Failed Soyuz Launch

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Bishop149
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Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Bishop149 » Thu, 11. Oct 18, 13:41

The lastest expedition (57) to the ISS has failed to get there.

https://www.space.com/42097-soyuz-rocke ... -crew.html

As far as I can gather the final burn to inject the capsule into LEO failed, meaning the trajectory of the launch basically became a sub-orbital ballistic parabola.
Until today the Soyuz-FG rocket had a 100% success rate in 65 launches. But the capsule has landed safely and both astronauts are fine, so as malfunctions in space craft go a very good outcome!

I'm interested to know more details, it says the capsule failed to separate from the boosters but that can't be true. I can't imagine a Soyuz can land safely with a great hunk of metal still attached to its back end.

Edit: Wow, I'm reading that this might mean an uncrewed ISS. Soyuz (currently the only way to get people up) will now be grounded until they find out what went wrong and depending on how long that takes they might have to bring the current crew of 3 back before the investigation is complete.
Last edited by Bishop149 on Thu, 11. Oct 18, 17:48, edited 1 time in total.
"Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, you'll end up co-orbiting the Sun alongside Earth, living out your days alone in the void within sight of the lush, welcoming home you left behind." - XKCD

pjknibbs
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by pjknibbs » Thu, 11. Oct 18, 16:56

I would be surprised if they allow the ISS to become uncrewed, because if that happens the thing basically dies--it needs regular maintenance to keep it going, not to mention that it's in such a low orbit that it has to be boosted by the supply rockets every now and again to avoid re-entry.

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Morkonan
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Morkonan » Thu, 11. Oct 18, 17:13

Just another article link: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/11/europe/s ... index.html

When I heard it announced, the stated reason was that the booster failed to ignite/run/get fired/etc. I would think there's a separation failsafe, though I can see that if that was used then the mission would have to be scrubbed, since it'd be an emergency measure.

The ISS can be left uncrewed, but it's not a good idea. As far as orbit boosts are concerned, I think those are done remotely, anyway.

I remember when they were working on an ISS "robot" that could crawl around on the outside of the station and could be operated remotely or semi-autonomously. This would probably be a good time to lament the fact that they trashcanned that idea. :/ A remotely operated internal robot would have been a cool thing, too. But, IIRC, all they have tried are some dronelike remotes with no real ability to do anything but provide a neat camera angle as the red blinky-blinky "OH !$%$" light on the panel goes on and off.

Bishop149
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Bishop149 » Thu, 11. Oct 18, 17:48

They could end up in the position of making a nasty choice.
- Risk a multibillion dollar asset.
- Risk the health of current crew by leaving them up their longer than is normal protocol.
- Risk the lives of a new crew by launching them in a spacecraft that might not be 100% checked out.

I've listed those in what I think is probably order of likelihood.
I think the various space agencies would always value crew safety over a material asset, even one as colossally expensive as this one.
I also don't think the ISS is very likely to suffer a catastrophic failure if left uncrewed for a relatively short period of time, I'm pretty sure all the station keeping and collision avoidance is controlled remotely anyway.
But hey I'm sure NASA has extensive contingency planning with all the probabilities mapped out for this kind of scenario.
"Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, you'll end up co-orbiting the Sun alongside Earth, living out your days alone in the void within sight of the lush, welcoming home you left behind." - XKCD

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Morkonan
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Morkonan » Thu, 11. Oct 18, 19:39

I don't foresee any serious issue arising from this. At least, not just yet. The launch vehicle is extremely capable with an outstanding record. This is likely a one-off issue. The crew having a slight extension to their time up there isn't a big issue, either, really. IMO, there would have to be more issues arising in order to cause a potential catastrophic situation. It's not ideal, right now, of course. But, it's not terrible, yet.

Resource links:

NASA - Livestream

NASA

NASA Blog Tag Search - Soyuz

NASA - Spacestation page

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Observe
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Observe » Fri, 12. Oct 18, 02:15

Well let's see. We recently had a surreptitious hole drilled in the wall of a Russian capsule and now this. I wonder if there is a sabotage connection?

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Morkonan
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Morkonan » Fri, 12. Oct 18, 08:21

Observe wrote:
Fri, 12. Oct 18, 02:15
Well let's see. We recently had a surreptitious hole drilled in the wall of a Russian capsule and now this. I wonder if there is a sabotage connection?
Others are wondering the same, too. Though, admittedly, anything at all that goes "wrong" right now is going to be associated with holedrilling, especially since it appears that there's agreement it was no "accident" that put those holes there. /shrug

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felter
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by felter » Fri, 12. Oct 18, 19:37

I don't like to think of it as a fail, yes the rocket never got to it's destination but the emergency safety features worked as both of the rockets passengers managed to return to earth alive. So to me that is a success, that they should be proud of.
I'm not saying he is a Russian asset, I'm saying he sat on his asset when he was supposed to be confronting Putin.
#AlertTheDaycareStaff #denturedonald

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Usenko
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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by Usenko » Sat, 13. Oct 18, 16:44

Morkonan wrote:
Fri, 12. Oct 18, 08:21
Observe wrote:
Fri, 12. Oct 18, 02:15
Well let's see. We recently had a surreptitious hole drilled in the wall of a Russian capsule and now this. I wonder if there is a sabotage connection?
Others are wondering the same, too. Though, admittedly, anything at all that goes "wrong" right now is going to be associated with holedrilling, especially since it appears that there's agreement it was no "accident" that put those holes there. /shrug
Judging from the photos and the description of the hole, it was more likely incompetence than sabotage. It looked like someone had accidentally drilled a hole in the wrong place, then bogged it rather than admitting to anyone they'd goofed. And it nearly worked!

What's most worrying to me is that if my interpretation of the incident is correct, then there is a likelihood of further issues. It means that at least for some workers, the culture of the company is sufficiently toxic that you don't want to admit errors (even minor, relatively fixable errors like an accidentally drilled hole). It's easier/safer to cover up your mistakes rather than admit them and get them rectified.
Morkonan wrote:What really happened isn't as exciting. Putin flexed his left thigh during his morning ride on a flying bear, right after beating fifty Judo blackbelts, which he does upon rising every morning. (Not that Putin sleeps, it's just that he doesn't want to make others feel inadequate.)

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Re: Failed Soyuz Launch

Post by pjknibbs » Sat, 13. Oct 18, 17:52

Usenko wrote:
Sat, 13. Oct 18, 16:44
Judging from the photos and the description of the hole, it was more likely incompetence than sabotage.
"Never ascribe to malicious intent that which is adequately explained by incompetence", in other words. In this particular case, who gains from sabotage? Certainly not the Russians, because it (a) makes them look like plonkers and (b) it could easily have been their own people aboard that rocket rather than a pair of Americans. Not to mention that there are so many ways our mysterious saboteur could have gone about their business that ensured the pair would *not* survive the experience.

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