Soviet era rockets no longer fit for purpose?

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#42
Interesting. Criminal? Not so sure. Maybe a mistranslation? Of course after any failure of a manned launch there are going to be investigations and suspension of flights. I would have thought that a booster failure is within the scope of abnormal but not catastrophic launches. If anything like sabotage or criminally negligent manufacturing would arise from the initial investigation. Does not necessarily mean that a criminal act is suspected from the outset.
 
#44
And yet I've heard a couple of times that the Soyuz design was based upon/amazingly resembled an American
design.

Anyway, was it cutting corners or being too close to the cutting edge? Added to a massively inflated National patriotic drive to beat the Russians to key milestones? Maybe the same thing but at the time was that seen as acceptable risk that with hindsight wouldn't be?
The investigation as the time was scathing about the entire programme. Everything done to the lowest bidder and QC almost non Existent. IIRC, the standards of the wiring came in for particular critiscim. Not so much Buck Rogers, as Buck the dodgy sparky Rogers. Chaffed wiring, missing insulation.
And NASA was very aware of the dangers of a 100% oxygen atmosphere after a series of oxygen fires over the previous 5 years, but pure oxygen was quicker, cheaper and lighter.
 
#45
Interesting. Criminal? Not so sure. Maybe a mistranslation? Of course after any failure of a manned launch there are going to be investigations and suspension of flights. I would have thought that a booster failure is within the scope of abnormal but not catastrophic launches. If anything like sabotage or criminally negligent manufacturing would arise from the initial investigation. Does not necessarily mean that a criminal act is suspected from the outset.
What the Russians are saying:
Investigative Committee labels Soyuz MS-10 emergency landing as safety violation
 
#46
Thanks for your input....... frankly, if obsolete soviet tec cribbed off Dr Strangelove is so safe......
Lots of people would be paying to use it.

Oh, look...
 
#47
The safety systems and procedures clearly worked resulting in a non atomised crew.

In spaceflight terms, a success.

Highly reliable and known bit of kit that's evolved somewhat since the 60's

Nothing to see here.

Normal service will be resumed once failure analysis and any changes are made.

Any manned spaceflight ending with a living crew back on earth is a success, regardless of other objectives which are always secondary
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#48
Thanks for that. In some ways it is similar to our Health and Safety Executive being involved. But with gulags. Of course a full investigation is necessary. I suspect that the root cause is going to be a product of the Swiss Cheese rather than anything criminal.

Borisov pertinently said today

"today only Russia ensures the transportation of space crews to the International Space Station."

More:
Russia to provide NASA with full information on Soyuz emergency landing, vows deputy PM

So Russia have a vested interest in keeping that going. The new question is, the ISS is elderly and has had one (Russian) subcritical failure recently. As it grows more complex, the rate of faults will inevitably increase. Not as bad as the Dragonfly (Mir) which came so very close to multiple deaths.

Is there a political will to drop the ISS? Is there a political will to replace it?
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#49
The safety systems and procedures clearly worked resulting in a non atomised crew.

In spaceflight terms, a success.

Highly reliable and known bit of kit that's evolved somewhat since the 60's

Nothing to see here.

Normal service will be resumed once failure analysis and any changes are made.

Any manned spaceflight ending with a living crew back on earth is a success, regardless of other objectives which are always secondary
From an engineering perspective, that is totally correct. Its not as if the escape system has been used so often it questions the viability of the whole rocket system.

I am feeling that this is the end of nationalised space exploration and the increase of private enterprise. Musk going for a translunar journey is a bit extraordinary but OK. The people on board will be artists. They may fail lunar orbit injection and fly off into space. Can we put Tracy Emin on board?

Joking aside it seems like a private enterprise of the early space race. Branson goes for sub-orbital, then Bezos goes for orbital, then Musk to the moon.
 
#54
From an engineering perspective, that is totally correct. Its not as if the escape system has been used so often it questions the viability of the whole rocket system.

I am feeling that this is the end of nationalised space exploration and the increase of private enterprise. Musk going for a translunar journey is a bit extraordinary but OK. The people on board will be artists. They may fail lunar orbit injection and fly off into space. Can we put Tracy Emin on board?

Joking aside it seems like a private enterprise of the early space race. Branson goes for sub-orbital, then Bezos goes for orbital, then Musk to the moon.
I've not followed the possible lunar flight other than it will include at least one tourist (the Japanese billionaire)

I assume that the navigator and commander will be professional astronauts. But this needs confirmation.

Assuming that it's a single Dragon 2 capsule plus service component, this would be the first time a manned spaceflight has flown to the moon without a second (lunar) module since the Apollo 8 flight in December 1968, almost 50 years ago.

The significance being that Apollo 8 was the only flight to the moon where they entered lunar orbit LOI (Lunar orbital insertion) with only a single means of propulsion (the CSM engine) to escape lunar orbit. The balls of this flight perhaps exceeded that of Apollo 11, as testified by Neil Armstrong. With a lunar module, the propulsion system had redundancy, as seen on Apollo 13

Should the CSM engine have failed, they would have been stuck in lunar orbit until this day. Obviously suffocating when their atmospheric consumables ran out.

In summary, Space X had better be damn sure that not only they can insert their spacecraft into lunar orbit. They have to be 100% sure that the engine will reignite and generate thrust within acceptable tolerances in order to get the spacecraft back to earth TEI (trans earth injection). Otherwise a dead crew in lunar orbit forever will bugger their share price.

Additionally, a major hurdle is testing the heat shield at TEI velocity. Rentry velocity from low earth orbit is around 17500 mph, TEI velocity is around 24500. Drag squares with velocity increase, so no mean feat. Again the Apollo 8 mission with a live crew was only the second test of the heat shield after the unmanned Apollo 4 mission.

Bill Anders, the Apollo 8 LMP (Lunar module pilot despite no lunar module reduced to mission photographer) rated their chance of surviving the mission at 1/3.
 
#55
As far as we know the Russians have had very few in flight deaths, I think possibly 4, one in the very early days which was unreported and a crew of three in a Soyuz return module. This I think is mainly due to keeping to tried and trusted systems whilst NASA has lost crews in the Apolo 1 flash fire and in two Shuttles, Columbia and Challenger. Columbia was a wing failure secondary to external panel damage and Challenger was an SRB failure.
Were you referring to a female cosmonaut?

Funny how a one trick pony referred to the Americans using liquid oxygen, ISTR the Soviets having an accident with pure oxygen that should have been totally predictable to anyone even with a general knowledge.

Back to this latest event. Brilliant outcome, this is rocket science after all, and things will always go wrong at some point.
 
#56
Gagarin's capsule in on exhibit in the Cosmonautics Museum in Moscow. It is totally different from that. It is spherical for one instance, and much much smaller.
The Soyuz didn't fly until the late 60's.

Vostock 1 was an entirely different beast.

Compare the 1 man Mercury capsule to the Apollo Capsule for context
 
#58
While many of us are celebrating the successful recovery back to terra firma for this pair I had a wry smile at the thought of Juliane Koepcke seeing this and thinking 'wussies, they had a capsule for protection'

If you don't know who is look her up, she went through a rare and bizarre situation.
 
#60
Were you referring to a female cosmonaut?

Funny how a one trick pony referred to the Americans using liquid oxygen, ISTR the Soviets having an accident with pure oxygen that should have been totally predictable to anyone even with a general knowledge.

Back to this latest event. Brilliant outcome, this is rocket science after all, and things will always go wrong at some point.

Russia had one death in a training rig before the first manned flight, and stopped using it.

NASA had the results of 5 oxygen fires to look over before Apollo 1 went up. They only switched to a non pure oxygen mix for the moon missions, Apollo 7 went into orbit with pure oxygen to keep the moon shots on schedule..
Who'd have thunk it, the Russians put crew safety before political expediency.
 

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