Soyuz Failure

Yes, I heard, but don’t know details. This should be a precipitating event to accelerate Commercial Crew.

[Update Friday morning]

It was an interesting coincidence that this event occurred in conjunction with the ISPCS, where it was discussed by both SpaceX and Boeing, in response to ASAP concerns.

Neither Mulholland nor Reed suggested that development of their commercial crew vehicle could be accelerated much from their current schedules in response to the Soyuz MS-10 failure, adding they would not cut testing needed to ensure their vehicles’ safety.

“We look at it in terms of, ‘Could I work extra shifts or put extra people on it?’” Mulholland said. “It never crossed our mind to think what could you not do, what scope can you reduce.”

“You have to do the same work. You have to do the right work,” Reed said. “The question is whether there’s a way you can compress that schedule. You don’t look at in terms of cutting out work.”

Silly me, I look at it in terms of are we serious about getting Americans into space on American rockets, or are we not?

30 thoughts on “Soyuz Failure”

  1. CNN)NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in what NASA director Jim Bridenstine described as “good condition” after surviving an emergency landing after a booster failure on a Russian Soyuz rocket Thursday.

    “I’m grateful that everyone is safe,” Bridenstine said on Twitter.
    NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, pledged a thorough investigation after the aborted launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket. But the incident highlights recent tensions that have surfaced in a long-running collaboration in space between the US and Russia.

    Stage 2 failure, followed by controlled separationk ballistic entry and safe landing.

    1. The crew of Soyuz 18 in 1975 had a peak G force of 20+. That was from the combination of falling to Earth and that the 3rd stage booster was still firing and pointed down before they separated. Then they rolled down the side of mountain and nearly off of 1000 foot cliff before the parachutes got tangled in vegetation.

      Supposedly one of the last radio transmission the crew made before they dropped below the horizon was “We do have treaty with China, don’t we?!” Important as they were heading that direction.

  2. I heard prolonged zero-G and rotation during staging on the radio coming into work this morning. Sounds like 2nd stage didn’t fire?

    1. The tracking cameras showed what looks like a lot of extra debris falling off when the 4 boosters were jettisoned.

  3. This was inevitable and we were lucky to get the crew back. Now can we burn the f**king paperwork and get Dragon 2 into service? The unmanned test should be rescheduled for ASAP and should stay on ISS to serve as a second lifeboat once it arrives. That Soyuz with the errant hole in it should be pushed overboard and abandoned. The first manned mission for Dragon 2 should go no later than Dec. No American should ever again fly on a Soyuz. In future, we can take the Russians up and down in Dragon 2 and, when it is ready to fly, Starliner.

    1. Lauch is only half the test…they also need to test reentry and landing.

      And the Soyuz at the station is fine where it is…nothing gained by throwing it overboard.

      1. Re-entry and landing of D2 is pretty much the same as for D1 for which we already have abundant history and a well-oiled process.

        The Soyuz docked to the station is already known to have a defective habitation module. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of its re-entry module? If the Russians on ISS want to chance riding it back down, fine. But no Americans.

      2. Dragon has now completed 16 successful flights, launch and entry. That’s four more flights than the total number that the Gemini spacecraft performed. The C111 flight in June of this year was the fourth reflight of that Dragon, something neither the United States nor the Soviet Union/Russian Federation have ever done with a capsule. The accuracy of the Dragon splashdowns is not up to ICBM standards, but it’s quite acceptable.

        1. Only fair to point out that ICBM warheads don’t descend to ground zero on parachutes either. If Dragon 2 had been permitted to land vertically, under power, its accuracy would have put every ICBM in the world in the shade. F9 1st stages already have an apparent Circular Error Probable of about six feet.

    2. That would be a logical follow-up.

      However, I suspect we’re going to hear: “see, human spaceflight is super-duper-dangerous! We need more tests! In fact, SpaceX and Blue Origin and Boeing need to continue testing until, say, SLS makes its first manned flight!”

  4. I hope this will cause NASA to get the lead out of their asses and proceed with the commercial crew approval process. The last successful Soyuz capsule launch was on June 8th. That capsule has a rated on-orbit life of 200 days. It has already been up there 125 days. It’ll have to come down by Christmas. Will that leave the ISS unmanned? Was the ISS designed to be left unmanned? The first Dragon 2 capsule is down at the Cape awaiting NASA approval to launch. Let’s do that soon, shall we?

  5. Have not seen any discussion of why there were only two astronauts on this flight. It appears that they are down to three on-board, when seven is the desired number for balancing maintenance with research.

    This would seem unsustainable even with five on board. Anybody know why they would do this? Is this all cover for shutting it down?

    1. I read somewhere yesterday that the Russian Space Agency was only sending up one cosmonaut on this flight because they’re waiting until the new Russian module is launched, perhaps next year.

  6. The American astornaut is doubtless going to get a whole bunch of Roskosmos Flyer Miles from the abort, but does SpaceX redeem those?

  7. NASA says they’re dusting off plans to operate the ISS without a crew, but add that the ISS will have to be crewed for Dragon or Boeing Starliner to dock, for safety reasons.

    1. Will Dragon dock with an APAS or CBM? I think both were designed to require crew, which shouldn’t have to be the case with APAS. But CBM needs lots of precision, thus the SSRMS supports docking and would require crew.

        1. Thanks for the info Rand.

          Early on, when the FGB’s batteries were failing at a higher than designed rate; they talked about removing the crew. However, the problem then was much more complicated, as they didn’t have good power to the USOS portion, and the Service Module couldn’t really provide power. Abandoning at that time would have complicated future Shuttle dockings. Alas, they found the problem with the batteries, fixed them, and all was fine. Since then, I’ve forgotten the issues around abandonment, except for the obvious lack of maintenance.

  8. I have an interim solution:

    Keep the crew, launch the next Soyuz empty, it can dock autonomously like Progress can it not? That buys a fresh return craft. Compress commercial crew. This buys time till Dragon is ready.

  9. NASA’s ASAP had their fourth quarter public meeting yesterday, and the chair opened saying, “Current projected schedules for uncrewed and crewed test flights for both providers have considerable risk and do not appear achievable given the number of technical issues remaining to be solved, the amount of qualifications and reliability tests to be accomplished, and the body of verification work that must be completed.”

    Some of the key risks, as summarized on NSF:

    * COPV failure investigation still not closed.
    * There have been unspecified anomalies observed with parachute testing and CRS parachutes. Don’t know how serious or if any design changes would be needed. Stressed they think this should be resolved before uncrewed flight.

    * Parachute testing continues, some sort of anomaly on last test. A couple more tests still to do.
    * The pyro assemblies for separating crew module from service module have had unexpected fractures in testing, successfully performed their function but created some FOD.
    * The problem with the launch abort system was described as a harmonic resonance creating a water hammer effect, still working on fixes.

  10. That’s ok, when STS-125 was certified for flight; it seemed an after thought what things they might not consider if they had to launch STS-400. All that work to put two vehicles on the pad, and no thought about what they were prepared to do to launch the second vehicle.

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