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Russian Space Agency Determines Cause of Soyuz Crash

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  • This is not an accident that there is a flaw in manufacturing procedure, it's the reality of current Russian political arena, where nobody really gives a s..t about anything and the only important question is - how do I make more money now?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 08, 2011 @08:14PM (#37346998)
      Troo Dat. Not like here in America where we don't give a flying fuck about making money; we only care about making things of the very finest quality.
    • by funkatron (912521)
      They're learning capitalism and it sounds like they're good at it. Who knew?
      • Yeah, because building exploding spacecraft is a surefire way to economic prosperity.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Cheap or reliable. Pick one. Welcome to capitalism.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by LordLucless (582312)

            Uh-huh. Because every other economic system produces highly reliable, cheap goods.

            I think you mean "welcome to reality"

            • Er, no it means: Capitalism often picks cheap over reliable. The AC alluded that other economic system favour reliability more than capitalism.

              • Losing a whole rocket, and cargo therein is not cheap, at all. Capitalism picks the option that maximizes return (in general), choosing cheap parts for the Space Rocket is the opposite of that since you lose rockets, cargo and customers.

                Instead it sounds a lot more like remnants of socialism at work, where your cousin Tedinski runs a motor factory and you are giving him the work over "Super Reliable Motors That Never Fail Inc" because you drink together every day that ends with a "y".

                • That may work in small owner-operated business. As soon as you get corporations with diffuse ownership structure and a leader that really has no stake in the company, the decision between price and quality tends to rest on the question whether the flaws of the cheaper model have a high enough chance to only become apparent after the CEO already jumped ship with his golden parachute.
                • by turgid (580780)

                  "Capitalism" (companies and people that operate in capitalist economies) has come up with things like Lean Six Sigma and other trendy buzz-wordy type things to try to address these issues.

                  What happens is that people and companies "doing capitalism" for the first time haven't got there yet: they've got to the short-term cost-cutting and cheap-as-possible stage.

                  Up until very recently I worked for a company that did Lean Six Sigma very successfully. They've just sold us to an outsourcing company (to do the sam

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by KDR_11k (778916)

              Communism produces neither.

              • by fnj (64210)

                Dude, please engage rational thought. Communism PRODUCED the Soyuz, which has been phenomenally reliable up to the point of this accident.

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by rim_namor (2454342)
                  Dude, Communism produced Soyuz, but where in the world did you get an idea that it was cheap? The entire country was put to work to push the space race forward, the only 'cheap' part of it was labor, which was actually free, as in - slave free labor.
                  • by fnj (64210)

                    Shake head, have a coffee, and try to keep up. The assertion was "communism produced neither [reliable nor cheap goods]. All I have to show to disprove the assertion is that they produced EITHER reliable OR cheap. Check. Nice try, though.

                    As for your silly idea that Soyuz was designed and manufactured by "slave" labor (in 1960s through 1980s Soviet Union) ... guess what? Capitalism milks the fruits of the labor of wage slaves shackled to corporations.

                • by BitZtream (692029)

                  Communism PRODUCED the Soyuz

                  Yea, in about the same way that capitalism produced cotton in America before the Civil War.

                • the Soyuz, which has been phenomenally reliable up to the point of this accident.

                  Let's see.

                  Soyuz had two loss-of-crew accidents over 110 flights.

                  Shuttle had two loss-of-crew accidents over 135 flights.

                  Looks to me like it's been no more reliable than Shuttle, all in all.

                  Now, if you want to count the unmanned version of Soyuz, you get 134 flights (still one fewer than Shuttle), and at least SIX failures.

                  Depending on how you count failures, of course. It's hard to argue that ramming MIR doesn't count as

          • No, it's cheap, reliable, or fast. Pick two. And it's relative to the thing being produced of course. Cheap or reliable is communism. Or rather, monopoly. Which, really, is all communism is.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          We made it to the moon with ones that burn on the launch pad. And I recall some shuttles exploding and/or disintegrating as well. And our economy was great back then. Maybe what we've been missing these last couple years is spacecraft going boom. Maybe we can just dynamite a decommissioned shuttle to fix the economy. Should be a cheap experiment.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            We made it to the moon with ones that burn on the launch pad. And I recall some shuttles exploding and/or disintegrating as well. And our economy was great back then. Maybe what we've been missing these last couple years is spacecraft going boom. Maybe we can just dynamite a decommissioned shuttle to fix the economy. Should be a cheap experiment.

            That's an interesting way to trigger an economic boom.

        • by Anonymous Coward
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, because building exploding spacecraft is a surefire way to economic prosperity.

          Sure, so long as you sell it before it explodes.

        • It is if you're in the arms dealing business.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      This is not an accident that there is a flaw in manufacturing procedure, it's the reality of current Russian political arena, where nobody really gives a s..t about anything and the only important question is - how do I make more money now?

      You mean Russia is becoming Republican?

    • by brillow (917507) on Friday September 09, 2011 @12:59AM (#37348448)

      What are you talking about? The Soyuz rocket has the best track record of any launch vehicle. It's an incredibly well-designed rocket which has not been improved in over a decade.

    • by damburger (981828) on Friday September 09, 2011 @02:49AM (#37348840)
      The Soyuz rocket has redundancy upon redundancy, to accomodate for just this kind of manufacturing error, and normally it works as evidenced by the incredible reliability of the rocket. Consider the fact that, when first introduced, it had to deal with 1960s Soviet quality control on its parts. Sometimes, of course, even the best precaution fails. You can't draw conclusions about the entire state of Russian society based on a single wonky gas generator...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You DO know you can say shit on slashdot, right? I mean fuck, man! There are no word police here.

  • This is good news. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by conspirator23 (207097) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @08:21PM (#37347036)

    In fact it is better and faster news than many people feared. It suggests a by-the-numbers path to return the Soyuz to service. In turn, this dramatically lowers the risk that we will need to evacuate the ISS and suffer any negative consequences associated with that.

    (We now return you to this thread's excessively random spew.)

    • by wvmarle (1070040)
      Particularly fast. It's been barely two weeks since that launch failed, and already they figured out what happened. Impressive.
  • That was not Soyuz, it was Progress - space truck.
  • was the real problem
  • by vaene (1981644)
    Was sure this fault of Moose or Squirrel... Must now carve new gas generator!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Space Failures Raise Uneasy Questions [themoscowtimes.com] - The Russian Space Industry starved after the fall of the USSR. The workforce aged and retired and there was a lack of new hires due to non-competitive pay scales with industry. Now the agency faces a lack of skilled workers that will only worsen as corruption has devoured all capital investments. New engineers and technicians take years to become proficient, it's not like working at you're local 7-11 as some folks seem to think.
    You can draw a direct parallel to th

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hello. This is Russian Space Agency. My Name Peggy. You Have Problem With Our Rocket?

    • Reminds me of a cartoon I saw back in the 70's about the Apollo-Soyuz rendezvous. It showed the two spacecraft, each with a "word-balloon", under the caption, "Checklist."

      The Apollo word-balloon was filled with technical-sounding gibberish like, "Primary backup thrust inverters... Check! Docking-ring framulator extenders... Check!"

      The Soyuz word-balloon said, "Anvil... Da! Hammer... Da!"

      I wish I'd saved that one. ;-)

  • by slinches (1540051) on Friday September 09, 2011 @12:59AM (#37348446)

    In the second link it says that a defect led to a "clogged fuel supply pipe". They don't seem to specify which part was faulty or what the defect actually was. Did a valve stick or maybe a turbopump failed. The way it's worded somebody could have left their lunch in the fuel tank.

    Anybody know where there's more specific information?

    • by damburger (981828)

      They may be describing the same failure mode.

      The gas generator is basically a turbine connected by a shaft to the fuel and oxidiser pumps. On most modern rockets, its turned by either fuel that has been heated by pumping it around the engine bell and combustion chamber (which has the added bonus of cooling it) or by pre-burning a small quantity of the propellants. Soyuz engines are unusual in that the turbine is powered by a supply of hydrogen peroxide separate from the fuel and oxidiser.

      Saying that a gas g

      • by slinches (1540051)

        Thanks. That information on the Soyuz is helpful. I was just trying to point out that the information that has been released is not very specific. I'm an aerospace engineer analyzing turbine engines, so I do understand what a gas generator is and the energy that these spinning disks contain. In fact, I've been involved in root cause investigations of turbine failures and know how difficult it can be to track down the true culprit even with all of the hardware in hand, let alone when the evidence is scat

        • by damburger (981828)

          I can think of 3 possibilities:

          1. They got telemetry transmitted to the ground that let them see the failure in real time. Rockets have a hell of a lot more sensors than an aircraft, and the Americans have pushed the Russians to include more in the Soyuz rocket, during the ASTP in the 70s and then again during the ISS project.

          2. They found a bit of fuel pipe with a bit of turbine in it, and jumped to a conclusion.

          3. They are guessing, under political pressure to provide a quick answer and get Russia's most

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Orders came down from the top (Medvedev, likely speaking for Putin) to find the problem. That means that a problem needs to be found and some sort of action taken. Now, it's entirely possible that the engineers looked over the data and were able to pinpoint the problem. However, it is also entirely possible that the engineers did not have enough data to figure out the problem in a reasonable timeframe, so "management" asked them to brainstorm a few hypotheses, picked something that sounded plausible and did

    • Neither of TFAs said whether or not they expect to get back in service in time for the crew exchange in November. From the SFgate piece, it sounds like they're planning to go ahead, but one has to wonder if that's realistic.

    • by c6gunner (950153)

      They don't seem to specify which part was faulty or what the defect actually was. Did a valve stick or maybe a turbopump failed.

      For some reason I read that as "turnip-pump", and it made perfect sense.

  • There was a test (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There was an urgent full-cycle test of Soyuz rocket engine RD-0110 (from the same batch which include failed one) at the test range near russian city Voronezh right after Progress has crashed. Defect inspection after firing test showed no mistakes in manufacturing or defects in materials used, so decision-makers marked this Progress crash with "shit happens" bit, and allowed remaining engines form the batch to be used on purpose.

  • before certifying Soyuz of US astronaut transport. That makes a pretty tight schedule for staffing the Space Station. The last Soyuz lifeboat on the ISS loses its safety rating in November. Soyuzes are given a 200 day safety lifetime mainly due to life-support supplies.
    • You know, the Russians can chose to send their own cosmonauts up to staff the ISS whenever the hell they want to. They don't have to send American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts up on the same flight. So, technically, they could send up their own cosmonauts to staff the ISS for two flights before even considering adding American astronauts into the mix.
  • Must have forgotten to feed the hamsters I bet

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