Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A New First for Manned Space Flight

Two astronauts from the U.S. and Russia were safe Thursday after an emergency landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 p.m. (0840 GMT; 4:40 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but their Soyuz booster rocket failed about two minutes after the launch.
As far as I know, it's the first manned launch in which the crew survived an in-flight booster failure.

More to the point, depending on how quickly and safely the Russians can ready another Soyuz, it's possible that the ISS may be abandoned, if only temporarily. I suspect that neither Boeing's Starliner or SpaceX's Dragon 2 will be ready to take a crew to the ISS within the next two years.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Meh. It's almost time to splash the ISS into Nemo anyway.

DTWND said...

From what I read, they have grounded all Soyuz until an investigation can be conducted.


B said...

Pucker factor level: 11+

bmq215 said...

Chalk up another first for the Soviets.

The space race might've been the straw that broke the USSR's back but you've gotta admit that they got good value for it.

Comrade Misfit said...

B, no kidding. If the crew hadn't been wearing pressure suits, they would have had to have the seat cushions removed surgically.

CenterPuke88 said...

The Soviets, and now Russians, seem to do pretty good with their overbuilt and slowly modified equipment. Now, they have killed some cosmonauts learning lessons, but fewer than we have (USSR 4, USA 14...officially). Soyuz is a lot like a T-90, old technology base with some new stuff grafted on, quite capable, but somewhat limited by the underlying platform. Gotta give them props for having the system save those two.

CenterPuke88 said...

Just noticed a reference in a story on this abort, this is the second such abort of a Soyuz. On April 5th, 1975, Soyuz 7K-T No. 39 (or 18a) had an abort at 90 miles altitude when three of the six locks between stages 2 and 3 failed and the third stage ignited with stage two still attached. The automated abort system activated, separating the Soyuz from the booster and then dumped the orbital and service modules, leaving the Soyuz in a ballistic return that included exceeding 100 miles, making this a sub-orbital space flight.

dinthebeast said...

NASA said that the current occupants of the ISS are fine, and worst case scenario they send up an unmanned Soyuz for them to ride home in if the one they have up there gets past its operational time limit, whatever that means.
They sort of pointedly didn't comment on what effects this might have on the development timeline of the Spacex and Boeing crewed vehicles.
They seemed to think the investigation would hold up the Soyuz program for one to three months.

-Doug in Oakland

bmq215 said...

dinthebeast, Soyuz propellants are somewhat corrosive. Once in orbit they're rated for 215 days before degradation of tanks and other components might lead to failures (plus a hefty safety margin, I expect).

CenterPuke88 said...

bmq215, not quite true. The 215 day limit is based upon the peroxide fuel for the descent module attitude control system. The corrosive fuels eating through the tanks in the other modules would command a longer lifespan, but the peroxide will slowly decay in the tank over time, hence the 215 day limit for the descent module, which has only the peroxide fuel. This also means that the 215 day limit is arbitrary, in that even without a functional attitude control system, the Soyuz could complete a ballistic reentry. Now, a ballistic reentry is not preferred due to increased g forces and a reduction in landing accuracy, it it is doable. It is not specified what the limit is for the hypergolic fuels used in the other parts of the Soyuz.

bmq215 said...

CP88, thank you! I got the info for my response from a source that I'd generally trust but couldn't find anything to corroborate or disprove it. Made me a bit curious about what the fuel system was made of as UMDH and N2O4 are pretty stable. Peroxide decay makes a lot more sense.

Out of curiosity, is there a specific source that you got that from? I'm a bit of a space junkie and always looking for new info, especially when it comes to Soviet systems where things are still coming to light.

CenterPuke88 said...

Vlogger named Scott Manley, in this video (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QMUJ004Dr8Q&feature=youtu.be&t=222) at about 3:40 (sorry, my attempts to link don’t work...). He’s pretty remarkable. Alternatively, search for “Soyuz MS-10 Failure - Updates & Answers to your questions”.