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Space Science

Russia Botches Another Rocket Launch 119

astroengine writes "Three hours before a new crew arrived at the International Space Station on Friday, bringing the outpost back up to full staff for the first time in months, Russia racked up its fifth launch accident within a year. A Soyuz-2 rocket carrying a military communications satellite failed to reach orbit after blastoff from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia. The botched launch is again due to an upper-stage engine problem."
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Russia Botches Another Rocket Launch

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  • No Vodka! (Score:2, Funny)

    by oldhack ( 1037484 )
    No more vodka for ruskies!
    • by ae1294 ( 1547521 )

      They build rockets better when their drunk!

      • by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:34PM (#38476020)
        Triple the vodka for ruskies!
        • Re:No Vodka! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:34PM (#38476704) Journal

          So the Ruskies follow the Ballmer Peak [xkcd.com] when it comes to rocket building?

          Personally i though Gerald Bull had the right idea for launching unmanned payloads when he came up with the idea of using something similar to HAARP as a "space gun" but he simply didn't have the technology to make it work. Now that we have both rail and coil guns it should be easier to accomplish and ultimately lower the cost of putting objects into space. you could build the barrel on the side of one of those South Pacific islands we've had since WWII, build a small reactor to power the thing, maybe even use a small rocket for the final push after the energy from the firing has been expended so you won't have to build as big a gun.

          Ultimately I think we need to be trying radical new ideas as both us and the ruskies are basically using the same tech we stole off the Nazis at the end of WWII. We are never gonna get very far using nothing but chemical rockets and the cost per pound even after improvements is frankly nuts so we need to be working on tech that will let us launch material cheaply and effectively so we can then look beyond the moon towards mars and maybe even the outer planets. If we could send up the pieces via space gun we could then assemble the rocket in LEO and with a little luck we might even end up with a Mars base in our lifetime, but sticking with chemical rockets I doubt we're gonna be able to move the amount of cargo we'd need to be moving to make longer trips feasible.

          • Re:No Vodka! (Score:5, Informative)

            by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot@noSPAm.ideasmatter.org> on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:05PM (#38478552) Journal

            Personally i though Gerald Bull had the right idea for launching unmanned payloads when he came up with the idea of using something similar to HAARP as a "space gun" but he simply didn't have the technology to make it work. Now that we have both rail and coil guns it should be easier to accomplish and ultimately lower the cost of putting objects into space. you could build the barrel on the side of one of those South Pacific islands we've had since WWII, build a small reactor to power the thing, maybe even use a small rocket for the final push after the energy from the firing has been expended so you won't have to build as big a gun.

            The atmosphere is the problem with cannon-style launches as Bull proposed. The higher up you can position the muzzle of your launcher, the less muzzle velocity you need, and therefore the less energy you need, and the less accelleration the payload must endure, and the less heat the projectile must resist. So an island at sea level is the very worst place to position your laucher (save perhaps for Death Valley).

            Inside a mountain in the Himalayas or Rockies would be a far better choice, with the muzzle emerging at the peak which is already halfway out of the atmosphere (and completely out of the dense, dusty, insect-filled, and humid part of the atmosphere).

            The launch accelleration is a more serious constraint than probably any other aspect of the project.

            • Re:No Vodka! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by joggle ( 594025 ) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @01:06AM (#38479502) Homepage Journal

              There's also a limit to how much an ablative heat shield can endure. After a certain point, the contents behind the heat shield will bake.

              It would be best if the mountain was near water so that if there's a launch failure there's less danger of ground casualties and it also gives a splashdown option for the astronauts.

              Perhaps Mauna Kea in Hawaii would be a good spot for such a launch. It's near the equator too so there would be a little extra velocity from the rotation of the earth for a prograde orbit.

              • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

                Let me just be sure on this.

                You're advocating that the United States builds a giant railgun on a volcano. Are you trying to upgrade us from villains to supervillains? What's next, every Congressman gets a white cat and a monocle?

                • by joggle ( 594025 )

                  That volcano isn't too active. We already have a couple of observatories on top of it.

          • by cranq ( 61540 )

            I like the idea of laser propulsion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_propulsion/ [wikipedia.org]. For example, how about the Heat Exchanger (HX) variant, where your rocket is just a big water tank with a nozzle on the bottom and a payload on top. You shine ground based lasers on the water tank (or dedicated heat exchanger) and the water heats up, squirts out the bottom, and you're off to the races.

            It's nice because you leave all the complicated stuff on the ground, and if you use many lasers in parallel, an individual

        • Re:No Vodka! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:46PM (#38477926) Homepage Journal

          You really don't understand the maintenance of alcoholism, do you? To much booze, and they're worthless. To little booze, and they are worse than worthless. You have to know the individual alcoholic, and maintain him at the proper level for maximum production, while keeping an eye on that weak link, the liver. At some point, the liver will fail, but you want to maximize production, while balancing a possible reduction of useful life.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tomhudson ( 43916 )
        Maybe it helps to be a bit drunk to hitch a ride on one of those things.

        Though given a chance, even if the odds were 5% ending up as an "IN SOVIET RUSSIA, rocket does NOT launch YOU!" joke, there'd be no shortage of volunteers for something like a Mars mission.

        How many of us, when we were kids, would have been willing to risk a 50/50 chance for a moon ride?

        • Hell, I'm over 50, and I'd still volunteer for a Mars mission, given a 50/50 chance of failure! The moon? Better make that an 80% or better chance of success. Mars is where it's at!

  • Why so angry? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NitroWolf ( 72977 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:31PM (#38475986)

    The summary reads like an angry teenager implying that they could do better.

    Really? Do yo have any idea how hard it is to actually manage launching something like that in to space? We should be more amazed when everything goes right and a rocket actually makes it there. The rocket failing is, of course, not a good thing... but at least they are trying in the face of failure, instead of giving up and whining about for a decade like the US did after the shuttle disasters.

    Launching a rocket into space is a marvel of just about every discipline involved.

    • Actually that's the tone of the Discovery News story. I was somewhat surprised at the tone too when I read the story earlier.

    • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:38PM (#38476082)

      Because if the Russians can't launch rockets anymore who are the US going to pay to send stuff into space [executivegov.com] for them ?

      "NASA is reportedly paying Russia $1.5 billion over the next five years to transport its astronauts to and from the International Space Station."

    • Re:Why so angry? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Trepidity ( 597 ) <`delirium-slashdot' `at' `hackish.org'> on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:39PM (#38476086)

      The Soyuz-2 is also not particularly unsuccessful [wikipedia.org], with 1 failure and 1 "partial failure" out of 17 launches.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If by "whining about" you mean "taking time to fully investigate what went wrong and correct errors" and by "giving up" you mean "trying again when ready" then sure. Two shuttle losses in 30 years and 135 missions. The American's "giving up and whining about" seems to be working for them.

      Meanwhile, Russia's strategy, which you seem to like, has resulted in 5 fuckups in a single year.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        You know how many Soyuz craft have been launched?
    • On the other hand, the Space Shuttle (for example) had only 2 catastrophic failures out of 135 launches. Can't seem to find a list of NASA's failures or how frequent they were, but 5 in one year seems like an awful lot.

      but at least they are trying in the face of failure, instead of giving up and whining about for a decade like the US did after the shuttle disasters.

      Yes, "whining", by launching the shuttles dozens of times afterwards. And then retiring them like they should have done 20 years ago.

    • Indeed. Look at practically every rocket from any country (yes, even the United States), and notice that there are numerous failures spread throughout the launch history. Luckily, almost all of these are unmanned. The true tragedies are the manned missions that result in loss of life. Consequently, there are far higher standards for a manned launch (part of the reason it's so incredibly expensive to send humans into space).

    • Really? Do yo have any idea how hard it is to actually manage launching something like that in to space? We should be more amazed when everything goes right and a rocket actually makes it there.

      The only reason that commercial air travel is as safe as it is, is because nobody listened to your grandpa when he said the same thing in 1912.

      • That doesn't make rocket science any easier. Rockets are fundamentally about strapping a bomb to your underside and hoping that a very controlled explosion takes place away from you.

        • We do a lot of things that aren't easy. Putting over a billion transistors on a chip the size of a stamp and doing almost a trillion calculations per second with them isn't easy. Extracting enough energy to run a city from a few glow-in-the-dark rocks isn't easy. Even ordinary air travel requires continuous hard work from a large number of highly skilled people to perform efficiently and safely. None of these things are 'solved problems,' yet we still do them, and we get better at them over time.

          Rocket

          • by f3rret ( 1776822 )

            We do a lot of things that aren't easy. Putting over a billion transistors on a chip the size of a stamp and doing almost a trillion calculations per second with them isn't easy. Extracting enough energy to run a city from a few glow-in-the-dark rocks isn't easy. Even ordinary air travel requires continuous hard work from a large number of highly skilled people to perform efficiently and safely. None of these things are 'solved problems,' yet we still do them, and we get better at them over time.

            Rocket science may be a difficult endeavor, but that's no excuse for it to become less reliable over time.

            Well yeah...But rocket science is a whole different kind of difficult.

    • It was botched and it was the 5th failure. What is wrong with stating that? If it was an American launch there would be 2 dozen far worse taunting posts about it.

            And, for what it is worth, I *do* know exactly how hard it is to launch something like that into space.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Americans figure if you don't launch any rockets then you can't botch any launches. The country without a real space program should stay quiet.
    • Re:Why so angry? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Gideon Wells ( 1412675 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:29PM (#38476628)

      Maybe they are angry for the same reason I am. We had a space program that was scrapped instead of trying to fix it for politics reasons. These are the guys we were going to bum off of.

      It is like we sold our Hummer because of the pathetic gas mileage with plans on getting a hybrid, decided the hybrid cost too much, and the best idea would be to pay out neighbor gas money to ride along in his duct-tape on wheels mobile.

      • by arose ( 644256 )
        Maybe you could stick to being angry instead of lashing out at the neighbor? So you sold one overpriced car and didn't buy another... Maybe you should have bought a subcompact too.
      • Something had to go and education had already been cut back more than made sense since the 1980s. The space program may have not cost a lot in relative terms but many in politics saw it as something the USA could afford to lose. It's a fairly obvious consequence when even someone like Rumsfeld was seen as an intellectual.
    • Re:Why so angry? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cochonou ( 576531 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:37PM (#38476752) Homepage
      We all agree that launching space vehicles is hard. But yes, the Russian could do better, because they are among the best designers of launch vehicles, if not THE best. Something very wrong is currently happening within the Russian space industry, and it's quite a disturbing sight.
      • Re:Why so angry? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vadim Makarov ( 529622 ) <makarov@vad1.com> on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:44PM (#38478782) Homepage
        Something very wrong is currently happening within the Russian space industry

        My theory is that between 1990 and about 2004, the Russian space industry lost and could hardly retain any yound engineers. As the result, it now lacks the most professional and mature 40-50 something space engineers who have energy to lead design projects. The few old workers who weathered the dark years are getting retired, while the last generation taken in the last few years hasn't yet got the experience.
    • by Eevee ( 535658 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:49PM (#38476868)

      The summary reads like an angry teenager implying that they could do better.

      Because they can do better. Starting from the Soviet Union days, the Soyez [astronautix.com] launch systems had an amazing success record. All the problems they've recently point to a falling of standards. From the bottom of the page:

      But as a space launcher, the R-7, with upper stages, became the most successful in history. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with a success rate of 97.5% for production models.

    • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak@yaHORSEhoo.com minus herbivore> on Friday December 23, 2011 @07:09PM (#38477078) Homepage Journal

      The only access to the ISS is via the Russian Soyuz, right now, and this will remain the case for at least 20 years - the time it'll take for a functional Shuttle replacement to be designed, built, tested and launched given the current available funding (or lack thereof), the very limited number of rocket designers in the US (rockets are updated regularly, but when was the last time the US actually invented one from scratch through to completion?) and the extreme age of all existing launch facilities.

      If a Soyuz carrying US astronauts reaches orbit but cannot dock with the ISS, the astronauts will be stranded. There's no rescue service possible. (Even with the Shuttle, there was a case where Russia almost did lose a Soyuz capsule with astronaut in space - it would have taken far too long for a Shuttle to have been readied and the altitude would have made it extremely difficult if not impossible.) More likely, if a stage failed, the rocket would be remotely destroyed along with the crew. Or it would smear itself over the landscape with much the same effect. We're increasingly aware that space is unsafe, but nobody is willing to stump up the cash to make it safe enough. It would also require total trust and cooperation between the US and Russia - and that would be political suicide for anyone in either country to suggest, let alone try.

      • if a stage failed, the rocket would be remotely destroyed along with the crew

        There was such thing on the STS (in case it badly veered off the course into America's populated areas during launch), but I've never heard of a remote destroy mechanism on Russian manned space launches. There is a remotely activated capsule rescue-and-landing sequence, though.
      • by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @12:22AM (#38479316)

        Next time do even some research before spreading worthless garbage. Did a Russian rape your mother or something?

        Seriously, I can't find one sentence in what you wrote that isn't false, that's downright impressive.

        this will remain the case for at least 20 years

        The Space X Dragon Capsule had it's first test flight in 2010.

        the time it'll take for a functional Shuttle replacement to be designed, built, tested and launched given the current available funding (or lack thereof)

        The Shuttle was a giant worthless dangerous money sink that should never be resurrected.

        rockets are updated regularly, but when was the last time the US actually invented one from scratch through to completion?

        Falcon 9- First Launch in 2010
        Antares- First Launch to be in 2012

        extreme age of all existing launch facilities.

        I wish someone invented some way of building new things, boy would that be a wonder. Also, SpaceX is building a launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base right now. Guess someone did invent a way.

        If a Soyuz carrying US astronauts reaches orbit but cannot dock with the ISS, the astronauts will be stranded. There's no rescue service possible.

        So the ISS is populated by magical fairies that give the Soyuz their magic to get back to Earth and it can't de-orbit without their help?

        More likely, if a stage failed, the rocket would be remotely destroyed along with the crew. Or it would smear itself over the landscape with much the same effect.

        Unlike the stupidly dangerous Shuttle, the Soyuz system is perfectly capable of ejecting the capsule to safety even before launch. In fact, in one instance the they did do just that moments before the rocket exploded on the tarmac. Everyone survived.

        We're increasingly aware that space is unsafe, but nobody is willing to stump up the cash to make it safe enough.

        The Soyuz hasn't killed anyone in forty years, despite probably being run in a borderline criminally negligible manner for the last twenty. The Shuttle was handled with kid gloves in comparison and we still lost two of them. A capsule is just inherently an order of magnitude easier to shove with safety and failsafe features. More than once the Soyuz has reentered the atmosphere upside down while still strapped to it's orbital module. No one died. Imagine if the Shuttle did that.

        It would also require total trust and cooperation between the US and Russia - and that would be political suicide for anyone in either country to suggest, let alone try.

        The Russians seem to be doing rather well so far and I don't doubt SpaceX won't have much trouble either.

    • by Morty ( 32057 )

      The summary reads like an angry teenager implying that they could do better.

      The Russians had a reputation for rocket reliability. They previously marketed based on that reputation, releasing press releases after successful launches trumpeting how much more reliable they were. They are now rapidly losing that reputation. This will impact their competitiveness in the launch market.

      And it isn't just US media saying it. After the Phobos-Grunt launch failure, Medvedev threatened to punish those responsible. [reuters.com]

      but at least they are trying in the face of failure, instead of giving up and whining about for a decade like the US did after the shuttle disasters.

      This is robotic spacecraft, not manned space. The US has not even paused in

    • I like your attitude. And, I'm tired of hearing my country whining. We see the same problem with "unemployment" among the younger generation. If the little fuckers won't get off their asses, they will never succeed at anything.

      I heard my dad say a thousand times, "Do something, right or wrong." I've lived my life that way. I just can't sit around and watch life pass me by. Today's America is doing exactly that. Space exploration gone stagnant, jobs being exported, science and engineering pretty much

  • ... if USA didn't ditched the Space Shuttle program too soon...

    • Re:Wondering ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:46PM (#38476154)

      They ditched it at the right time, the problem is that we let budget cutters prevent NASA from funding the replacement we should have had 15 years ago. I remember in the late '80s seeing speculation about what the next space vehicles were going to look like. It's been over 20 years since then and they still haven't produced a final prototype.

      This stuff is complicated, but it's hard for me to believe that they couldn't have produced a retooled shuttle with newer innovations in 20 years time. At very least they ought to have been able to redo the controls and keep the same basic design. It's complicated, but hardly new territory like it was when they built the first shuttles.

      • Re:Wondering ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak@yaHORSEhoo.com minus herbivore> on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:57PM (#38476970) Homepage Journal

        I think you need an "s" on the end of "replacement". NASA has shut down a staggering number of Shuttle replacement projects over the years. Politicians also caused many of the problems that eventually killed the Shuttle (such as causing the boosters to be chopped up for long-distance transport, removing the escape mechanisms that the original Shuttle design was supposed to have, slashing the budget to the point where the Shuttle was too small to carry the payloads intended and/or needed, etc).

        There was an effort to keep the Shuttle program going for a couple of years, but by the time it was in a position to do anything, all the factories had been shut down, all the expertise had been dissipated and all the infrastructure had been repurposed. So the effort came to nothing.

        It would have been good if NASA and Russia had been free to work together to get the Russian Shuttle fully operational, but US law prohibited any such international project at the time and still interferes horribly with collaboration with other nations today. You don't do space solo. You especially don't do space solo on a shoestring budget, a packet of airline peanuts and a promise by Government appointees to not blow you up next time.

    • Actually we should have ditched it a decade earlier as it was a dead end and never fulfilled its original purpose. What i don't understand is why we aren't working on man rating the Delta IV or Atlas V as those rockets have been pretty damned successful and would take less time than the clusterfuck that was the Orion program since you'd be starting off with a well vetted system.

      Sadly though without the Cold War to keep their butts in line we'll just have to let private enterprise take care of it because a

    • ... if USA didn't ditched the Space Shuttle program too soon...

      Of course they did. Yeah, the Shuttles were expensive. But you do not replace a platform until you have a replacement ready to go. A real replacement, not pie in the sky stuff like the Orion program.

      The reality is, it would be too expensive to refurbish existing shuttles. We'd be better off just building new ones in that case. But either we have to come up with a new rocket soon, or try something like bundling several Titan rockets together. Because it's not terribly bright to leave the fate of our heavy li

  • by Das Auge ( 597142 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:34PM (#38476022)
    Couldn't the submitter couch the phrasing in something sympathetic. Yes, it's the Russian's 5th failed attempt, but rocket science is...rocket science. It's not easy.

    A lot of Russians put effort in trying to get it right. Why verbally piss on them like that?

    Disclosure, I'm American.
  • Since it was a military satellite, they can destroy as many of them as they want, we don't need them to be able to find an excuse to NUKE.

  • I would actually call this a partial success, since usually when an American rocket "fails" it tends to explode horribly but I guess that is the down side of using two huge solid boosters on your rockets.

    P.S. American here
    • by Morty ( 32057 )

      usually when an American rocket "fails" it tends to explode horribly but I guess that is the down side of using two huge solid boosters on your rockets.

      "Usually"? The recent US rocket failures have not been explosions, either. For example, the failure with Glory was a fairing separation problem.

  • The US military superiority complex overlooks effective tactics in chess game of a post-soviet cold war space program.

    An anti-counter-missile-assault-defense testing propaganda free press strategy that masquerades as a failure of Russian technology.

    The "Bay of Possums" or Sputtering Sputnik Space Race
  • by John3 ( 85454 ) <john3@nOsPaM.cornells.com> on Friday December 23, 2011 @05:52PM (#38476228) Homepage Journal

    FTFA:

    "There is aging of many resources. We need to optimize everything. We need to modernize," Popovkin said.

    "It’s also aging of human resources," he added. "Given the troubles we had in the '90s, quite a lot of people left and nobody came to replace them."

    Maybe some of those things should be done before you just fire off another rocket. Those sound like serious, deeply-rooted issues. To do "rocket science" you need "rocket scientists" and apparently quite a lot of them have left the program.

    • Rocket science is elementary. Rocket engineering is the hard part...
    • It's not just that they have left the program. It's that they have left the country.

      And I very much doubt the jobs pay well - government jobs in Russia are usually bottom of the barrel, pay-wise - so few people would want to get into this now.

  • I was somewhat surprised at the tone too when I read the story earlier.
  • Wouldn't that be ironic: they end up using American rockets to launch unmanned missions, and the US is using Russian rockets to launch American astronauts.

  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:07PM (#38476368)

    It seems most people see launching things into LEO is routine but talking with people who actually do the work (instead of armchair QB and paperpushers on the upper floors), rockets are very complex with so many parts and components. All (with exception of items covered by redundancy) must work in order to achieve speed and altitude to sustain orbit. Are they scaling back someplace that impacts quality? Of course USA hasn't had big failures with human carrying vehicles since 2003 (but then we don't fly such anymore).

    Sorry, I cannot come up with a "In Soviet Russia..." or a car analogy. But this thread is just begging for one.

  • Really inappropriate word. This shit is really hard.

  • Things fall apart... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damburger ( 981828 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @06:26PM (#38476582)

    Nothing seems to work quite right these days, does it? The Russians can't launch rockets from a family of launch vehicles that has over half a century of heritage. The currency of continental Europe is on the verge of collapse and the French and Germans are near powerless to stop it. Stimulus packages on top of bailouts have failed to make a dent in a global crisis that has now been going on for three fucking years.

    Do we have some kind of species-wide dementia or something? Why can't we do stuff anymore that we used to be able to do?

    • Who is John Galt?
      • Ayn Rand? Seriously?

        If anything, going on the comments the Russians are making, they are suffering from a lack of socialism not an excess. R-7 derived rockets became very reliable towards the end of the Soviet era.

        Speaking of which, Ayn Rands most infamous brainfart, Atlas Shrugged, which claimed that only capitalists were capable of innovation, was released about a week after Sputnik was put into orbit. That is some pretty epic timing fail LOL

        • Meh, I was just poking fun at your somewhat dismal view of the current state of affairs. But since you brought up the subject, Ayn Rand "claimed" (quote marks because it was just a novel, after all) a great many things in that book, some silly, some outlandish, some insightful... but she did not claim that.
          • Someone sensing that there is widespread institutional failure around the world isn't necessarily being dismal. I have hope for us being able to pull out of this nosedive. No fucking idea how, of course...
    • Do we have some kind of species-wide dementia or something? Why can't we do stuff anymore that we used to be able to do?

      Because we're driven by the almighty dollar in a race to the lowest common denominator. Where it's better to plan obsolescence into products so that the customer needs to buy a new one over and over again. More resources consumed, more money exchanged, more GDP.

      Short term gains over long term quality.

    • by KZigurs ( 638781 )

      In short? A politicians (postulated) wet dream of equality for all over last few decades with corresponding onsets of affirmative action and good sprinkling of PC has pretty much destroyed last two generations. So yeah, we are all equally dumb now.

      And then there's the old quote at the end of the cold war (can't quite find who said that now though): "We are going to do to you most cruel thing possible - take away your enemy".

  • Being, more or less, bombs with a big leak at one end. I am amazed every time one burns out before it blows up.
  • There are always problems with any Space Travel. The Rocket is nearly 50 years old for gods sake! NASA knows that they cannot continue with their space program or shuttle due to the amount of space debris it creates and this is a serious problem for all craft.

    Most people are not told about the knocking out of satellites and the threats. But the international space station is just a piece of space junk. Either way you shall see the Russians' excel in space travel.

    NASA needs to get a grip and tell the truth!

  • If the Russian rockets are having so many issues can anyone tell me why they aren't using JAXA (Japan) or ISRO (India) rockets? Cost issues? Technological limitations? I know the JAXA rockets put up satellites and probes, they put a satellite up about two weeks ago... but I honestly don't know much past that.

  • want to kill private space in AMerica while sending our launches to Russia. Just amazing. Neo-cons are doing more to destroy not just space, but America.
  • I hope they solve the problem soon

  • That's right I am Flash Gordon. Dispatch war rocket AJAX to bring back his body!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ..shouldn't throw stones.. :)

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