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ISS Space Science

Russia Close To Findings On Soyuz and Proton 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
First time accepted submitter neBelcnU writes "It's still early, but there are findings for the recent losses of a Proton and Soyuz rockets. There was a procedural error in the Proton's flight planning, and the 3rd stage gas-generator is the center of attention in the Soyuz. From the article: 'The Soyuz investigation has not formally issued its findings or recommended corrective actions. A launch schedule for the next manned flight to the International Space Station will not be decided until the commission completes its work.'"
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Russia Close To Findings On Soyuz and Proton

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  • Obligatory? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lifyre (960576) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @02:28PM (#37268166)

    In Soviet Russia rockets launch you!

    It is good to see they at least have an idea for what has caused the issue.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @03:17PM (#37268734)
      Oh, I have a good one too.

      and the 3rd stage gas-generator is the center of attention in the Soyuz

      Above quote must be referring to Dmitri Medvedev, 3rd president of Russia since Soviet Union ("Soyuz" in Russian)... hehe, "gas generator", hehe.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, soyuz only means union.. could be referring to USA, EU, or any other kind of union/alliance.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Actually, soyuz only means union...

          That explains it. A union was to blame. Why am I not surprised?

        • by wiedzmin (1269816)

          Actually, soyuz only means union.. could be referring to USA, EU, or any other kind of union/alliance.

          I disagree. While the exact translation is indeed "union", referring to "soyuz" in ex-soviet countries implies Soviet Union. Just like saying "states" in US usually implies United States and not mental states or states of a matter.

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @02:37PM (#37268266)
    As far as I know, the issue with the Proton was entirely software related and relatively simple to correct once it was found. Mostly because the software isn't destroyed during an accident.

    The issue with the Soyuz is hardware related and doesn't have that benefit. There is something wrong with the gas generator of the turbo pumps, that pump oxygen and rocket fuel into the burning cambers. (Which is using hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate to drive them, just like the old German V2 rocket IIRC.) Without having any leftovers to inspect after the failure, it's going to be much harder to ascertain whether its origin has been found or not. But they should be able to find it.
  • by LanMan04 (790429) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @02:39PM (#37268286)

    They just had an ex-astronaut on NPR yesterday talking about how they'd have to evacuate the ISS by mid-November if Soyuz craft weren't flying again by that time.

    The ex-astronaut said that was a REALLY short time-frame for an investigation to be conducted and corrections to be made, so he was quite fearful that we'd have to leave the ISS unmanned.

    Maybe that won't be the case!

  • Just think, if we still had the space shuttle, this would be a non-issue. Thanks US gov't!

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Just think, if we still had the space shuttle, this would be a non-issue. Thanks US gov't!

      Except the 'rescue plan' for the shuttle was that next time the heat shield was fatally damaged the crew would hang around at the space station until a couple of Soyuz capsules could take them back... otherwise you'd have to launch another shuttle and hope the same thing didn't happen on that launch.

      The real truth is that this is what happens when you design a system with a single point of failure. Having lost a couple of rockets the Russians can now say they need billions to redesign components before the

      • Except the 'rescue plan' for the shuttle was that next time the heat shield was fatally damaged the crew would hang around at the space station until a couple of Soyuz capsules could take them back... otherwise you'd have to launch another shuttle and hope the same thing didn't happen on that launch.

        Well, in fairness to the Shuttle, the rescue plan was not entirely sensible. Afterall, the safety records are very, very similar. They have both lost two launches, but the shuttle has launched more in total. But

        • Soyuz Rocket - Launches 1700
          Shuttle - Launches 135

          In what way is the Shuttle ".. a much more proven launch system. It has put more orbiters and a lot more people into space than Soyuz .." ...or are you only counting one variant of the Soyuz, in which case which of the three variants currently used are you counting ?

          This is the advantage of evolving a system rather than scrapping everything and redesigning from scratch every so often

      • Having lost a couple of rockets the Russians can now say they need billions to redesign components before the next Soyuz launch and NASA either pay up or leave ISS empty.

        Ooooohh. And the lost ship was just carrying food and fuel. Got it.

  • Does Nasa have any plan to have 1 more shuttle launch. There was some talk of having a backup shuttle lunch ready to fly but not a plan to have a mission.

    Is there the parts out there to slap a mission together to get to the ISS.

    • Even if it could fly, all the shuttle could do would be to swap the 6 people up there for 6 different people. The issue is that the soyuz spacecraft already at the station have to come back to earth in October and November, as they cannot stay in orbit for more than 6 months without failing. Without new soyuz to replace the old, there would be no way for astronauts to escape back to earth - and, therefore, no astronauts.
    • by dlgeek (1065796)
      The plan you're thinking about became STS-135. They had to prep the shuttle, etc as a rescue backup for STS-134 which was the last scheduled mission. There was a lot of talk about converting it to a full mission if they could get funding. They eventually did, and it flew with a crew of only 4, so that they didn't need a shuttle backup (they could stay on the station and return via Soyuz capsules).

      There is pretty much no way to resurrect the shuttle fleet at this point. The orbiters are being dismantled an
    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      Not any more.

      That backup shuttle launch you're talking about already flew. It was STS-135 Atlantis. Originally STS-134 was to be the last shuttle launch, with Atlantis as backup rescue vehicle. In the end they found the money to launch Atlantis (it was nearly ready to launch, otherwise it couldn't have been the backup). The problem was that it didn't have a backup, which they solved by flying a smaller crew, so they could be evacuated by soyuz if needed.
      As far as I know, it used the very last external fuel

    • They're well on their way to being museum pieces. Much has already been removed from the shuttles, including the highly important Space Shuttle Main Engines; those are to be used on SLS whenever that gets around to being constructed.

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