (1270464) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @03:02PM (#37194676) Journal

    If it had only made it higher and exploded, they would have lost 0 tonnes of supplies.
    Damn you gravity. Damn you!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      If it had only made it higher and exploded, they would have lost 0 tonnes of supplies.
      Damn you gravity. Damn you!

      It could've been worse. If the supply ship had been close to Jupiter, the losses would've been much higher.

    • Physically it's not really correct, but regardless a good joke.

  • We're all saying "well thank goodness it's not a manned spacecraft, no big deal."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a Progress basically a Soyuz with the seats ripped out? Which is to say, don't unmanned Progress mission failures tell you something important about the likelihood of manned Soyuz disasters?

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @03:20PM (#37194912)

      Which is to say, don't unmanned Progress mission failures tell you something important about the likelihood of manned Soyuz disasters?

      Had it been manned, the escape system would have fired and brought the crew back down. As far as I remember that's already happened once on a Soyuz flight and the biggest problem was that the crew had to hide from hungry wolves after the landing.

      One of the benefits of capsules is that you don't die just because the wings fell off and you need them to come back down.

  • Yard Sale?!?! Wonder where it's gonna land. I could use some supplies. :)
  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <(moc.loa) (ta) (yuGhceTcoHdA)> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @04:13PM (#37195834) Journal
    Though the capacity is rather small, I wonder if the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle [time.com] could carry critical supplies to the ISS? It's designed for quick turn-around and maneuverability. Would have to spacewalk for those supplies, though. No docking system on OTV that I know of.
    • And maybe some new private American ones in a couple of years. Only the Russian may be passenger-rated. Most of these are one-way with no shielding to return to earth. You fill with garbage, and jetison into the ocean if it doesnt burn up first.
      • And yet, in under 6 months, US private dragon will undergo final testing, to be followed by first full cargo launch. Not the couple of years that you claim. Likewise, in 8 months, OSC will be there as well (assuming that all goes well). And Dragon not only has shielding, but it is the ONLY one that is designed to come from Mars/asteroids/etc. Soyuz can only come from the moon and even that is not tested. Thankfully, unlike all others, Dragon lands under chutes so, they will likely have humans up in 3 years.
  • At least it wasn't people.

  • Um. It looks like you folks will have to re-read all that old porn for a while longer.

  • Hooray! The ISS has finally been named! For Mr. Burns!

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

Working...