Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Proton-M Launch Failure

Having been through something similar back in January, I feel for these guys.

Most people don't understand that while we've been launching liquid fueled rockets for over 70 years now, it's still not a 100% reliable process. Even with improved technologies like materials science, metallurgy, instrumentation, and a host of other things, sometimes rockets go BOOM.

Pretty complete coverage over at the "NasaSpaceFlight.com" website.


5 comments:

  1. I'm sad every time I see this sort of thing happen. Even though it was unmanned, it's tragic. There are people blogging that the Russian program is somehow unsafe now. It's ALL unsafe. But we do it, and people strap themselves to those rockets all of the time.

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  2. Yep, and it's always been "unsafe". Probably always will be "unsafe".

    It's a rocket, for Pete's sake, and it has about 800,000 pounds of highly explosive fuel aboard.

    You (or the payload) are literally sitting on a very big chemical bomb with a very short fuse.

    The proton uses "Hypergolic" fuel (Hydrazine and Nitrogen Tetroxide), which means as soon as the two mix, it ignites rather violently.

    I saw another video that was taken by some of the workers, and it wasn't 'zoomed in', so you could see the entire flight path.

    And about 4 seconds after it hit the ground, the shockwave got to the camera, and about knocked it out of the guys hands.

    I'll see if I can find that one, or have a friend send me the link.

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  3. Unfortunate, but would have been a lot worse had it been manned.

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  4. Looks like this one 'burped' too... Similar to what happened with yours???

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  5. I haven't heard anything yet on why this one failed.

    Ours lost the hydraulic pump for the engine gimbal (steering) mechanism at about 2 seconds before liftoff.

    We went up for 20 seconds, coasted for a few, and then plopped back down into the Pacific.

    It was "interesting" watching the telemetry from ours. The G forces built up, then went to zero, and then went negative as it fell back.

    We knew *exactly* when it hit the water, as we had telemetry for the entire flight, all 47 seconds of it.....

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Keep it civil, please....