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Another Russian rocket fail


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#1 DocM

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:18

If I were one of their program managers I'd pulling my hair out by the roots, if they have any left.


http://www.spaceflig...02/failure.html

Russian satellite launch fails to reach proper orbit

The Russian space industry suffered another malfunction Saturday when the upper stage of the heavy-lift Proton rocket failed to perform the full duration of its final boost-burn, leaving a domestic telecommunications satellite in a lower-than-planned orbit at the end of a 9-hour flight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Launch of the Yamal 402 spacecraft occurred at the precise moment of 1313:43 GMT (8:13:43 a.m. EST) atop the Proton M/Breeze M vehicle combination en route to geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The launch came just after sunset in temperatures just above the freezing mark, but the rocket rapidly disappeared into a low cloud deck within a few seconds of flight.

It was supposed to take 9 hours and 15 minutes to reach the ascent's completion, releasing the 9,839-pound satellite into an highly elliptical orbit expected to range from 4,642 miles at perigee to 22,181 miles at apogee and inclined 9 degrees to the equator.

Getting there began with the six main engines of the 191-foot-tall rocket blasting at liftoff to send the four-stage vehicle in the skies of Kazakhstan.

The lower three stages that comprised the Proton core vehicle sequentially fired through the initial 10 minutes of flight, leaving the Breeze M upper stage to step through four burns over the next several hours to achieve a preliminary parking orbit before heading into intermediate orbits to hit the geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Overseeing the mission was International Launch Services, the commercial marketer of Proton flights. ILS reported that the first three burns by the upper stage and jettison of the donut-shaped auxiliary fuel tank on the Breeze M had been performed, presumably putting the vehicle into a 317-mile by 22,147-mile orbit inclined 48 degrees to the equator within four hours of liftoff.

The rocket would then coast away from Earth for nearly five hours until the Breeze M would re-start its engine for a fourth and final burn of the day, raising the orbit's low point from 317 miles to 4,642 miles and bringing the inclination down from 48 degrees to 9 degrees relative to the equator where it ultimately would be stationed.

But instead of delivering nearly 9 minutes of propulsion as planned, the burn lasted several minutes short of that, leaving the satellite in the "off-nominal" orbit, according to a statement released by Proton rocket-builder Khrunichev.

International Launch Services did not issue a statement by press time. A company spokesperson did not respond to questions Saturday night.

Yamal 402 was supposed to maneuver itself into a circular geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles up and lowering inclination where it can match Earth's rotation and appear parked over the equator at 55 degrees East longitude to begin a 15-year service life.

Whether the spacecraft has enough fuel to overcome the rocket problem and still have a sufficient reserve for its 15-year mission life was not immediately known Saturday.
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#2 Growled

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:37

They should just stop. They are just embarrassing themselves.

#3 AnotherITguy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:48

Well, lets see, the Proton rocket is how old? Doc correct me if im wrong but isn't the proton rocket a distant cousin of the original SOYUZ family? I mean these things haven't been updated much over the last couple of years.

#4 OP DocM

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:19

Proton's been around since 1965 with >380 launches, and they are upgraded. The problem with has been the Breeze-M upper stage, and that is quality control related. They also have very limited radiation hardening of their flight computers.

#5 AnotherITguy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:48

So is the Breeze -M stage just not being checked for qc or what? I mean it seems they keep getting bitten in the butt by the same sort of issues.

#6 Azusa

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:33

They should just stop. They are just embarrassing themselves.


hey at least they're doing something.

#7 XerXis

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:16

spacex will be celebrating, if it continues like this they are the only one left who are capable of succesful launches

#8 Tech Star

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:23

They should just stop. They are just embarrassing themselves.


And the US has not made mistakes of their own? They make mistakes and they learn from it.

#9 remixedcat

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:25

BORIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#10 AnotherITguy

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:55

The U.S has had fewer flaws in their rockets in the last couple decades

* Space shuttle Columbia
* Space shuttle Challenger
* Apollo 1

and the ocassional Atlas SLA rocket failure.

#11 OP DocM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 15:20

Well, we came close ourselves recently when a Centaur 2nd stage had a failure that almost caused a satellite loss due to a significant reduction in thrust and a guidance problem. The investigation grounded both the Atlas-Centaur and Delta-Centaur launches and just concluded.

Result: there was a partial burn-through of the engine near the throat of the RL10 engines combustion chamber. This took out one of its surrounding fuel lines which leaked into the chamber, causing both a reduction in thrust and a thrust asymmetry that required constant course correction.

Centaur's guidance pulled it off, and the engine fortunately didn't totally blow.

Then there was the failure of a Merlin 1C engines fuel dome on the last Falcon 9 flight. Fortunatel F9 has 9 engines and each is surrounded by armor plates & blast blankets so the remaining 8 engines and the tanks were protected & survived. The multi-redundant flight computer corrected the course, lengthened the 1st stage burn, and the Dragon spacecraft got to the ISS 30 minutes early. Go figure.

Merlin 1C only has 1 more flight before it's replaced by the totally new Merlin 1D in a new & larger version of F9, so its risk factor is very reduced.

#12 OP DocM

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 23:39

Cause found, and once again it appears quality control related: a bearing failed in the oxidizer turbo-pump.

http://www.spaceflig...402/130212frob/

Commercial Proton flights cleared to resume in March

An anomaly during a December Proton rocket launch of a Russian communications satellite was caused by the failure of a bearing inside the launcher's Breeze M upper stage, ultimately causing the launcher to release its commercial payload in the wrong orbit, International Launch Services announced Tuesday.

Experts found the most probable root cause of the mishap was a "combination of adverse conditions" leading to the failure of a bearing inside the main engine of the launcher's Breeze M upper stage.

The Dec. 8 launch carried the Yamal 402 communications satellite for Gazprom Space Systems, a division of Russian oil and gas producer Gazprom.

After lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the three-stage Proton rocket boosted a Breeze M upper stage and the Yamal 402 satellite on an arcing suborbital trajectory. The Breeze M engine was supposed to fire four times to place the payload in an elliptical transfer orbit.

But the Breeze M's fourth burn, which was scheduled to last nine minutes, ended about four minutes early when a bearing failed on the oxidizer side of the main engine's turbopump, according to engineers who examined data from the mission.

The "adverse conditions" affected the Breeze M during the start of the upper stage's third burn, but the engine bearing did not fail until the fourth burn about five hours later.

The upper stage deployed Yamal 402 in the wrong orbit, and the satellite used its own propulsion system to reach its operational position 22,300 miles over the equator. But the satellite used more fuel than originally planned, shortening its projected lifetime from 15 years to 11 years, according to industry sources.

A Russian board of inquiry finished its investigation into the mishap in January, and U.S.-based International Launch Services, which manages commercial Proton/Breeze M missions, convened an oversight committee to review the results.

The ILS oversight board agreed with the Russian commission and approved plans to resume commercial Proton/Breeze M launches in March.

The Dec. 8 launch mishap marked the third problematic Proton/Breeze M launch since August 2011.
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#13 OP DocM

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:53

http://www.sea-launc...ight_Board.aspx

Failure Review Oversight Board

Following the unsuccessful launch of the SL-48 mission on January 31, 2013, Sea Launch and Energia Logistics Ltd. (ELUS) formed a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) to review the contractor findings and agree on root cause and appropriate corrective actions to prevent recurrence. The FROB is led by ELUS Chief Operating Officer Kirk Pysher, along with Co-chairman Dr. Valery Aliev, ELUS Executive Vice President and Mission Director, and Rick Pudil, ELUS Chief Systems Engineer.

ELUS has secured the participation of various technical consultants to support the FROB review, who encompass broad knowledge and extensive experience with launch vehicle technical and program matters (including prior Sea Launch experience), as well as subject matter expertise. In addition, customer participants from three global satellite operators participated in the FROB review.

On April 25, 2013, the FROB completed its review of investigations into the failed launch attempt. The investigations into the cause of the failure covered the entire Sea Launch complex to ensure all contributors to the failure were properly identified.

The investigations isolated the failure to the Zenit-3SL first stage hydraulic power supply unit (BIM) used to pressurize the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators. No additional contributors to the failure were found. The BIM failed approximately 3.9 seconds into the flight due to the abnormal performance of the pump that’s function is to pressurize the hydraulic oil supplied to the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators. The pump failure was the result of contributing factors associated with a pump manufacturing process that proved difficult to control.

The FROB confirms that the investigation has properly identified the cause of the failure and that the identified corrective actions will eliminate the possibility of recurrence going forward. Pending implementation of the identified corrective actions, the Sea Launch Zenit 3SL is ready to return to flight.





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