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  1. #1

    Angry It Finally Happened: Russian Soyuz to ISS fails to launch, Astronauts bail out.

    The moment NASA has dreaded for eight years has finally arrived. The moment the Roscosmos denied was ever a possibility has come.

    A Russian Soyuz rocket headed to the ISS and carry U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were forced to make an emergency abort as the booster meant to take them to space failed. The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft detached from the rocket and parachuted to the ground. Both are alive.

    This was a ballistic abort. It is the second time it's ever happened in human space flight (the last time being in 1983, also to a Soyuz)

    You can watch a video of it happening here, starting at about 2:00. The CG it cuts to is pre-planned in space simulation to show viewers what (under the mission plan) the launch would look like once the rocket is out of view. THe video cuts several times to the capsule falling back to earth in it's abort mode.



    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.2969adf62901

    This is a (sort of) diagram of what you're seeing:



    The Soyuz space vehicle (and capsule) is part of an upper stage inside of a payload shroud. On top of the payload shroud, like all manned vertical rockets, is a
    launch escape system. If you ever wondered what the point at the top of a rocket is, it's that. For reference, this is the launch escape system of the Apollo capsule undergoing a test:


    It's basically a solid fueled rocket that very quickly pulls the capsule away from the rest of the rocket.

    Because the Soyuz capsule is in a shroud, the capsule itself is dropped out of the bottom of the upper stage once it is pulled away from the booster below, and a parachute opens.

    I'm not sure what the maximum operating altitude for Soyuz are, but for NASA's Orion capsule, which is significantly larger, it operates up to 300,000 feet (91 kilometers). After that point, the LAS seperates and if an abort is required, the actual upper stage engines would be needed to make a sub-orbital abort. If an abort is required even later, the spacecraft would make one initial orbit (the orbital profile would not be the planned one, but an abort orbit) then begin it's descent sequence.



    American, Russian alive after Soyuz rocket headed to space station fails on launch

    By Anton Troianovski October 11 at 6:42 AM
    MOSCOW — A Russian rocket carrying an American and a Russian to the International Space Station failed on launch Thursday, forcing the astronaut and cosmonaut to careen back to Earth in a dramatic emergency landing.

    U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin parachuted to the ground safely in their capsule after a booster on the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed, NASA and Russia’s space agency said. They were met by rescue teams in remote Kazakhstan more than 200 miles from their launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

    It was the first time that the Soyuz — the main workhorse of manned space flight today — had failed on a launch to the 20-year-old International Space Station. The spacecraft has been the sole means of bringing humans to the space station since the end of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, but commercial providers aiming for manned spaceflight are increasingly nipping at Russia’s heels.

    Search-and-rescue forces “reached the landing site and the crew is actually out of the capsule,” a NASA spokeswoman in Houston said on the space agency’s live video broadcast as the emergency operation unfolded. “From here, the teams will be working to get them ready to return to Moscow.”

    Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, put it more bluntly in his daily conference call with journalists: “Thank God everyone is alive.”

    After the booster failed, Ovchinin and Hague were forced to make a ballistic descent, coming back to the ground at a sharper angle than normal and causing higher gravitational forces on their bodies. But soon after the landing, U.S. and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the astronaut and cosmonaut.

    Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin said he was forming a state commission to investigate what caused the failure.

    The rare failed launch of the Soyuz rocket is the latest and most grave problem to beset U.S.-Russian cooperation in space. Last month, an oxygen leak was found in the International Space Station that Rogozin said was caused deliberately. Its cause still hasn’t been determined. Russian officials have also insisted on a bigger role in a U.S.-led plan to build a space station orbiting the moon.

    Nevertheless, officials in both countries continue to refer to space flight as a rare example of U.S.-Russian cooperation continuing despite geopolitical tensions.

    “I strongly believe we’re going to get the right answer to what caused the hole on the International Space Station and that together we’ll be able to continue our strong collaboration,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on a visit to Moscow this week, according to the Associated Press. “What we’ve got to do is we’ve got to very dispassionately allow the investigation to go forward without speculation, without rumor, without innuendo, without conspiracy.”
    I'm going to commentate on this, because I raised this issue as a growing risk literally a week ago. I will repost what I wrote. It applies here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    Yeah let's talk about whats going on here.

    The first thing you need understand is that the production time for space hardware is extremely long. Basically 5 years for most things. Not uncommonly, closer to 10. Over the next few years there are rockets and payloads that will be launched that were constructed back in 2013 and 2014. Some of the components for the most important space hardware could have been manufactured many years ago (such as James Webb Space Telescope pieces being manufactured back in 2009).

    The second thing you need to understand is that Russia has experienced truly epic industrial decline, particularly when it comes to space hardware, over the last 15 years as what was left of its Soviet-era workforce finally retired. When the Soviet Union fell, the United States moved heaven and Earth to make sure that while the rest of the former USSR entered an economic depression, that those rocket and space factories would stay open and it's workers - from engineers to weilders - would remain gainfully employed. The US did this because it was concerned that, should those workers find unemployment was in their future, they'd be poached by China, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Libya and Pakistan. Some Soviet scientists and engineers did find there way to those places. But the US effort was largey successful. The ISS - formerly Space Station Freedom - was largely a part of that effort, as it merged the SSF concept with some aspects of Mir-2. In no small part to keep the Russian Space agency in business.

    But time happened, and now those engineers and production people who were in their 30s and 40s in the 1980s are in their 60s and 70s today.

    Most of them have retired by now. And a lot of institutional knowledge was lost.

    In any big project, there is the written spec, set by the design team. But the production team on the floor knows things that exist outside the spec... perhaps even tricks to complete tasks to produce faster and/or safer. These things are rarely written down. They are passed from experienced worker to novice.

    The financial problems of the Russian Space Agency, coupled with the retirements has wiped out decades of institutional knowledge that will be impossible to recover. As a result Russia is seeing repeated rocket failures, production delays and major fabrication errors.... all for rockets that have only been iterated on for decades and aren't at all clean sheet, new designs.

    Furthermore SpaceX has largely wiped out the Russian commercial launch service option, draining the Russian Space Program of direly needed funds.


    So what is going on here? The decline of Russia is being felt first at the most high tech aspect of its industrial portfolio. It will get worse and spread, particularly if Russia seeks to become involved in future multinational projects.

    Russia is saying it was made deliberately to cover for its own failure of course. But the fact is, it inherited a world class space program and that inheritance has largely been pissed away.

    It's likely that post-ISS, Russia will do little more in space than fly a Soyuz once a year to show the flag, perhaps to a Chinese Space Station. As it stands right now, it cannot afford to be part of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway program.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    I'll ask again, why isn't Angara A5 flying soon? I'll tell you why: it's because it's too expensive for Russia and agency leaders don't think they can build a new rocket and fly it safely because of the workforce issues. They don't want to blow up a launch pad. Building more Protons and Soyuzes, they'll do, because their simpler and more "known quantities" to the work force, than an all new rocket. And keep in mind, the Angara A1 and A5 were supposed to replace essentially all Russian rockets, years ago now.

    And it isn't happening.

    It's not because of the Rocket. Angara A5 is actually a fine design. It's pretty much a Russian Atlas V. It's very late to the game for what it is, and it's badly overpriced in the post-SpaceX Falcon 9 world, but it's a fine design on its own.

    The problem is: the Russian Space industrial work force can't build them, at least at any rate that will allow retirement of the Soyuz2 and Proton as intended.

    There is a direct line between an industrial workforce where covered up errors by workers like this actually fly into space and is responsible for repeated launch accidents over the last few years, and one that can't build new rockets. It all points to exactly the same thing: industrial decline.

    And most ominously...


    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    I've had a busy week. I was @'d a few days ago. I elected to respond now. Deal with it.

    Not, it couldn't have "just as easily happened at the ESA and NASA", because our workforces don't do that. They have a higher standard, better training, better pay, and a system which catches errors. That's precisely the issue at hand here.

    I just want you to understand, when you say "just as easily happened at the ESA and NASA", it's complete nonsense. Those agencies have had their own problems. They don't have this one, and this one is really bad.


    This is one. Fact is, NASA's severely declining confidence in the Russian Space Program for reasons entirely unrelated to non-Space Russian/US issiues is indicative of the seriousness of the concerns I've expressed that this incident underscores.

    Basically they're rushing Commercial Crew from SpaceX and Boeing, the first of which launches in June 2019, because they know Russia is pretty much counting the days now until it loses a crew on a Soyuz. Either going up or coming down.

    Russia's space workforce is deeply troubled. It's bizarre you seem hell bent on downplaying it with this silly "just as easily happened at the ESA and NASA". Well no, it couldn't. For a lot of reason.

    I will repeat.



    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post

    Basically they're rushing Commercial Crew from SpaceX and Boeing, the first of which launches in June 2019, because they know Russia is pretty much counting the days now until it loses a crew on a Soyuz. Either going up or coming down.

    This was dismissed here, last week, by the usual suspects, who of course were talking out of their ass, as Russophobia or much ado about nothing. Well no, it wasn't. It was very real. NASA has been worried about it for years, and now it has happened.



    So what now?

    Well the SpaceX Dragon 2 is headed to the ISS with a crew of two NASA Astronauts in June 2019. It will launch on the world's leading rocket, the Falcon 9.


    Shortly after, under the same commercial crew contract, Boeing will launch two NASA astraunts to the ISS in August 2019 via their own CST-100 Starliner, on the first man-rated Atlas V.
    [img]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/djr7hbsuwae8s81-1533311411.jpg?resize=480:*[/img]


    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/10/0...ted-this-year/


    Both are significiantly larger and more capable than the Soyuz Capsule and rocket. Both cna carry a crew of 7.



    The flight hardware of both space vehicles is in final construction.

    Basically, as outrageous as it is for this to happen, it couldn't have happened at a better time. The US and ESA are about to have two superior and cheaper options to the Soyuz to get to our space station, thus ending our long, painful overpriced, and now unacceptably risky dependence on Russian soyuz flights. After the 2019 test flights, crews should be able to fly to the ISS four to six times per year... a far higher launch rate than the Soyuz. Both the Dragon and CST-100 can be used for a minimum of 10 flights.

    This has to be the end of US flight son Soyuzes. No more should be paid for or flown. NASA astronauts (and ESA hopefully) should now only fly on American hardware from American launch sites as Russia, despite YEARS of denial about the growing problem of their industrial base, has failed to solve something that has cropped up on failures of Progress (basically Cargo Soyuzes) and Proton rocket launches over the past 8 years.

    This must also be the beginning of the end US-Russian space cooperation. They can't afford and do not have the technology to go where the US and ESA are going, and their space program's leadership's ineptitude and propagandizing of how everything is okay behind the scenes... "nothing to see here folks!"... nearly got an American killed after years of near misses of rockets that are a cousin to this one.

    The Russian Federation inherited a world-class space program from the Soviet Union. Like so much under the Putin dictatorship, it has been strip-mined by Russia's Putin-oligarchs for all it is worth and now that inheritance is depleted.

    No more Americans on Russian Space craft, period. They said they would fix their shit, and they didn't. No more chances.

  2. #2
    Well, 35 years, that's pretty decent safety record.

    Let's see what investigation into nature of failure will produce.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe
    Both are significiantly larger and more capable than the Soyuz Capsule and rocket. Both cna carry a crew of 7.
    Is there (going to be) actual need to carry that many anywhere at Earth orbit?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post
    Is there (going to be) actual need to carry that many anywhere at Earth orbit?
    "640 kb of memory aught to be enough for anyone". A quote often miss-attributed to Bill Gates, neatly outlines the absurdity of this statement. Yes, the applications for this level of launch capacity and beyond are likely numerous and already well known. Even if they weren't, ideas to fill that void will arrive in short order, of that we can be sure. Internet bandwidth goes up by an order of magnitude every few years and somehow we always need more. Space travel will be the same way, rest assured.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post
    Well, 35 years, that's pretty decent safety record.

    Let's see what investigation into nature of failure will produce.

    Is there (going to be) actual need to carry that many anywhere at Earth orbit?
    The intention for the next US-involved space station is to have it orbit the moon, a significantly further distance than the ISS. As for Russia's safety record, it's pretty bad actually. Prior to cooperation with NASA they had a ton of failures. Rockets blowing up on launch pads (Nedelin), heat shielding and parachutes failing on re-entry (Komarov), etc. It just wasn't widely talked about because the USSR kept their failures under wraps both domestically and internationally. As I said, once the USSR collapsed and they began working with the US they improved dramatically, but not even Roscosmos knows the entire extent of their safety record prior to the mid-1980's.
    Politics Understander and Haver of Good Takes
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGravemind View Post
    If I was in his boots (and forced to join the SS in 1939 or whenever he joined), I would have tried to liberate the camp myself or die trying. He did not. He traded his life for the life of thousands of people, thus he should face the consequences
    Quote Originally Posted by Proberly View Post
    Oh would you now? It truly is amazing how many heroic people we have wasting their time on internet.

  5. #5
    I guess after the Challenger and Columbia, Russia decided they needed to catch up to America in their Rocket Fatality numbers.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Priestiality View Post
    The intention for the next US-involved space station is to have it orbit the moon, a significantly further distance than the ISS. As for Russia's safety record, it's pretty bad actually. Prior to cooperation with NASA they had a ton of failures. Rockets blowing up on launch pads (Nedelin), heat shielding and parachutes failing on re-entry (Komarov), etc. It just wasn't widely talked about because the USSR kept their failures under wraps both domestically and internationally. As I said, once the USSR collapsed and they began working with the US they improved dramatically, but not even Roscosmos knows the entire extent of their safety record prior to the mid-1980's.
    35 years is specifically for Soyuz. It didn't fail even once since 1983 mentioned by Skroe above.

    Even this failure didn't result in fatalities; most likely some problem during separation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by DisposableHero View Post
    "640 kb of memory aught to be enough for anyone". A quote often miss-attributed to Bill Gates, neatly outlines the absurdity of this statement. Yes, the applications for this level of launch capacity and beyond are likely numerous and already well known. Even if they weren't, ideas to fill that void will arrive in short order, of that we can be sure. Internet bandwidth goes up by an order of magnitude every few years and somehow we always need more. Space travel will be the same way, rest assured.
    Well, Skroe should know it at the level much better then "likely" - if any already existing plan with budget allocations and everything might need them right now or in near future.

    You wouldn't believe how many ideas for space stuff people had from early 20th century to modern day... actual applications (and need for frequent, big launches) remain limited.

  7. #7
    Deleted
    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    The moment NASA has dreaded for eight years has finally arrived. The moment the Roscosmos denied was ever a possibility has come.
    compared to the Challenger and Columbia disasters on the NASA shuttle program. I'd say the Soyuz is still on top. Its been in service Longer and has thus far had many many many more Launches than its North American counterpart.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post
    Well, 35 years, that's pretty decent safety record.
    At issue isn't the historic safety record. Historically, the Soyuz is a proven vehicle.

    The problem is that the people who made those historically safe ones aren't making Russia's rockets now. They've retired. And the group on the job the last 8-10 years, despite failed launch after failed launch of what is as of today, every major Russian launch vehicle, is proven to be up to the task.

    This is not some anti-Russia slam It's just the facts. NASA was concerned and industry experts warning years before Ukraine and 2016 of what was happening to Russia's industrial base, and that it would be felt most acutely in systems that are relatively complicated. We have been witnessing that with uncrewed rockets for years, and - unsurprisingly because it's essentially the same booster - it finally happened to a manned rocket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post
    Let's see what investigation into nature of failure will produce.
    It's going to be exactly like the previous panels

    Here is all of the launch failures since 2006


    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/...heyre-feature/
    There is a scary number of Soyuzs and Protons there. The Soyuz's are all unmanned but they're they then most advanced Soyuzes and are largely identical to the manned ones insofar as the booster is concerned. It is lucky that crewed missions to the ISS didn't use them (especially the Progress failures, Progresses being basically cargo Soyuz capsules).

    Thats a horrifying record. The investigation will return the same non-answer as prior investigations because Putin's regime isn't really interested in fixing the problem.

    This happened because the old work force retired, and the current work force is comparatively poorly trained, under paid, and an enormous amount of institutional knowledge was lost with the generational change over. Billions of dollars have been stolen form the space program by the oligarchs and industries and pocketed - money that could have been used to hire more workers and engineers and train them better. And engage in more modern saftey techniques.

    The investigation will probably point to some dude. The real answer is: Russia has finally burned through its Soviet Space inheritance.

    The US needs to stop working with the Russian space program as soon as possible


    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post

    Is there (going to be) actual need to carry that many anywhere at Earth orbit?
    Yes, both are designed to carry 7 to the ISS, but will more typically carry 4. This is because the Crew Habitation Module was never launched to the ISS a decade ago, and the Crew Escape vehicle was canceled, which sets the maximum occupancy of it to 6 (the number of bunks on the ISS and the number of seats on the two Soyuz's used as "escape pods" on 6 month rotations. Sending 7 people up would mean some assortment of 7 people would have to come down (for example, a crew rotation of 3, + 4 visitors) for saftey reasons. You couldn't send 7 up and return with fewer, unless the ISS had a vacancy due to a prior crew rotation (this happens sometimes with Soyuzes, which return with an "empty seat".

    Furthermore sending up 4 astronauts means, for ISS purposes, more cargo that can be carried in the large "trunk" of the SpaceX dragon.

    For orbital tourism flights, yes, SpaceX will be flying 7 under the current plan.

    When Dragon was announced years ago, the planned capacity was 4. But improvements in the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher have made it capable of lofting far more than the Dragon capsule weighs, which give sit a big capability gain.

    Fact is, the Falcon 9's 22,800kg to ISS and the Atlas V N22 (basically a man-rated 521)'s 13,000kg to ISS allow for much bigger capsules than the Soyuz's ~7000kg to LEO. The Soyuz family is a small rocket. It's the Proton rocket, at 22,800kg to LEO payloads, that let's RUssia put pretty big (though still at the upper end of medium-lift) stuff in order. But Proton was never designed as a manned launcher.

    From Russia's perspective, this disaster SHOULD be encouragement to speed the retirement of the entire Proton Line, junk the Soyuz as well, and go all-Angara (even though Angara is over-priced and under-capable in the post Falcon 9 world). But to retire Soyuz rocket would mean an all-new manned space vehicle to go on top of Angara, and Russia just doesn't have any kind of money for that anymore (forget about the CG art). Furthermore Angara is more costly to build than a Soyuz.

    There is no easy way out of this at all. This is where the looting and pillaging... the profiteering... of the Russian Space Program that happened under Vladmir Putin's regime, has lead.

    Today the US hitches a ride on Russia's dangerous rockets, in order to free up money to develop our own sucessor systems. With Dragon 2, Starliner and Orion, we'll soon have three independent systems, and we won't be buying seats anymore. How long will it be before Russia hitches rides on Chinese rockets much the same way?

  9. #9
    Deleted
    At least it didn't explode..

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post

    Is there (going to be) actual need to carry that many anywhere at Earth orbit?
    I might have actually mis-read it (read: is it possible, now I see need).

    The answer is, to the ISS, there is no need, due to limitations of the ISS for saftey reasons, though the rocket and capsule innately has that mass-launching capability (the rest of the details in my answer above apply). Again, when they do 4 crew, that mean 3 people's mass + equipment worth of additional ISS supplies.

    But for SpaceX's plans for Space, yes 7 is needed. That's two operators plus 5 paying customers. The Dragon 2 capsule will be flying for many years... years after BFR is flying too. In the next 15 years, a trip to orbit for a few days could be as costly as a once-in-a-life-time trip to Mount Everest or something. Extremely expensive, but within the realm of affordability for people who save up for many many years. For something like that yeah you want 5 paying customers.

  11. #11
    It was sabotaged. First the ISS and now the Soyuz.

  12. #12
    Without being mean, Soyouz safety record is still WAY above the comparable (by mission and era) Space Shuttle. Imagine any transportation mode whose ''total hull losses'' reach 40% of the fleet and 1.4% of total flights.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Twoscoops View Post
    compared to the Challenger and Columbia disasters on the NASA shuttle program. I'd say the Soyuz is still on top. Its been in service Longer and has thus far had many many many more Launches than its North American counterpart.
    The Space Shuttle was a far more complex system than Soyuz. Soyuz is extremely simple as far as rockets go.


    The Space Shuttle was victim of a series of intrinsic design flaws in the end. The Shuttles had decades more life to them structurally (and pre-Columbia, were planned to fly into the 2030s). They were retired principally because with ISS construction done, they weren't a road to anywhere NASA was planning to go, and as an intrinsically unsafe system, rather than spend money to make it safer, it was decided money would better be spent replacing them.

    Hence Orion, Dragon and Starliner.

    It's apples and oranges. But in the end, the US retired its flawed launcher and built three more. Russia just talks about that. They've been talking about replacing the Soyuz for years.



    "Klipper". Look at the date. 2005.

    It never went anywhere, besides CGI.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahtasher View Post
    Without being mean, Soyouz safety record is still WAY above the comparable (by mission and era) Space Shuttle. Imagine any transportation mode whose ''total hull losses'' reach 40% of the fleet and 1.4% of total flights.
    Apples and oranges. The Space Shuttle was a far more complex space vehicle than the Soyuzs.

    Furthermore the Space Shuttle suffered two disasters seperated by 17 years - Challenger in 1986, and Columbia in 2003. Meanwhile, if you look at the above chart I posted, Russia has lost 8 Soyuzes of various configuration (including today) since 2006. And keep in mind, the Shuttle was flying 4-6 flights a year for most of that 17 years. Soyuzes fly about that too.

    So no. The problem is that Russia's industrial workforce can't build safe Soyuzes anymore.

  14. #14
    Well, Skroe, yes, the space shuttle is more complex than the Soyuz. Which is kinda the point. The space shuttle is WAY too complex for the task it had to do, which is why the US are reverting to capsules….

  15. #15
    Deleted
    Quote Originally Posted by Shalcker View Post
    Well, 35 years, that's pretty decent safety record.

    Let's see what investigation into nature of failure will produce.

    Is there (going to be) actual need to carry that many anywhere at Earth orbit?
    It will show that the American astronaut sabotaged the launch for reasons.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Twoscoops View Post
    compared to the Challenger and Columbia disasters on the NASA shuttle program. I'd say the Soyuz is still on top. Its been in service Longer and has thus far had many many many more Launches than its North American counterpart.
    As posted above, at issue isn't it's historic success rate. It's the failure rate since the mid 2000s, as workforce turnover and Russia's industrial decline picked up.

    8 failures of Soyuz since 2006 is deeply unacceptable for a space vehicle that has an enormous commonality with the manned variant.

    It comes down to this: the people building Soyuz (and Proton) today aren't the people who built them 30 years ago, and the failure rate shows they aren't up to the task.

    This has been something NASA and experts have been sounding the alarm on for years. Other expendable launch systems like the Soyuz - such as the US Atlas V - have no where near the failure rate. The Atlas V's record, for example, is 77 Successes, 0 Failures and 1 Partial-Failure. The US Delta II, comparable in launch mass to a Soyuz, had a 156-2 record.

    Comparing the space Shuttle - a retired, partially reusable launch vehicle - is a bad comparison. Comparing Soyuz / Proton to it's expendable "stacked" rocket peers, like Atlas V, Delta II/IV and Falcon 9, is far more relevant. And it doesn't make Russia look good at all.


    I'm not going to seriously have an "I was right" moment here, because this is bad for manned spaceflight in principle. But I do hope the propagandists who downplay this stuff every time I bring it up in the Space threads I write in start to take Russia's industrial decline problem a bit more seriously. It's a very real thing and it just nearly killed two astronauts. It can't be rationalized away, argued or downplayed. Because Soyuzes and Protons keep failing at a rate that simply doesn't exist for any Western rocket, and - I'll say it again - it's a matter of time before a crew is killed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahtasher View Post
    Well, Skroe, yes, the space shuttle is more complex than the Soyuz. Which is kinda the point. The space shuttle is WAY too complex for the task it had to do, which is why the US are reverting to capsules….
    No. The Space Shuttle was built with construction of a space station (what became Space Station Freedom, then ISS) in mind. It was first and foremost a construction vehicle and hauler. Contemporary Space vehicles were designed by NASA but never built, such as a Medical Evacation spaceplane, a crew return vehicle and a crew rotation vehicle.

    It was as complex as it needed to be for the job that it was given and the jobs it picked up, but was an improper vehicle for routine access to space where large payloads and construction was not in play.

    The US is returning to capsules because space planes are the wrong vehicle for beyond Earth orbit flight, which is where NASA's focus is. For low earth orbit, space planes (and lifting bodies) remain extremely viable.


    But the necessity of something like a space shuttle is still there in concept. Remember, the Shuttle largely built the 417,000 kg ISS. The NASA design reference mission for Mars requires a vehicle be built in earth orbit that has a mass of around 250,000 kg. The US will be using the SLS and other heavy lift launch vehicles to do that, but it will be somewhat harder without the Shuttle and it's crew of 7 enabling space construction the way they did. They will it'll have to be now, is Orion capsules rendezvous with ship modules put in place by a kind of "tug", and de-pressurize the entire capsule in order to space walk for construction tasks.

    Very doable, but in some ways worse.

  17. #17
    I'm glad nobody died.

  18. #18
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    Putin has shifted space spending and Russian retirement money to defense. Can't fall behind the Americans.
    .


    Sing your death song like a hero coming home.

    -- Tecumseh

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    I might have actually mis-read it (read: is it possible, now I see need).

    The answer is, to the ISS, there is no need, due to limitations of the ISS for saftey reasons, though the rocket and capsule innately has that mass-launching capability (the rest of the details in my answer above apply). Again, when they do 4 crew, that mean 3 people's mass + equipment worth of additional ISS supplies.

    But for SpaceX's plans for Space, yes 7 is needed. That's two operators plus 5 paying customers. The Dragon 2 capsule will be flying for many years... years after BFR is flying too. In the next 15 years, a trip to orbit for a few days could be as costly as a once-in-a-life-time trip to Mount Everest or something. Extremely expensive, but within the realm of affordability for people who save up for many many years. For something like that yeah you want 5 paying customers.
    Ah, thanks.

    I've seen this idea that the only thing that can make space somewhat profitable is tourism. I'm not sure if there will be enough wealth to go around, but there is nothing inherently wrong with it.

  20. #20
    I'm just glad nobody died.

    Though I do hope this will mean both SpaceX and Boeing will get to launch theirs a bit sooner.

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