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ISS Communications Space Transportation

Soyuz Capsule Return Marred By Mystery Communications Blackout 97

astroengine writes "An unexplained communications loss left flight controllers unable to speak with three space station crew returning to Earth over Kazakhstan during the last 15 minutes of their descent Thursday night. The first indication that the capsule survived its fiery plunge through the atmosphere was a series of beeps signaling components of the Soyuz had been jettisoned as planned. Later, ground controllers picked up signals that the Soyuz's parachutes had deployed, but it wasn't until a Russian recovery aircraft established two-way radio communications with the crew that flight controllers knew all was well."
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Soyuz Capsule Return Marred By Mystery Communications Blackout

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  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Friday September 16, 2011 @12:36PM (#37421678)

    On the other hand, if you're expecting to have communication and communication drops out, that means something is wrong. And something being wrong on a manned vehicle is what you might call "a bad thing".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2011 @12:44PM (#37421780)

    Their radio broke. This isn't the first time that something has failed on a Soyuz capsule, and it won't be the last. Twice, the explosive bolts holding on the service module failed to fire. They had that 3rd stage failure a few months ago. They've had capsules land so far off course it has taken hours to get the helicopter there. And so on and so forth.

    Do you know what all of these accidents have in common? They haven't lost a crewmember in 30 years...

  • by SpiralSpirit ( 874918 ) on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:00PM (#37422674)
    Only by accident. If that third stage failure had a soyuz carrying astronauts in it, they'd all be dead. Same is true for a half dozen other incidents at least - soyuz TMA-11, Soyuz TMA-1, June 1997 a module of the mir space station was punctured and depressurized during a mid space collision between mir, spektr, and progress, etc etc. The US suffered some catastrophic tragedies with Columbia and Challenger, losing 7 astronauts per incident. It doesn't mean soviet engineering is at all better.

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