NASASpaceFlight.com Forum

International Space Flight (ESA, Russia, China and others) => Russian Launchers - Soyuz, Progress and Unmanned => Topic started by: johnxx9 on 01/20/2009 07:15 PM

Title: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: johnxx9 on 01/20/2009 07:15 PM
China-Russia Mars mission set for takeoff

The Phobos-Grunt mission is slated to to take place in October 2009 and  according to many Chinese and Russian newspapers the project is on the track and there would not be any delays. Phobos-Grunt will also carry a Chinese satellite.

http://www.upiasia.com/Science_News/2009/01/05/China-Russia_Mars_mission_set_for_takeoff/UPI-11111231173225/
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Russians-to-Send-Earth-Organisms-to-Mars-Moon-101389.shtml
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: EE Scott on 01/20/2009 09:02 PM
I can't believe this, because it's too good to be true.  Can we get any other verification?  If this mission would actually launch this year, it would be such a positive development, to be beyond words almost for someone like me who lives for these types of missions.  China's tag-along mission is also quite interesting and a groundbreaking effort for them.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/20/2009 09:54 PM
I can't believe this, because it's too good to be true.  Can we get any other verification?  If this mission would actually launch this year, it would be such a positive development, to be beyond words almost for someone like me who lives for these types of missions.  China's tag-along mission is also quite interesting and a groundbreaking effort for them.

2010 is next year.....
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sandrot on 01/20/2009 10:14 PM
I can't believe this, because it's too good to be true.  Can we get any other verification?  If this mission would actually launch this year, it would be such a positive development, to be beyond words almost for someone like me who lives for these types of missions.  China's tag-along mission is also quite interesting and a groundbreaking effort for them.

2010 is next year.....

But departure in October 2009
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 01/21/2009 10:33 AM
I can't believe this, because it's too good to be true.  Can we get any other verification?  If this mission would actually launch this year, it would be such a positive development, to be beyond words almost for someone like me who lives for these types of missions.  China's tag-along mission is also quite interesting and a groundbreaking effort for them.

2010 is next year.....

But departure in October 2009

If you read and check the Russian Launch Schedule thread you can see that there's no launch schedule for October this year. The latest info says that this launch will probably take place on 2011.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: EE Scott on 01/21/2009 10:46 AM
I can't believe this, because it's too good to be true.  Can we get any other verification?  If this mission would actually launch this year, it would be such a positive development, to be beyond words almost for someone like me who lives for these types of missions.  China's tag-along mission is also quite interesting and a groundbreaking effort for them.

2010 is next year.....

But departure in October 2009

If you read and check the Russian Launch Schedule thread you can see that there's no launch schedule for October this year. The latest info says that this launch will probably take place on 2011.

Perhaps the news article was too good to be true.  I've been waiting for the Phobos-Grunt mission for a long time.  It's going to be fascinating!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 01/21/2009 11:47 AM
Roskosmos To Launch Mission To Mars Moon In 2009
Moscow ITAR-TASS in English 0814 GMT 21 Jan 09
MOSCOW, January 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russian federal space agency head Anatoly Perminov said on Wednesday the world financial crisis would not prevent Russia from retaining its leadership in space exploration.

(Requires URL. Copyrighted materials should never be copied and pasted).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: johnxx9 on 01/21/2009 03:03 PM
"Already this October we plan to launch the Phobos-Grunt spaceship to Mars that for the first time in the space history should bring to the Earth soil samples from a moon of Mars," he said.


I think it is true. I have been following this spacecraft since 2008 and in July 2008 the project manager had said that the spacecraft was on schedule.

See this video-----------------------
It's in Russian but worth watching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0cUvK0Dgy8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0cUvK0Dgy8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: EE Scott on 01/21/2009 04:24 PM
Thanks for providing the video.  What a great adventure this mission will be, whenever it gets launched (the sooner the better).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rklaehn on 01/21/2009 04:52 PM
This video is really excellent. It is easy to understand exactly what the mission does even without understanding the text. This is the best russian PR material I have ever seen.

Interesting that the return capsule just crashes into the kasachstan desert without a parachute. But it worked for genesis, so why not  :)

It would be great if there was water on phobos or deimos. That would make a manned mars mission much easier.  You could have a rover control station, ISRU factory and propellant depot at phobos or deimos.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 01/21/2009 08:46 PM
I note it still shows a Soyuz/Fregat launch vehicle, but recent reports say 'Zenit'.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: johnxx9 on 01/22/2009 12:32 PM
I note it still shows a Soyuz/Fregat launch vehicle, but recent reports say 'Zenit'.

Yes, it will the Zenit. The video is from early 2008. It doesn't even show the Chinese satellite because it wasn't decided by then.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 01/26/2009 11:28 AM
I can't believe this, because it's too good to be true.  Can we get any other verification?  If this mission would actually launch this year, it would be such a positive development, to be beyond words almost for someone like me who lives for these types of missions.  China's tag-along mission is also quite interesting and a groundbreaking effort for them.

The rumour is that it won't be launched in 2009. Just won't be ready.
But I share your excitement - I am waiting for this mission too.
Another rumour is that they (Lavochkin) are mainly focused on Spektr and Electro-L and not many resources are currently allocated to Phobos-Grunt.

2010 is next year.....

The next window (launch opportunity) to Mars is 2011.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: eeergo on 02/06/2009 10:07 AM
Interesting and revealing video in Roskosmos TV:

http://74.125.79.113/translate_c?hl=es&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://tvroscosmos.ru/frm/kosmostv/vesti/2009/vesti220109.php&usg=ALkJrhhszMxvd-Yng9HJan7f_HxmsQ-HwA

The Zenit launcher is apparently confirmed, with animations pointing to it, as well as the snip text below. The video also shows what appears to be actual flight hardware (looking convincingly advanced) There's an interesting feature in this hardware: a truss extending from the lander to the propulsion section... will it be in place for launch too (change in design?) or does it just have a role in spacecraft processing? Perhaps with the change in launcher they can incorporate new payloads, apart from Yinghuo?

Some images of a rover at the end too, probably having to do with the end statement of the release: ""After Phobos on the basis of this, practically, will take two more spacecraft to Mars and the Mars landing. And 3 missions to the Moon. And in 2015 to Venus" - explained George Polischuk. "
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nathan on 02/06/2009 10:30 AM
"Already this October we plan to launch the Phobos-Grunt spaceship to Mars that for the first time in the space history should bring to the Earth soil samples from a moon of Mars," he said.


I think it is true. I have been following this spacecraft since 2008 and in July 2008 the project manager had said that the spacecraft was on schedule.

See this video-----------------------
It's in Russian but worth watching



that's excellent! did I hear a bit of Tubular Bells III in there? Some russians have fantastic taste!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: eeergo on 02/13/2009 05:17 PM
[...] There's an interesting feature in this hardware: a truss extending from the lander to the propulsion section... will it be in place for launch too (change in design?) or does it just have a role in spacecraft processing? Perhaps with the change in launcher they can incorporate new payloads, apart from Yinghuo?

I think I've found an answer to my question: browsing through Anatoly Zak's Russian Space Web, I found very clear diagrams of the spacecraft layout, somewhat different to what is shown in the videos posted in this thread, before the Yinghuo-1 was included in the project. Indeed, the truss is just for housing the Chinese sat until after the propulsion stage is spent. Then, Phobos-Grunt will separate and leave an exit for Yinghuo.

See this image: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_breakdown_1.jpg, located in Phobos-Grunt's page: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: johnxx9 on 02/15/2009 03:38 PM
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_preflight.html

In January 2009, several Russian TV channels run a footage of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft being assembled at NPO Lavochkin facility in Khimki. For the first time, a newly added truss, designed to accommodate a Chinese "hitchhiker" satellite, was shown being integrated into the structure of the vehicle. The head of the organization, Georgy Poleshyuk appeared on screen, admitting that the spacecraft's preparation schedule was very tight and the work on the project was now conducted in two shifts. Poleshyuk however still told to an increasingly skeptical audience that Phobos-Grunt would fly in 2009.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Spiff on 02/16/2009 08:27 PM
If they pull it off, and, more importantly, if they succeed in their mission, I will be very impressed.
But I'm hoping for them. It will be good to see Russia back in the interplanetary arena.

Spiff
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 02/17/2009 11:05 AM
If they pull it off, and, more importantly, if they succeed in their mission, I will be very impressed.
But I'm hoping for them. It will be good to see Russia back in the interplanetary arena.
I agree with every single word there. I would really like to see this mission in action and I wish the Phobos-Grunt team luck!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lbiderman on 02/18/2009 10:55 AM
If we use Mars-96 as a reference, we will probably find out about any delays by mid-year.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Kaputnik on 02/18/2009 03:15 PM
I cannot say I feel confident about this mission, but I really really wish them all the best luck possible. I'd much rather they delay to 2011 if they need to, rather than rushing for launch this year. It's been thirteen years since a Russian probe to Mars so we can wait a couple more.
This mission seems to have a lot less in common with the earlier Phobos I and II craft than I had expected. Similar rendezvous procedure, but I see it uses a single MOI/descent stage, not a separate propulsion module. The Phobos propulsion module was essentially a Fregat stage, and was used for TMI, MOI, and the orbital manoeuvring burns, being jettisoned just before the closest approach to Phobos.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: johnxx9 on 02/25/2009 03:36 PM
Look at this news-----------------

http://www.russia-ic.com/news/show/7805/

I thought that the plan of sending microbial life of Phobos-Grunt was confirmed!!

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 04/03/2009 11:59 AM
http://www.roscosmos.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=5823

Looks like Zenit-3M is the new LV for this mission
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lbiderman on 04/03/2009 01:40 PM
http://www.roscosmos.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=5823

Looks like Zenit-3M is the new LV for this mission

Wasnt that pretty much defined like a year or so ago?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 04/03/2009 10:27 PM
Wasnt that pretty much defined like a year or so ago?
Maybe you are right. But for me it was unclear at that stage. They were talking about changing/upgrading LV (especially after the addition of the Chinese probe) but I haven't seen an official announcement.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: MKremer on 04/04/2009 12:08 AM
Wasnt that pretty much defined like a year or so ago?
Maybe you are right. But for me it was unclear at that stage. They were talking about changing/upgrading LV (especially after the addition of the Chinese probe) but I haven't seen an official announcement.


Another article that mentions using Zenit here:
http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=244836&cid=10

(via a post on p.14 of the thread here: http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=1844 )
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 04/10/2009 08:08 AM
Not good...

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/apr09/8527

Quote
Russian space officials are about to announce a postponement of Phobos-Grunts launch to 2011

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Eraser on 04/10/2009 10:30 AM
Not good...

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/apr09/8527

Quote
Russian space officials are about to announce a postponement of Phobos-Grunts launch to 2011


As expected...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Olaf on 04/10/2009 01:59 PM
Not good...

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/apr09/8527

Quote
Russian space officials are about to announce a postponement of Phobos-Grunts launch to 2011



As Andrey wrote in another thread last year.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: EE Scott on 04/10/2009 05:05 PM
Not good...

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/apr09/8527

Quote
Russian space officials are about to announce a postponement of Phobos-Grunts launch to 2011



Very disappointing.  I suppose 2009 was too good to be true.  I was very much looking forward to this mission.  This was by far the most ambitious, exciting space mission - to me - in a long, long time.  If the linked story is true, I hope it survives the challenges it faces in the next two years.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 04/11/2009 02:59 AM
oh, very disappointing indeed! Mind you this is still not official. But if all rumours about the current state of this project are true I would rather have this mission delayed by ~2 years (26 months?) and have better chances of mission success. I personally have big expectations - this is a very interesting and ambitious project.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: madscientist197 on 04/12/2009 11:52 AM
I think this is actually very GOOD news. There was absolutely no chance they could have met the deadline and they would only have ended up with a disaster. This gives me some hope that they might succeed (especially considering that landing on Phobos should be substantially easier than landing on Mars).

2011 is going to be a BIG year for Mars exploration!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 05/04/2009 06:46 PM
Phobos mission delayed for two years source
10:53 GMT, May 04, 2009
     MOSCOW.  May  4  (Interfax-AVN) - The mission of Russia's automatic research  module  Fobos  Grunt  to  the  Martian moon of Phobos is being delayed  for  two  years, as the module is not ready, an informed source told Interfax-AVN on Monday.
     "The  Fobos  Grunt launch is delayed for two years due to technical problems.  The  Lavochkin  Research and Production Center is technically unable to  finish the works by the end of this year. The next convenient time for the launch will be in 2011," he said.
     Financial  problems  have  nothing to do with the delay, the source said. "The  funding  is absolute, but the center lacks skilled personnel to complete the work on time," he noted.
     Meanwhile,  Lavochkin  spokesman Mikhail Sherstnev told Interfax he had no information  about the delay of the mission. "We are on schedule.I have heard nothing about a delay," he said.
     The launch of Fobos Grunt was planned for October 2009. The vehicle is due to reach the Martian orbit in eleven months and land on Phobos in April 2011. It will take samples of Phobos soil and return to Earth. The return is  planned  for  July 2012. The total duration of the mission is three years.
     Scientists  hope  that studies of the Phobos soil will help resolve some mysteries in the formation of the solar system.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: glanmor05 on 05/04/2009 06:52 PM
Wow, I'd never heard of this mission (not that I'm the most informed individual).  Are there any other soil return missions (I'm assuming this would be a first, other than the moon?) with firm plans out there?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 05/05/2009 03:57 PM
Official view: launch is still ON!!

Preparations For Launch Of Phobos-Grunt Probe Proceed As Planned
Moscow ITAR-TASS in English 1307 GMT 05 May 09
   MOSCOW, May 5 (Itar-Tass) -- All preparations for launching the Phobos-Grunt space probe, expected to deliver to the Earth samples of Martian soil, proceed strictly as planned, the general director and general designer of the Lavochkin research and production association (the probe's manufacturer), Georgy Polishchuk, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
   "The work schedule is tight, but everything is on time and the question of shifting the launch from 2009 to 2001 has not been discussed anywhere," Polishchuk told Itar-Tass in the wake of media rumors the probe's launch had to be delayed due to a shortage of personnel.
   Polishchuk said the Phobos-Grunt probe, which is on the list of the federal space program extending till 2015, is a number one priority for the Lavochkin Association.
   "At the launch site and at the head office work is in full swing. Cooperation with the Chinese partners proceeds well," he said.
   The Lavochkin Association has already integrated a test sample of the Chinese micro-satellite with the Russian probe, and the flight sample will be delivered to Russia on June 17.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 05/05/2009 04:27 PM
Official view: launch is still ON!!

So... who to believe here? I'd like to believe the launch is still on for 2009, but the pessimist in me refuses to.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: I14R10 on 05/05/2009 04:52 PM
I don't know why but I expected Mars return probe launch sometime around 2015. This is really great mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Suzy on 05/06/2009 02:30 AM
"Focused on Phobos (http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Focused_On_Phobos_999.html)", Mars Daily, 4/5: doesn't have any confirmation of a launch date, but does have some info about the Russian and other planned missions.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: madscientist197 on 05/06/2009 04:02 AM
Hopefully it manages to produce some interesting science before it fails from lack of testing. I'd really rather it wasn't launched until it was ready.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Phillip Clark on 05/16/2009 08:37 AM
The Chinese are still reporting that their Yinghuo 1 Mars probe is scheduled to be launched with Fobos-Grunt in October this year.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr.columbus on 05/30/2009 11:28 AM
The Chinese are still reporting that their Yinghuo 1 Mars probe is scheduled to be launched with Fobos-Grunt in October this year.

Well, just two days ago Zhang Weiqiang of SAST also insisted that the launch was still on for the second half of this year.

http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?a=jf2s4pcbdad&title=China_to_launch_first_Mars_probe_later_this_year (http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?a=jf2s4pcbdad&title=China_to_launch_first_Mars_probe_later_this_year)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 06/26/2009 04:45 PM
Last month, Lavochkin officials singled out "June 17" as the make-or-break delivery date of components of Fobos-Grunt.

A full week has gone by now, and I've seen no news whatsoever about this milestone being accomplished.

So what can we deduce from this silence?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: V.V. on 06/26/2009 06:04 PM
According to NPOL sources, the Chinese subsat is delivered in time to Russia.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: patchfree on 06/27/2009 09:08 PM
Anatoly ZAK met G Polyschuck and had a clear info about the status of Phobos-Grunt.

See: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_preflight.html#lebourget (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_preflight.html#lebourget)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: 2552 on 08/21/2009 09:19 AM
After the sample has been sent on its way back to Earth, the lander will continue studying the surface of Phobos. Since Phobos has almost no gravity, would it be possible for the lander to take off again, and land at a different location on Phobos to study the surface in detail from multiple locations?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: EE Scott on 08/21/2009 10:51 AM
Anatoly ZAK met G Polyschuck and had a clear info about the status of Phobos-Grunt.

See: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_preflight.html#lebourget (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_preflight.html#lebourget)

According to the page above, they are still testing major elements of this spacecraft (e.g., Aug 12, testing of the landing radar).  Wow, that is a very tight schedule they have going there.  I guess if they find problems in their testing of duplicate hardware, they would put the launch off until 2011.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 08/30/2009 10:16 AM
Other news from the MAKS-2009 air show in Zhukovskiy give the following picture:

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=125875&cid=437&p=18.08.2009&pn=1

Quote
"-" . - -2009 . . .

Launch may be made in the beginning of November. Onboard devices are being tested now.

http://www.roscosmos.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=7155

Quote
- 20 . . , . , , . , ...

Integrated testing being made now, should be finished by September 20. If successful, launch would occur by the beginning of November. Otherwise, we'd be delayed by two years.

http://www.zhukvesti.ru/articles/detail/2042/

Quote
., - 20 . , . , , .

September 20 is the date for the final decision on Fobos-Grunt from the State Commission. If positive, launch would be made in the first days of November. Otherwise, a two-year delay would follow.

Well, speaking of Russian mentality and rules of Russian bureaucracy, if a boss admits publicly a possibility of delay, it should be considered very seriously. It's also clear that Polishchuk relates the final decision to higher authorities. So we'll see in three weeks what would follow.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: madscientist197 on 08/31/2009 08:59 AM
Hopefully it is delayed. Otherwise I fear it will be a repeat of their prior successes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simon-th on 08/31/2009 09:16 AM
Hopefully it is delayed. Otherwise I fear it will be a repeat of their prior successes.

Delays don't mean missions have higher success probabilities. Actually, history tells us it's the other way around.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: madscientist197 on 08/31/2009 11:36 AM
There's quite a history of overambitious Russian Mars missions with too little testing resulting in a mission failure. Maybe this one is different. Are you sure you're thinking of the Russian programme?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 08/31/2009 01:07 PM
The addition of the Chinese subsatellite, and this year's bragging about the mission from toip Russian leaders, may have placed intolerable pressures on the launch decision. But don't despair -- even a reduced mission, such as the Chinese probe and the Phobos lander lab, without sample return, would be an amazingly impressive mission.

Regarding the references to Mars-96, and how it dropped its plutonium packets on Bolivia -- are there any nuclear materials on F-G?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 09/14/2009 09:30 PM
Crunch time for Russia Mars probe
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8254820.stm
By Anatoly Zak , Science Reporter

Zak says a delay until 2011 is being recommended.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: spacex on 09/16/2009 07:31 PM
Looks like a delay is inevitable

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ikw3CuSiSD3XpmbaTlUeMumyXZdg
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 09/16/2009 09:17 PM
Novosti Kosmonavtiki is reporting that the decision that was taken on the September 16th meeting is that the mission will be delayed to 2011.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: 2552 on 09/19/2009 10:29 AM
Damn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pm1823 on 09/19/2009 02:09 PM
No, it is Good!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 09/19/2009 02:12 PM
Roscosmos still hasn't announced an official delay, though.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 09/21/2009 08:24 PM
http://lenta.ru/news/2009/09/21/phobos/

This article states quotes Lev Zelenyi (director of Institute for Space Studies) as saying that the decision was taken by Roscosmos to delay the mission.

Reasons were given as "increasing reliability of the mission, lowering risk, and guaranteeing success," although the decision was still very difficult to make.

At the end of the article they mention the rumors that began circulating about delays most recently, saying these were related to fears that the control system would not withstand the lengthy flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 09/29/2009 12:47 PM
Today Roscosmos confirmed the delay, sort of.
In today's Rossiyskaya Gazeta, head of Roscosmos Anatoliy Perminov spoke about it as of old news.
He told that the delay was requested by the Bureau of Space Souncil of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
He also spoke about three problems leading to delay:
(1) They do not know exactly what is Phobos soil like and which type of soil capture device would be the best.
(2) They do not have 100% comms coverage yet.
(3) More careful testing of component elements is needed.

http://www.rg.ru/2009/09/29/perminov.html

For those speaking Russian there is the related excerpt:

Quote
РГ: А что с космическим аппаратом "Фобос-Грунт", запуск которого к спутнику Марса планировался в середине октября?

Перминов: Бюро совета РАН по космосу рекомендовало перенести реализацию этой научной миссии на октябрь 2011 года.

РГ: Почему?

Перминов: Для того чтобы обеспечить более высокую ее надежность. Ученые рассчитывают уточнить характер самой поверхности Фобоса. Это нужно, чтобы точнее сконструировать устройство для забора грунта. Если грунт слишком твердый, то неправильно выбранный способ его забора может свести к нулю результат столь дорогой экспедиции. Кроме того, пока не достигнута 100-процентная надежность дублированной непрерывной связи с аппаратом на всех этапах полета. Нужна и более надежная отработка составных элементов.

РГ: А с чем связан перенос именно на два года? Если бы аппарат был запущен сейчас, то к апрелю 2011 года он уже сел бы на Фобос...

Перминов: В 2011 году открывается наиболее оптимальное астрономическое окно для полета к Марсу и его спутнику. Это позволит "Фобос-Грунту" по кратчайшей траектории достичь цели и вернуться назад.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 09/29/2009 03:56 PM
Thanks for the link -- the question is, were the program planners expecting a mitacle to occur during the last few months, to solve these problems?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 12/18/2009 01:58 PM
So, where is the launch vehicle for this project? Will it be in storage for the next 2 years?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Stan Black on 12/18/2009 02:54 PM
So, where is the launch vehicle for this project? Will it be in storage for the next 2 years?

Or maybe used for Elektro-L or Spektr-R next year?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: bolun on 03/19/2010 10:32 AM

Images from the recent flyby of Phobos by Mars Express, show the proposed landing sites for the forthcoming Phobos-Grunt mission.

In 2011 Russia will send a mission called PhobosGrunt (meaning Phobos Soil) to land on the martian moon, collect a soil sample and return it to Earth for analysis.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMK17CKP6G_0.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 10/13/2010 09:39 PM
http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=10568 (http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=10568)

"Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency arrived in Ukraine to discuss space cooperation issues with Ukrainian colleagues, RBC informs. 

Roscosmos Head visited National Spacecraft Control and Test Center in Evpatoria, Crimea, which is planned to be used for control of the Phobos-Grunt space station slated for launch to Martian moon in 2011. "
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/02/2010 02:47 PM
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002738/

13 tons will lift off from Earth to return an 11-kilogram capsule containing 200 grams of Phobos!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Sparky on 11/02/2010 03:02 PM
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002738/

13 tons will lift off from Earth to return an 11-kilogram capsule containing 200 grams of Phobos!

Not to forget a few miligrams of life!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Spiff on 11/02/2010 08:34 PM
A lot more than 13 tons will lift off if you count the launch vehicle.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 06/03/2011 10:44 AM
Phobos-Grunt is electrically tested in low-pressure chamber in NITs RKP, Peresvet.

Quote
2.06.2011
Электрические испытания КА Фобос-Грунт

С середины мая в ФКП НИЦ РКП (г. Пересвет) специалистами НПО им. С.А. Лавочкина ведётся подготовка к комплексным электрическим испытаниям КА Фобос-Грунт в термо-вакуумной камере. Завершается подключение наземной кабельной сети, установка элементов экранно-вакуумной теплоизоляции, датчиков теплового потока, системы контроля вакуума. В ближайшее время запланирована окончательная стыковка составных частей КА Фобос-Грунт и установка в вакуумную камеру.

Целью комплексных электрических испытаний в вакуумной камере является подтверждение работоспособности систем КА Фобос-Грунт в условиях, приближенных к реальным условиям функционирования космического аппарата.

Напомним, что уникальная миссия космического аппарата Фобос-Грунт, разработанного и созданного в НПО им. С.А. Лавочкина, рассчитана на доставку грунта с поверхности спутника Марса Фобос. В том числе во время перелета будет производиться ряд исследований. Например, вместе с КА Фобос-Грунт в путешествие по вселенной отправят бактерии и другие микроорганизмы, и по успешному возвращению миссии ученые увидят, как подобные перелеты могут влиять на живых существ. Пуск КА запланирован на конец этого года.

Фотографии ФКП "НИЦ РКП"

http://www.laspace.ru/rus/news.php
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 06/15/2011 04:04 AM
http://www.laspace.ru/rus/news.php#403

06.06.2011
Руководитель ФГУП НПО им. С.А. Лавочкина побывал в г. Пересвете

Сегодня Генеральный конструктор и генеральный директор ФГУП НПО им. С.А. Лавочкина Виктор Владимирович Хартов с рабочим визитом посетил ФКП НИЦ РКП (г. Пересвет), где в настоящее время в термо-вакуумной камере находится на электрических испытаниях КА Фобос-Грунт.

Виктор Владимирович заслушал доклады технического руководителя по испытаниям Ю. В. Мозгового, руководителя проекта по ОКР Фобос-Грунт П.В. Меркулова и других специалистов о ходе подготовки и проведения испытаний.

Phobos-Grunt is in the thermal vacuum chamber in St. Pete.

BTW, when looking at the large size of the spacecraft, remember that the lower half is the Fregat upper stage. Since Lavochkin makes the Fregat and the spacecraft, they are dealing with the entire stack as a single unit.


Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 06/15/2011 04:08 AM
http://www.niimashspace.ru/produce/rkt/22-propulsion/65--q-q.html

A web site on the propulsion for the tiny Phobos lander, made by Lavochkin, including the mass properties of the spacecraft.

Also, some extra photos from the NK forum about this little thing.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 06/28/2011 02:06 PM
The probe has been brought back from NITs RKP to NPO Lavotchkine.

http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=17441
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: NotGncDude on 06/29/2011 06:03 AM
http://www.niimashspace.ru/produce/rkt/22-propulsion/65--q-q.html

A web site on the propulsion for the tiny Phobos lander, made by Lavochkin, including the mass properties of the spacecraft.

Also, some extra photos from the NK forum about this little thing.



Does it say anything about the propellants? I can't read Russian :/

Update: ok this says UDMH and AT. What's AT?

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_design.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: NotGncDude on 06/29/2011 06:13 AM
W00t! Composite tanks!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Proponent on 06/29/2011 08:03 AM
Does it say anything about the propellants? I can't read Russian :/

Update: ok this says UDMH and AT. What's AT?

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_design.html (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_design.html)

Looking quickly at the Russian-language site, I see nothing about propellants don't see a definition of "AT", but the Russian word for nitrogen is azot.  I'll bet AT is nitrogen tetroxide.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 06/30/2011 03:13 AM
The probe has been brought back from NITs RKP to NPO Lavotchkine.

http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=17441

A photo of the spacecraft, back at the factory in Khimki.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Sparky on 07/05/2011 06:08 AM
Any word if MetNet will be flying with Phobos Grunt?

Wikipedia implies so, but that's obviously nothing to go on...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fobos-Grunt#Partners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fobos-Grunt#Partners)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetNet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetNet)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 07/18/2011 08:59 PM
The launch is planned on November 3rd or 5th, according to Viktor Khartov, director of Lavochkin enterprise.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 07/25/2011 06:28 PM
Zenit-2SB two-stage rocket was delivered on Baikonur cosmodrome on July 23rd.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 07/26/2011 06:04 AM
Any word if MetNet will be flying with Phobos Grunt?
No, it won't
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 08/08/2011 10:09 PM
Lest we overlook that mission.

For those not up to speed on the project, here's a good starting point: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt.html

The launch periode has been indicated as November 2011.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 08/13/2011 02:36 PM
According to http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=536316, the launch is planned on November 5, 2011.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 08/15/2011 06:49 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oYs2Q9r1HE
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 09/22/2011 05:26 PM
Photos were made on September 22nd.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 09/22/2011 07:48 PM
  Now let me get this straight!
Have they done the vacuum-chamber test on the Phobos-Grunt bus
BEFORE they applied the gold foil, or will the vacuum-chamber test for the Phobos-Grunt bus happen AFTER it is applied ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 09/23/2011 01:37 PM
Have they done the vacuum-chamber test on the Phobos-Grunt bus
BEFORE they applied the gold foil, or will the vacuum-chamber test for the Phobos-Grunt bus happen AFTER it is applied ?

Gold foil was applied before.
http://rutube.ru/tracks/4560346.html?v=34f46a40f5fafeb05c12f1bba8d17916
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 09/24/2011 12:59 PM
According to RIA Novosti Phobos-Grunt will be shipped to Baikonur on the 29th of September.

http://ria.ru/science/20110922/441831975.html

Current planned launch date is 5th of November but the window is opened till 20th of November.

The cost of the project is 5 billion roubles.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: TheFallen on 09/25/2011 05:53 AM
  Now let me get this straight!
Have they done the vacuum-chamber test on the Phobos-Grunt bus
BEFORE they applied the gold foil, or will the vacuum-chamber test for the Phobos-Grunt bus happen AFTER it is applied ?


Does it matter? I'm not getting my hopes up that this mission will have a different outcome than Mars '96. And Phobos 1. And Phobos 2. Etc...

Prove me wrong :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 09/25/2011 05:57 AM
Phobos 2, IIRC, provided a lot of data about Mars and Phobos.

But I am not optimistic that the return capsule is going to be 100% successful, it seems like a long shot, like Hayabusa.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 09/26/2011 03:29 AM
Phobos 2, IIRC, provided a lot of data about Mars and Phobos.

But I am not optimistic that the return capsule is going to be 100% successful, it seems like a long shot, like Hayabusa.


Hopefully the Russian unmanned spaceflight teams have well-learned
the hard lessons from Phobos 1, 2 & Mars 96.

BTW, the Russians do have good experience recovering unmanned capsules that have reentered Earth's atmosphere at over 11 km/sec,
starting with Luna 16 in September, 1970.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Olaf on 09/27/2011 05:28 PM
According to the NK forum the launch will be delayed to NET Nov, 8th or 9th. No reasons are mentioned. The launch window will be open until Nov, 25th.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 09/28/2011 12:52 PM
According to Novosti kosmonavtiki forum, the launch is planned at 19:16 UTC on November 8th.

I have data that at 20:16 UTC on November 7th.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 10/04/2011 07:31 PM
Fobos-Grunt spacecraft will be delivered to Baikonur cosmodrome on October 17th.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hektor on 10/05/2011 08:55 AM
Aviation Week talks about another 26-month delay.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/awx/2011/10/03/awx_10_03_2011_p0-377356.xml&headline=NASA,%20ESA:%20No%20Agreement%20on%20Mars%20Mission

Quote
The mission has missed one planetary launch window already, and there are suggestions that continuing problems with the main Russian spacecraft may force another 26-month delay from the planned launch this fall.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 10/12/2011 02:36 PM
Hopefully the Russian unmanned spaceflight teams have well-learned
the hard lessons from Phobos 1, 2 & Mars 96.

It is my understanding that the Russians still officially insist that Mars-96 fell safely into the deep Pacific. Have they recently repeated or defended that conclusion?

My assessment is that the object falling into the Pacific was the DM stage. a day after the probe itself -- and plutonium batteries -- was observed both from US assets and ground observers, fireballing across the northern Chile coast towards Bolivia.

But in fifteen years, no reports from the ground indicate any identification of probe-related debris.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 10/12/2011 02:37 PM
Has anybody seen any detailed ascent timeline, including trans-Mars insertion? Will that burn be done under telemetry observation, or 'in the blind', again?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 10/14/2011 08:23 AM
Intresting pictures of MDU and Zenit launcher. It is written "Zenit-2FG" on it...

http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18054
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: B. Hendrickx on 10/14/2011 09:19 PM
Has anybody seen any detailed ascent timeline, including trans-Mars insertion? Will that burn be done under telemetry observation, or 'in the blind', again?

Some details are given in Lavochkin's in-house magazine "Vestnik NPO Lavochkina", nr. 3/2011, which can be downloaded here :

http://vestnik.laspace.ru/archives/

Check out the article "Ballistic flight profile of Fobos-Grunt" (in Russian).

The first two stages of the Zenit-2SLB will place Fobos-Grunt and the Briz-M upper stage into a 207x347 km parking orbit. Two and a half hours later the Briz main engine will be ignited for the first time, drawing propellant from the upper stage's jettisonable propellant tanks. This burn will place the vehicle into a 237x4250 km orbit (orbital period 2.1 hours) and will be followed by jettisoning of the tanks. Another 4.2 hours later the Briz-M will perform a second burn, after which the vehicle ends up in an orbit with an apogee of 17,500 km and an orbital period of 5.2 hours.

After reaching this new intermediate orbit, the Fobos-Grunt/Briz-M combination will coast in orbit for about 7 days, allowing its orbit to be accurately determined. On the basis of these orbit measurements,  the exact ignition time and duration of the escape burn will be calculated. In other words, while the two first burns will be executed automatically using data loaded aboard the spacecraft prior to launch, parameters for the escape burn will have to be uplinked to the spacecraft. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first time ever that a deep space probe spends a week coasting in Earth orbit before performing the escape burn. The article doesn't mention if the burn will be carried out within range of Russian ground stations.   
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: GClark on 10/15/2011 05:41 AM

The first two stages of the Zenit-2SLB will place Fobos-Grunt and the Briz-M upper stage...


Am I correct in thinking that this is a first for Zenit?  Briz-M?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/15/2011 06:30 AM

The first two stages of the Zenit-2SLB will place Fobos-Grunt and the Briz-M upper stage...


Am I correct in thinking that this is a first for Zenit?  Briz-M?


Briz-M? Wasn't it a Fregat stage?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 10/15/2011 08:17 AM
Briz-M? Wasn't it a Fregat stage?

There is not Briz-M upper stage on Zenit-2SLB rocket for Fobos-Grunt launch, there is not upper stage there at all, there is a cruise propulsion engine Flagman based on Fregat upper stage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 10/15/2011 10:02 AM
Has anybody seen any detailed ascent timeline, including trans-Mars insertion? Will that burn be done under telemetry observation, or 'in the blind', again?

According to Vestnik n3-2011 :

Three correction burns are scheduled.

First burn : between 5 and 10 days after Trans-Mars injection (dV = 85m/s)
Second burn : on the 65th day (dV = 10m/s)
Third burn : 4 to 2 weeks before Mars arrival (dV = 35m/s)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 10/15/2011 11:28 AM
Briz-M? Wasn't it a Fregat stage?

There is not Briz-M upper stage on Zenit-2SLB rocket for Fobos-Grunt launch, there is not upper stage there at all, there is a cruise propulsion engine Flagman based on Fregat upper stage.

Thank you. Do we have access to any schedule of the Flagman burn times? Will they be 'in the blind'?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: B. Hendrickx on 10/15/2011 11:42 AM
Briz-M? Wasn't it a Fregat stage?

There is not Briz-M upper stage on Zenit-2SLB rocket for Fobos-Grunt launch, there is not upper stage there at all, there is a cruise propulsion engine Flagman based on Fregat upper stage.

Yes, of course. Sorry for the misunderstanding.  Somehow must have had the Proton in the back of my mind.

As for burn times, the article in "Vestnik" gives 8.4 minutes for the first burn and 8.5 minutes for the second burn. No duration is given for the escape burn, probably because that will be calculated only after the orbital parameters of Fobos-Grunt are carefully measured following the second burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 10/17/2011 01:58 PM
Phobos-Grunt has been delivered to Baikonur today
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 10/17/2011 02:05 PM
Phobos-Grunt has been delivered to Baikonur today

http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18075
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 10/18/2011 04:17 PM
According to http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=312&L=2, Fobos-Grunt launch is planned at 20:16:03.145 UTC on November 8th.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: racshot65 on 10/18/2011 05:44 PM
Cross Post from the thread in the Robotic Section


Quote
Full credit to Astro0 over at UnmannedSpaceFlight.com for these links
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=1844&view=findpost&p=179317


Work and testing on the actual spacecraft (about 17mins and 118mb)
http://www.federalspace.ru/download/video/2011_09_26_Fobos_Grunt.flv

Animation of the entire mission (about 11mins and 71mb)
http://www.federalspace.ru/download/video/2011_09_26_FobosGr.flv
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lewis007 on 10/25/2011 07:17 AM
Roscosmos video of launch preps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqGilxRXSBg&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 10/28/2011 04:54 AM
The detailed ascent sequence of Mars-96 is here:
Ascent burn sequence
http://iki.rssi.ru/mars96/10_mars_e.htm


Has anyone found such detailed information for Fobos-Grunt?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 10/28/2011 04:57 AM
The Russians have apparently asked JPL to help alert observers in South America to watch for the two engine firings which will occur in darkness over that region.

see http://satobs.org/seesat/Oct-2011/0297.html

This effort to gather visual observations would be most helpful in the event of anomalies.
 
One of the major stumbling blocks in the accident investigation for Mars-96 was that the insertion burns were scheduled over the Gulf of Guinea, off Africa, 'in the blind', without the normal Soviet-era tracking ship on the ocean beneath the ground track.
 
Russia in 1996 just could not afford it.
 
Not having the real-time data on the insertion anomaly that DID occur in 1996 led
directly to the early confusion about where/when the probe actually reentered. As a result, the story solidified that it [and its plutonium batteries] had fallen safely into the Pacific Ocean when they actually came down over the Andes near the Chile-Bolivia border, where no search was ever made and no warnings were ever issued to the local population.
See http://www.jamesoberg.com/plutonium.html
 
Both Moscow and Washington found it convenient to let the initial misperceptions stand, so as not to alarm people -- or upset the still-brittle US-Russian space station alliance.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 10/28/2011 10:02 PM
Trajectory data: http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=312&L=2


Thin red line coasting in sunlight
Thick red line burning in sunlight
Thick black line burning in shadow
Thin black line coasting in shadow

First on-orbit burn:  November 08  //  22:55:48 GMT  for 9 min 30 sec
http://phobos.cosmos.ru/uploads/pics/1EB_02.jpg
Begins over Chile, south of Concepcion, heads northeast over Rosario/Parana [west of Buenos Aires], Urugualana, up the Argentine/Uruguay border, Londrina, just NW of Montes Claros, and off the coast between Natal and Fortaleza, then into Earths shadow.

Second on-orbit burn    Nov 09 //   01:02:49 GMT for 17 min 20 sec
http://phobos.cosmos.ru/uploads/pics/2EB_02.jpg
Cross coast of Peru near Ica, head NE, south tip of Colombia near Esperanca, Brazil, across eastern Venezuela, cross coast at Orinocos Boca Grande,visible from Trinidad and neighboring islands, enter Earth shadow while still burning, heading NE out over Atlantic.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/07/2011 02:22 AM
  I think we can expect a 24 hour+ delay. The Phobos-Grunt booster should have been moved to its launch platform by now.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/07/2011 03:23 AM
  I think we can expect a 24 hour+ delay. The Phobos-Grunt booster should have been moved to its launch platform by now.

Russian Space Agency site
http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18210
reports booster rolled out today [Nov 6] and ends with
""Пуск ракеты космического назначения Зенит-2SБ
с российской межпланетной автоматической
станцией Фобос-Грунт запланирован на 9 ноября."

..with the operative words being "launch is planned for 9 November",
which using Moscow time, GMT + 4, the same launch date we've been looking at for awhile.


See http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=312&L=2
"This trajectory is a planned version that assumes Phobos-Soil launch will occur 2011-Nov-8 20:16:03.145 UTC from Baikonur."


Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lewis007 on 11/07/2011 06:17 AM
The Zenit-2 rocket was transported to the launchpad on November 6.
Source: http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18210

With events occuring during the weekend, coverage is not optimal. I have not seen pictures or a video yet, but expect this will follow later today.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/07/2011 10:21 AM
Photo galery
http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=393

This one looks nice
http://www.federalspace.ru/img/al/1320658404.jpg
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lewis007 on 11/07/2011 03:37 PM
Roscosmos video of roll-out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFtUxw0XAPc&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/07/2011 05:55 PM
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1965/1

Red moon around a Red Planet

by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, November 7, 2011

"Very soonperhaps by the time youve read this articleRussia will launch the Phobos-Grunt mission to Mars. Whether youre interested in planetary science or human spaceflight there is good reason to hope that this mission succeeds, but also reason to expect it to fail.
This combination of great ambition and inexperience makes Phobos-Grunt a risky mission.

Phobos-Grunt is an incredibly ambitious mission to send a spacecraft to the Martian moon Phobos, perform analysis there, retrieve some samples (Grunt is Russian for soil), possibly even including ejected pieces of Mars, and then return them to Earth. In addition to its scientific instrument suite and its sample return equipment, the spacecraft will also carry a Chinese Mars orbiter. In terms of sophistication, this mission is the equivalent of NASAs mid-sized New Frontiers class of spacecraft, with an impressive science suite and many engineering challenges."

And:

Phobos-Grunt would be a powerful demonstration proof that bringing samples back from Mars orbit is possible. More importantly, it would place the Russians in the running to provide the vital sample return spacecraft for an expensive Mars sample return campaign.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/07/2011 05:56 PM
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1966/1

Phobos sample return launches tomorrow
by Lou Friedman
Monday, November 7, 2011

"If all goes well tomorrow (November 9 Moscow time) a Zenit-2 rocket will send the first Russian mission out of Earth orbit since the fall of the Soviet Union. In addition to it being a first for post-Communist Russia, it carries other first hopes: the first Chinese mission to Mars and the first deliberate sending of life from Earth into the solar system. The mission is complex and awesome: a 13.5-metric-ton spacecraft (including a 115-kilogram Chinese orbiter and 90-gram Planetary Society Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment, or LIFE) will be launched on a 33-month roundtrip journey to the Martian moon Phobos, with the objective of landing there, collecting a soil sample, and returning the sample to Earth."
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/07/2011 07:02 PM
Enjoyed the video very much......maybe a different person shooting with a different view of things...very well done.

This should be a very interesting launch.  Looks like a real Zenit 2?  Only two stages and payload?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/07/2011 07:08 PM
The Zenit-2 rocket was transported to the launchpad on November 6.
Source: http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18210

With events occuring during the weekend, coverage is not optimal. I have not seen pictures or a video yet, but expect this will follow later today.


I stand corrected. Thank you.

Now, GO, Zenit? GO, Phobos-Grunt!  Ooogon!! Pahleetayeet!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: tehwkd on 11/07/2011 08:48 PM
Dear people who spell Fobos-Grunt as Phobos-Grunt. YOU are the worst! Leave it as Fobos-Grunt or translate it into Phobos-Soil, Phobos-Ground, Phobos-Dirt, .......
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Stan Black on 11/07/2011 09:07 PM
Dear people who spell Fobos-Grunt as Phobos-Grunt. YOU are the worst! Leave it as Fobos-Grunt or translate it into Phobos-Soil, Phobos-Ground, Phobos-Dirt, .......

Including Lavochkin?

http://vestnik.laspace.ru/archives/download/1/2/
http://cwe.ccsds.org/sea/docs/SEA-D-DOR/Meeting%20Materials/2010.10.London/CCSDS%20Fall%202010%20-%20NPOL_Presentation_v2.pdf

Next up Luna-Resource!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/07/2011 09:14 PM
Someone's moved this thread already, but without turning it into a live thread? Shakes head ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/07/2011 09:17 PM
I always think the Falcon 9 looks a lot like Zenit. Go Phobos-Grunt!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Art LeBrun on 11/07/2011 09:26 PM
I always think the Falcon 9 looks a lot like Zenit. Go Phobos-Grunt!
I like both of them - kerolox with venting and ice shaking off the stages and no SRM to spoil the engine jets view.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/07/2011 09:34 PM
I had not realized how "clean" a Zenit pad until I watched the great roll-out video.

As other have mentioned, looks like Zenit and its pad and operations was a big inspiration for SpaceX.

Best of luck, Phobos-Grunt!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/07/2011 09:37 PM
no SRM to spoil the engine jets view.

This.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/07/2011 10:20 PM
Dear people who spell Fobos-Grunt as Phobos-Grunt. YOU are the worst! Leave it as Fobos-Grunt or translate it into Phobos-Soil, Phobos-Ground, Phobos-Dirt, .......

A ti nee navat?

Ti paneemiiyish?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/07/2011 11:02 PM
Someone's moved this thread already, but without turning it into a live thread? Shakes head ;)
Guess someone needs to be reported to the moderated ;-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 11/07/2011 11:06 PM
When was the last Mars mission that was not launched on a rocket using Glushko-designed engines in the 1st stage?

 ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/07/2011 11:38 PM
2007, Phoenix?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 12:55 AM
Fingers crossed for this one, probably the most exciting Mars mission with real hardware! Hey Chris, would a countdown clock be feasible on here? :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Proponent on 11/08/2011 01:23 AM
Dear people who spell Fobos-Grunt as Phobos-Grunt. YOU are the worst! Leave it as Fobos-Grunt or translate it into Phobos-Soil, Phobos-Ground, Phobos-Dirt, .......

And if saying the name out loud, please pronounce 'u' in "Grunt" as the "oo" in "moon": it sounds so much better and is more faithful to the Russian pronunciation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 01:32 AM
Dear people who spell Fobos-Grunt as Phobos-Grunt. YOU are the worst! Leave it as Fobos-Grunt or translate it into Phobos-Soil, Phobos-Ground, Phobos-Dirt, .......

And if saying the name out loud, please pronounce 'u' in "Grunt" as the "oo" in "moon": it sounds so much better and is more faithful to the Russian pronunciation.
For those who don't know Russian, the Latin pronunciation will suffice. ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/08/2011 01:35 AM
Fingers crossed for this one, probably the most exciting Mars mission with real hardware! Hey Chris, would a countdown clock be feasible on here? :D

Were there exciting missions with fake hardware or other missions that were boring with real hardware?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 01:37 AM
Fingers crossed for this one, probably the most exciting Mars mission with real hardware! Hey Chris, would a countdown clock be feasible on here? :D

Were there exciting missions with fake hardware or other missions that were boring with real hardware?
No Jim, just lots of paper ones. This one is groundbreaking - no pun intended (or will be if everything goes to plan).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/08/2011 01:41 AM
Do you have a list of the prefered video?

I see they are breaking Russian custom of not launching at 6.:30AM.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/08/2011 01:53 AM
Fingers crossed for this one, probably the most exciting Mars mission with real hardware! Hey Chris, would a countdown clock be feasible on here? :D

Were there exciting missions with fake hardware or other missions that were boring with real hardware?
No Jim, just lots of paper ones. This one is groundbreaking - no pun intended (or will be if everything goes to plan).
Um, MSL is paper? Unexciting? It's nuclear powered, has lasers to vaporize rock, is the size and mass of a Mini Cooper, and it will descend from a rocket-pack to the Martian surface.

We have a rover operating right now on Mars, plus unprecedented resolution orbital images returned from MRO, plus the trip to the icy north by Phoenix relatively recently. There's really no satisfying you people, is there?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lee Jay on 11/08/2011 01:55 AM
Um, MSL is paper? Unexciting? It's nuclear powered, has lasers to vaporize rock, is the size and mass of a Mini Cooper, and it will descend from a rocket-pack to the Martian surface.

Well...let's hope that's how it goes anyway!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 01:57 AM
No Jim, just lots of paper ones. This one is groundbreaking - no pun intended (or will be if everything goes to plan).
Um, MSL is paper? Unexciting? It's nuclear powered, has lasers to vaporize rock, is the size and mass of a Mini Cooper, and it will descend from a rocket-pack to the Martian surface.

We have a rover operating right now on Mars, plus unprecedented resolution orbital images returned from MRO, plus the trip to the icy north by Phoenix relatively recently. There's really no satisfying you people, is there?
No, MSL is a great mission too, but this will/would be the first sample return mission. There's a lot to be said for the value of that. And heck, the results get shared, so I'm happy to see Russia return to the interplanetary stage!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: snowhole on 11/08/2011 02:38 AM
I'm sorry if this has already been discussed, but I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle. From the photos, it writes 'Zenit-2FG' on the rocket, so that must be it? However on the Roscosmos website they call it 'Zenit-2SB', as does the title of this thread. And somewhere I've read that the rocket is a 'Zenit-3F'. So what is it that caused this confusion of names?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pargoo on 11/08/2011 04:06 AM
     Does the international cooperation involved - okay, it's mostly China, but you know what I mean - mean real/hi-res launch pics, or just the usual postage-stamps?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: woods170 on 11/08/2011 06:11 AM
     Does the international cooperation involved - okay, it's mostly China, but you know what I mean - mean real/hi-res launch pics, or just the usual postage-stamps?
The latter. No hi-res out of the official channels such as Roscosmos and the likes is to be expected.
If ESA or NASA had been involved this might have been different. Oh well.. Maybe one of the Russian forum members will be out there with a camera. Maybe...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/08/2011 06:15 AM
     Does the international cooperation involved - okay, it's mostly China, but you know what I mean - mean real/hi-res launch pics, or just the usual postage-stamps?
The latter. No hi-res out of the official channels such as Roscosmos and the likes is to be expected.
If ESA or NASA had been involved this might have been different. Oh well.. Maybe one of the Russian forum members will be out there with a camera. Maybe...

Strange. Their rollout videos are always amazing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: anik on 11/08/2011 06:26 AM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: snowhole on 11/08/2011 06:38 AM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pargoo on 11/08/2011 07:53 AM
     The latter. No hi-res out of the official channels such as Roscosmos and the likes is to be expected.
    If ESA or NASA had been involved this might have been different. Oh well.. Maybe one of the Russian forum members will be out there with a camera. Maybe...

    That sucks majorly!!!!  This is a mouth-watering mission.  Personally, I doubt they'll succeed, but having said that I don't want to jinx them.  Color close-ups of Phobos...yum-mee!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/08/2011 08:11 AM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
The idea is that '3' requires some third stage in addition to basic Zenit-2SB type vehicle. In the case of Fobos-Grunt, there is no third stage per documentation, even if Fobos-Grunt ADU propulsion unit is a clone of Fregat.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chandonn on 11/08/2011 11:52 AM
... Personally, I doubt they'll succeed, but having said that I don't want to jinx them...

I'll be happy if the Martians don't shoot this one down too, as they have so many in the past decades...   ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: cd-slam on 11/08/2011 11:52 AM
Dear people who spell Fobos-Grunt as Phobos-Grunt. YOU are the worst! Leave it as Fobos-Grunt or translate it into Phobos-Soil, Phobos-Ground, Phobos-Dirt, .......

And if saying the name out loud, please pronounce 'u' in "Grunt" as the "oo" in "moon": it sounds so much better and is more faithful to the Russian pronunciation.
For those who don't know Russian, the Latin pronunciation will suffice. ;)
I agree. The English meaning has a much better "Home Improvement" connotation. Go Fobos-Grunt! :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 12:54 PM
At http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=618&L=2 it is said that "After 2.5 hours flight (1.7 revolutions) at this based orbit the main propulsion system will be switch on to transfer the spacecraft into the elliptical orbit (250 km x 4150...4170 km), period 2,2 hours. After 2.1 hours (1 revolutions) 2-nd engine burn will transfer the spacecraft into an interplanetary Earth-Mars trajectory." But on http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=49084 is said that "At launch, the spacecraft will be inserted into a 200-km circular orbit around Earth with an inclination of 51.8 degrees. After four hours of flight (2.8 revolutions) in this orbit, the propulsion system will be switched on to transfer the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit (230 x 11100 km, period 3.65 hours) from where it is transferred onto a trajectory to Mars."

Can someone explain which one is correct?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/08/2011 01:02 PM
User "Vovan" from NK forum started very interesting commentary:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10631&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=2385

in 2 words: Everything is OK, on schedule.
Waiting for a Government comission decision at 6pm local (Baikonur) time
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space Pete on 11/08/2011 01:14 PM
What's the launch time in GMT? Thanks.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 01:15 PM
Isn't it 20:16 GMT?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space Pete on 11/08/2011 01:19 PM
Isn't it 20:16 GMT?

Yup - just found 3:16 PM EST on another site - which I make to be 8:16 PM GMT.

Cool, that means I can watch it. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Juggernaut on 11/08/2011 01:53 PM
Hello,

please, do you know if there is a website with broadcast "live" of the launch? if yes can you post the link?

thanks a lot in advance!

Cheers
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Hidestar on 11/08/2011 02:19 PM
http://www.tsenki.com/en/broadcast/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 02:27 PM
Isn't it 20:16 GMT?

Yup - just found 3:16 PM EST on another site - which I make to be 8:16 PM GMT.

Cool, that means I can watch it. :)

Plan of Russian Launches thread http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26990.15
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Stan Black on 11/08/2011 03:19 PM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
The idea is that '3' requires some third stage in addition to basic Zenit-2SB type vehicle. In the case of Fobos-Grunt, there is no third stage per documentation, even if Fobos-Grunt ADU propulsion unit is a clone of Fregat.

 So what is unique about this rocket that makes it a Zenit-2SB41?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/08/2011 03:46 PM
Observers are still being recruited to watch the two Fregat burns. Not all of them are on Earth. More to come.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: knotnic on 11/08/2011 03:52 PM
At http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=618&L=2 it is said that "After 2.5 hours flight (1.7 revolutions) at this based orbit the main propulsion system will be switch on to transfer the spacecraft into the elliptical orbit (250 km x 4150...4170 km), period 2,2 hours. After 2.1 hours (1 revolutions) 2-nd engine burn will transfer the spacecraft into an interplanetary Earth-Mars trajectory." But on http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=49084 is said that "At launch, the spacecraft will be inserted into a 200-km circular orbit around Earth with an inclination of 51.8 degrees. After four hours of flight (2.8 revolutions) in this orbit, the propulsion system will be switched on to transfer the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit (230 x 11100 km, period 3.65 hours) from where it is transferred onto a trajectory to Mars."

Can someone explain which one is correct?

I think the one from the phobos.cosmos.ru page is right, at least according to the TLEs they're giving on another page on that site which they've been publicizing to get people to observe the burns.

There are 2 engine burns.  It is launched into a near-circular orbit.  The 1st burn (after 1.7 orbits) raises the apogee to 4150 km.  The 2nd burn, which occurs near perigee just about 1 orbit later, is the escape burn. 

The only place I could find the 11000 km value with a quick google search is a presentation from 2009 (http://www.jamesoberg.com/presentation.pdf).  So it's out of date.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/08/2011 03:54 PM
Observers are still being recruited to watch the two Fregat burns. Not all of them are on Earth. More to come.

Interesting... So ISS will be in good position(s) to view the burns?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skyrocket on 11/08/2011 04:15 PM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
The idea is that '3' requires some third stage in addition to basic Zenit-2SB type vehicle. In the case of Fobos-Grunt, there is no third stage per documentation, even if Fobos-Grunt ADU propulsion unit is a clone of Fregat.

 So what is unique about this rocket that makes it a Zenit-2SB41?

That it has a different fairing (like Zenit-3F) and probably a special payload adaptor to fit the Fregat-like propulsion module.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/08/2011 04:34 PM
     Does the international cooperation involved - okay, it's mostly China, but you know what I mean - mean real/hi-res launch pics, or just the usual postage-stamps?

There's a lot of European involvement on instruments, so I wouldn't say it is "mostly China." Plus, the Planetary Society has an instrument onboard, so it's possible they have somebody at the launch site.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 04:35 PM
I think the one from the phobos.cosmos.ru page is right,

Thanks knotnic!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 04:44 PM
Anatoly Zak has tweeted he will cover today's launch on this page:
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_launch.html

Source: http://twitter.com/#!/RussianSpaceWeb
(Please manually copy the second link, formatting seems to be an issue.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 04:47 PM
Live from Baikonur Cosmodrome
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 04:49 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:00 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:04 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 05:16 PM
Do you want me to say a few words about the Bulgarian instrument aboard the mission?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/08/2011 05:18 PM
Do you want me to say a few words about the Bulgarian instrument aboard the mission?

Yes! Personal observations are always welcome.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:22 PM
Technicians removing protections at the base of the rocket.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:23 PM
Do you want me to say a few words about the Bulgarian instrument aboard the mission?

That would be interesting!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:30 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 05:31 PM
Then I will be more than happy to share something...

I was glad to present the Bulgarian instrument with a fellow scientist from IKSI-BAS on the National radio! Right now I'm also working in the academy, although in a different institute... The scientist I know personally was very excited to talk to me about our participation on Phobos-Grunt. She was working on some of the most ambitious projects like the SVET greenhouse aboard Mir and she's a brilliant scientist here... A little offtopic - she told me that she was running an experiment in parallel with the Mars 500 crew - again, about greenhouses and growing plants in space. Right now I know that she has published a peer-reviewed article, but I didn't have much free time to read it. I will read it as soon as possible..

About the Bulgarian instrument Phobos-Grunt that is named Lyulin-Phobos... It's a small instrument - the same size as a pen! Our instruments dedicated to radiation science are small and cheap and that's why they are preferred in the whole world. Similar instruments flew aboard Mir and aboard the ISS. A similar version also flew aboard Chandrayaan-1 to the Moon in 2008. So here, in Bulgaria, we have a very good science group who work in the field of radiation science. I hear also they will work with Russia on the Luna-Glob project.

The instrument will measure radiation from distance 1.0 to 1.5 AUs from the Sun - this covers the distance from Earth to Mars... and it will also measure radiation in Mars orbit and on Phobos

The instrument will improve the current models about risks during possible Manned Mars missions in the future

The instrument will work together with our instruments on the International Space Station so our scientists can compare results...

I hope you understood everything I posted, I'm not a native English speaker...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 05:37 PM
What kind of radiation, specifically? Galactic cosmic rays, etc?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 05:49 PM
Greetings,

This is a short description of the instrument: http://www.meetmatt-conf.net/aogs_archive/2005/ST/58-ST-A0234.pdf ... another article about one Lylin-type instrument is presented here: http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/feb252009/544.pdf

In short words, these instruments measure radiation from both Solar and Galactic origin. Corpuscular and electromagnetic radiantion. Charged particles and gamma rays...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:57 PM
Is there any GRAU designation for Fobos-Grunt?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 05:58 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: e of pi on 11/08/2011 06:03 PM
Do we have an English-language translation of the statement being read right now on the tsenki feed? I'm not up on my Russian.... :-\
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Stan Black on 11/08/2011 06:04 PM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
The idea is that '3' requires some third stage in addition to basic Zenit-2SB type vehicle. In the case of Fobos-Grunt, there is no third stage per documentation, even if Fobos-Grunt ADU propulsion unit is a clone of Fregat.

 So what is unique about this rocket that makes it a Zenit-2SB41?

That it has a different fairing (like Zenit-3F) and probably a special payload adaptor to fit the Fregat-like propulsion module.

So what is different to a Zenit-3F / Zenit-2SB80?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:08 PM
Do we have an English-language translation of the statement being read right now on the tsenki feed? I'm not up on my Russian.... :-\
comment is just about what can we see online )
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:08 PM
LOX fueling
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 06:09 PM
They need to turn down the volume on the feed, the audio is clipped pretty badly.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:10 PM
Quote
this project is a very complex one,

big, heavy, costly...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:10 PM
Fobos-Grunt technician
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:12 PM
Peter Merkulov (from the photo above):
Quote
powerplant is built on the basis of the proven Fregat, but it is upgraded a bit, so we worry of couse...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:13 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:14 PM
Quote
the begining of LOX fueling
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/08/2011 06:15 PM
on Tsenki.com, source 2 has better audio...

They need to turn down the volume on the feed, the audio is clipped pretty badly.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:15 PM
Quote
the begining of kerosene fueling
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skyrocket on 11/08/2011 06:15 PM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
The idea is that '3' requires some third stage in addition to basic Zenit-2SB type vehicle. In the case of Fobos-Grunt, there is no third stage per documentation, even if Fobos-Grunt ADU propulsion unit is a clone of Fregat.

 So what is unique about this rocket that makes it a Zenit-2SB41?

That it has a different fairing (like Zenit-3F) and probably a special payload adaptor to fit the Fregat-like propulsion module.

So what is different to a Zenit-3F / Zenit-2SB80?

Here the Fregat (a.k.a. Flagman propulsion module) is part of the payload, whereas in Z-3F it is part of the launch vehicle.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:16 PM
I want to share yet another thing... A Lyulin-type instrument was installed on the Mars-96 probe, but as some of you probably know, the Block D of the Proton rocket failed and the probe fell back to Earth... The loss was devastating... The same scientist told me that they felt very upset...

Now we're hoping to gain the science we were hoping to gain from Mars 96... However, there's yet another stressful factor those days. Our govt cut funds from our Academy... The scientists are going on a protest tomorrow... As a person who works there  - I may join the protest too. We are afraid that we are facing closure. Our very success may depend on successful science projects. We are under extreme pressure. So I am praying everything goes on smoothly during launch... This launch will be unnerving and there are only two posibilities - either we will be cheerful or we will mourn the loss in tears...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:16 PM
Quote
we are launching to space many interesting experiments...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 06:16 PM
on Tsenki.com, source 2 has better audio...

They need to turn down the volume on the feed, the audio is clipped pretty badly.

Heh, that's the same stream I'm watching.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Stan Black on 11/08/2011 06:18 PM
I'm still quite confused of the name of the launch vehicle

Zenit-2SB41.1 two-stage rocket plus Fobos-Grunt satellite equals Zenit-2FG (or Zenit-2SLB, but not Zenit-3F) rocket.
Cheers for the clarification!
The idea is that '3' requires some third stage in addition to basic Zenit-2SB type vehicle. In the case of Fobos-Grunt, there is no third stage per documentation, even if Fobos-Grunt ADU propulsion unit is a clone of Fregat.

 So what is unique about this rocket that makes it a Zenit-2SB41?

That it has a different fairing (like Zenit-3F) and probably a special payload adaptor to fit the Fregat-like propulsion module.

So what is different to a Zenit-3F / Zenit-2SB80?

Here the Fregat (a.k.a. Flagman propulsion module) is part of the payload, whereas in Z-3F it is part of the launch vehicle.

But they are still independent of the Zenit. Both feature Fregat-SB (in this case 2003) and the same fairing?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:18 PM
Quote
there are instruments on solar panels also!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:20 PM
Quote
11 antennas will support communication, there are even several larvas on board, as well as some seeds
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:21 PM
Quote
rocket is breating now, zenit it is beautifull and ready for her mission
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:22 PM
Quote
we have several cameras, so we shall be able to see launch from different points
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 06:23 PM
Quote
we have several cameras, so we shall be able to see launch from different points

Onboard or ground cameras?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:23 PM
They are talking about snowy conditions right now :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:23 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:25 PM
Quote
it is definitely better to go to Mars during special "launch window",
it opens once in two years
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:25 PM
Phobos was a lone object, but Mars had captured it - transcribing... Studying Phobos is important for science...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:27 PM
Quote
we have several cameras, so we shall be able to see launch from different points

Onboard or ground cameras?

ground cameras
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:27 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:27 PM
Phobos may have been created by the primordial matter that could have formed the other planets... (another interesting conversation)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:29 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:29 PM
narrator says weather is very cold, chilly
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:30 PM
Quote
46 mins left
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:33 PM
Quote
helium tanks are filled
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:34 PM
Narrator: During cruise batteries will be constantly illuminated by the sun, there will be three TCMs...

EDIT (Narrator) : YH-1 will separate in Mars orbit, the Chinese microsatellite will work together with Phobos-Grunt, radio-probing the atmosphere
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:42 PM
No parachutes on descent during the return????
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:43 PM
Quote
We hope we shall find landing module back on Earth in the middle of 2014
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:43 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/08/2011 06:44 PM
No parachutes on descent during the return????
None needed!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:44 PM
Correct, Satori. No parachutes on descend during return... I don't know how they will retrieve the capsule, but let's reach that stage of the flight first :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:44 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:45 PM
Quote
launch complex is fully automated
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:46 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 06:50 PM
Launch overview article by William Graham:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/11/live-zenit-2launch-fobos-grunt-sample-return-mission-to-phobos/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:50 PM
Narrator: The rocket has been developed by GKP Yujnoe, the rocket was created during the project Nazemnoy Start (which is translated Ground Start)...

Speaking now that Zenit rockets launched Spektr-R and Elektro-R spacecraft :)

By the way Russians love to use words: "Enormous rocket", "Such a beauty", "Magnificent" :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:52 PM
Quote
it is ... intergalactic mission for zenit !
:-))
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:54 PM
(Narrator) ... It will be nice to watch the start, you can tell your children to watch...


This is something I really wish to see on NASA TV - narrators speaking in a way that can excite the public   
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 06:55 PM
Around T-20 minutes.


Webcast:
http://www.tsenki.com/en/broadcast/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:55 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:55 PM
Quote
zenit was supposed to serve manned space also...


Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Spiff on 11/08/2011 06:56 PM
Thank you Yaroslav and Svetoslav for transcribing. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 06:56 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: e of pi on 11/08/2011 06:57 PM
Thank you Yaroslav and Svetoslav for transcribing. :)
Indeed. Thank you both.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 06:57 PM
Quote
we revised launch complex to support new version of zenit
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Apollo-phill on 11/08/2011 06:59 PM
Do we know what theground temperature is at BAikonur this evening - especially around Zenit pad ?

It looked very cold during the daytime - so what must it be like now during the late evening times !!

A-P
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 06:59 PM
Narrator: 16 minutes to launch!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:00 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:00 PM
Сhief designer of Yuzhmash Alexander Degtyarev:
Quote
it is a step forward, so we a looking forward for this mission with an excitement!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/08/2011 07:00 PM
Webcast site down?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:01 PM
T-15 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:01 PM
T-15 mins
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:02 PM
Narrator: there will be several other spacecraft created that are based on Phobos-Grunt - Venera-D, Luna-Grunt, Mars-Resurs, Mars-Net...

Narrator still calls them intergalactic missions

Now talking about the Aphophis asteroid project :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/08/2011 07:02 PM
Any other webcasts available? Tsenki.com seems to be down...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:03 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 07:03 PM
Any other webcasts available? Tsenki.com seems to be down...
http://www.tsenki.com/en/broadcast/broadcast/live2.php - works fine from Europe.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:03 PM
Any other webcasts available? Tsenki.com seems to be down...

No. And it's fine here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/08/2011 07:04 PM
My Tsenki feed still working...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:04 PM
Quote
we also want to lauch a mission to Deimos
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:05 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Andy USA on 11/08/2011 07:06 PM
No more posts about webcasts from this point onwards. This is a live update thread.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: aga on 11/08/2011 07:06 PM
Do we know what theground temperature is at BAikonur this evening - especially around Zenit pad ?

It looked very cold during the daytime - so what must it be like now during the late evening times !!

A-P

according to this http://www.weather.com/weather/today/Baikonur+Kazakhstan+KZXX0055 or this http://www.worldtimeserver.com/weather_in_KZ.aspx?forecastid=KZXX0055 it's -14C (6F)...
dont know how reliable the sites are... just googled them :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 11/08/2011 07:07 PM
Anyone else hear the narrator's heartbeat in the mic?
No pressure...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:08 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:08 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:09 PM
... Narrator: Thanks, Good night... See you...

Go, Phobos-Grunt!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 11/08/2011 07:09 PM
For anyone not familiar with Zenit, its a Saturn I class launcher.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:10 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 07:10 PM
It's interesting how much vapor is still coming off of Zenit's tank skin. It's as though it doesn't completely ice over like Atlas does, you can still read the stage decal.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:11 PM
T-5 mins. Should see the umanned train pull the tower away soon!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:11 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:12 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/08/2011 07:12 PM
Train departing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:12 PM
Quote
fueling is complete
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:13 PM
There goes the train with the erector arm
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:14 PM
Ground equipment for start ready... (if I heard correctly)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:14 PM
T-120 seconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Apollo-phill on 11/08/2011 07:14 PM
Hope locomotive driver gets danger money

BUT, All best luck -GO FOBOS GRUNT

A-P
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
Zenit lets out audible vents!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
Ground equipment for start ready... (if I heard correctly)
yeah )

switch to internal power
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
A warning that things *might* get real loud on the feed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
Hope locomotive driver gets danger money


No one on board ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
T-60 seconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
To Mars!
K Marsu!
-- Friedrich Tsander
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:15 PM
Hope locomotive driver gets danger money

BUT, All best luck -GO FOBOS GRUNT

A-P

locomotive driver is a computer )))
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:16 PM
LAUNCH!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:16 PM
LIFTOFF!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:16 PM
Wow, that's what I call a launch with the wild sound on the webcast!

First stage!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:17 PM
Quote
flight is nominal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:17 PM
Narrator: Flight is nominal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:17 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:17 PM
Stabilization of the rocket is normal!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:18 PM
Nominal flight through first stage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:18 PM
Quote
stage separation
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:19 PM
Stabilization of the rocket still nominal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:19 PM
Quote
flight is nominal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:19 PM
Movement of the rocket is stable!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:20 PM
240 seconds... movement of rocket is stable
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:20 PM
Quote
powerplant pressure is nominal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:20 PM
260 seconds - flight is normal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:21 PM
280 seconds - engine works normally
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:21 PM
300 seconds - stabilization of rocket is normal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:21 PM
Quote
fairing jetisson command is issued
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:22 PM
330 seconds - rocket is stable
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:22 PM
350 seconds - flight is normal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/08/2011 07:23 PM
You gotta hand it to the Russians--that microphone at the pad is EVIL!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:23 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:24 PM
Flight is still normal... Everything well so far
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:24 PM
Quote
main powerplant is down, stearing engine continues to power rocket
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:24 PM
Rulevoy engine works normally (not sure how to translate it)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr. mark on 11/08/2011 07:24 PM
the pad sounds reminded me of the movie 2001.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 11/08/2011 07:25 PM
Rulevoy engine works normally (not sure how to translate it)

The RD-8 vernier engine.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:25 PM
Rulevoy engine works normally (not sure how to translate it)

stearing engine )
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:26 PM
Looks like end of webcast, as it's still running, but no more images/audio.

Many thanks to Rui and especially Svetoslav and Yaroslav for the unique coverage via translation (really appreciated! :))
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:26 PM
Oh, they are back for a bit more!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: patchfree on 11/08/2011 07:27 PM
flight normal
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 11/08/2011 07:27 PM
I know it's not quite over yet, but congratulations thus far to Roscosmos!

And thank-you so very much Svetoslav, yaroslav, for translations!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:27 PM
Steering engine still normal, flight is still normal!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/08/2011 07:27 PM
Looks like end of webcast, as it's still running, but no more images/audio.

Many thanks to Rui and especially Svetoslav and Yaroslav for the unique coverage via translation (really appreciated! :))
Yes, thank you!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Apollo-phill on 11/08/2011 07:27 PM
Yep - I'll second that Chris - great commentary


A-P
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:28 PM
Quote
separation !
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:28 PM
SPACECRAFT SEPARATES FROM SECOND STAGE OF ROCKET!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Bricktop on 11/08/2011 07:28 PM
Spacecraft separation!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: patchfree on 11/08/2011 07:28 PM
In orbit!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:28 PM
Spacecraft now in preliminary orbit
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/08/2011 07:28 PM
Vernier engines.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/08/2011 07:29 PM
Thank you! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/08/2011 07:29 PM
I know it's not quite over yet, but congratulations thus far to Roscosmos!

And thank-you so very much Svetoslav, yaroslav, for translations!

Thanks to both! Amazing job!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:30 PM
Yay! There we go! Well done Russia for the launch phase.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: knotnic on 11/08/2011 07:30 PM
Go Fobos-Grunt!

Thanks a ton to the real-time translator/commentators.  Would have been much less interesting without you.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/08/2011 07:30 PM
Second that, thanks a lot guys!

I know it's not quite over yet, but congratulations thus far to Roscosmos!

And thank-you so very much Svetoslav, yaroslav, for translations!

Thanks to both! Amazing job!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Stan Black on 11/08/2011 07:31 PM
Looks like end of webcast, as it's still running, but no more images/audio.

Many thanks to Rui and especially Svetoslav and Yaroslav for the unique coverage via translation (really appreciated! :))

Thank you to you all!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: gregzsidisin on 11/08/2011 07:31 PM
Another thanks for the translations!

The announcer kept saying "chitiri" ("four") a few times.  Maybe a little late to ask, but what was that about?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/08/2011 07:31 PM
Good to see this one achieve orbit, a nice start to a challenging mission! And thank you, Svetoslav and Yaroslav.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space Pete on 11/08/2011 07:31 PM
Goooooooooooo Russia! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/08/2011 07:31 PM
I love night launches... ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: uko on 11/08/2011 07:32 PM
Well done Roscosmos! Good luck for the rest of the mission!

Lets finally get some samples back from Mars!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Kaputnik on 11/08/2011 07:32 PM
Thanks for the commentary- webcast wouldn't work at all for me.
Been watching out for this mission since about 1988!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:34 PM
I should be the one to thank you...

I am taking this project very personally... especially when it has an instrument from my own country! We already lost one instrument on Mars 96 in 1996, my work in this thread helped me not to think about possible failure modes.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/08/2011 07:34 PM
Congratulations and good luck!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/08/2011 07:34 PM
Looks like end of webcast, as it's still running, but no more images/audio.

Many thanks to Rui and especially Svetoslav and Yaroslav for the unique coverage via translation (really appreciated! :))

Thank you to everyone!

Indeed, congratulations all around. I even got to practice my Russian listening skills a little. (The lady who was providing pre-launch coverage sounded as if she really was waiting for the real stuff to happen.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: tehwkd on 11/08/2011 07:35 PM
If you missed it: Launch of Zenit-2SB carrying Fobos-Grunt & Yinghuo-1.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4P0L6NUV98
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: gregzsidisin on 11/08/2011 07:36 PM
If you missed it: Launch of Zenit-2SB carrying Fobos-Grunt & Yinghuo-1.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4P0L6NUV98

What took you so long?  lol...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:37 PM
good launch and good start for mission, looking forward for further updates !
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 07:38 PM
I will be on-line. You can rely on me.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mduncan36 on 11/08/2011 07:40 PM
Thank you to all involved in the translations, providing the links for video, and the commentary with what is taking place. It is such a contrast from the days of my youth when we laughed at Soviet failures and were dismissive of their successes. Now I sit on the other side of the world watching live video at my desk while praying to the gods of spaceflight for a good flight and mission. We all recognize that we are part of this and I hope that feeling continues to be shared with many other endeavors on Earth and in space.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 07:43 PM
And William Graham's excellent article for this launch/mission - updated to post launch:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/11/live-zenit-2launch-fobos-grunt-sample-return-mission-to-phobos/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: tehwkd on 11/08/2011 07:45 PM
If you missed it: Launch of Zenit-2SB carrying Fobos-Grunt & Yinghuo-1.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4P0L6NUV98

What took you so long?  lol...

you try uploading a short (few min prelaunch+launch) and long version (~1h of prelaunch coverage+launch) at the same time when your upload speed = 0.5mb :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/08/2011 07:55 PM
Schedule (UTC):
22:56 First ignition of ADU (for 570 sec)
23:07 Tank jettison
01:03 Second ignition of ADU (for 1061 sec)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 07:56 PM
Another thanks for the translations!

The announcer kept saying "chitiri" ("four") a few times.  Maybe a little late to ask, but what was that about?

may be you are speaking about "rass-chetam pribyt" so,
in that case traslation is something like "supporting personnel have to do ..." or so )
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/08/2011 08:07 PM
If you missed it: Launch of Zenit-2SB carrying Fobos-Grunt & Yinghuo-1.


What took you so long?  lol...

you try uploading a short (few min prelaunch+launch) and long version (~1h of prelaunch coverage+launch) at the same time when your upload speed = 0.5mb :D

While you both were having tea I watched the fine video and captured one moment from it.

You need to enjoy seeing Oxygen Rich to enjoy this sec of the launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: patchfree on 11/08/2011 08:08 PM
Nice
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/08/2011 08:09 PM
(local) Launch time is 00:16:02,871
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 08:11 PM
short version from http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=624396

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uiRAbN7Uvg
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 11/08/2011 08:13 PM
Schedule EST

The spacecraft's main propulsion unit, or MDU, ignites at 2255 GMT (5:55 p.m. EST) for a burn lasting nine-and-a-half minutes to raise the apogee, or high point, of its orbit to an altitude of more than 2,500 miles.
  2 minutes later Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Separation

After coasting through space for two hours, Phobos-Grunt's MDU ignites again at 0102 GMT Wednesday (8:02 p.m. EST Tuesday) to accelerate the spacecraft on an escape trajectory toward Mars.

18 minutes later MDU shuts down
Phobos-Grunt reaches an interplanetary trajectory at 0120 GMT Wednesday (8:20 p.m. EST Tuesday) following the second burn of the main propulsion unit. The probe will reach orbit at Mars in October 2012.

Svetoslav, I'll be looking for your updates  :)

Cheers

Gramps

PS going to do my own wall poster with the important milestones for the next few years  ;D Don't want to forget this bird
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kaptein80 on 11/08/2011 08:22 PM
Hi,

Thanks to the translator, amazing jobb!! I watched the live transmittion via http://www.tsenki.com/ but since I do not understand russian I was just sitting and watching the transmittion but after the channel was shutdown I found out this web page!! so THANKSS!!!!! Now I wanna learn russian!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 08:25 PM
I am not a Russian speaker - but Russian is close to all Slavic languages, and the narrator was loud and clear.

Yaroslav is also from Ukraine and their mother language is Ukrainian (Ukrainska mova), but I guess they can speak Russian very well.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: tehwkd on 11/08/2011 08:36 PM
If you missed it: Launch of Zenit-2SB carrying Fobos-Grunt & Yinghuo-1. [LONG VERSION]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LfsNzNEHhM
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space Pete on 11/08/2011 08:38 PM
Observers are still being recruited to watch the two Fregat burns. Not all of them are on Earth. More to come.

From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 08/11/2011.

FOBOS-GRUNT Launch:
If everything goes as planned, Russia will launch its FOBOS-GRUNT (Phobos-Soil) probe to Mars tonight at 7:16pm EST on a Zenit-2SB/Fregat rocket. The Phobos Sample Return Mission PhSRM, which is also carrying a Chinese Mars satellite, Yinghuo-1, a 2nd Chinese experiment, and an experiment of the U.S. Planetary Society, will land on the Martian moon and return a soil sample (~200g) to Earth. It will also study Mars from orbit, including its atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation environment. The return vehicle is scheduled to arrive back on Earth in August 2014. The spacecraft will be inserted into a 207 x 347 km elliptical orbit inclined 51.4 deg. After 2.5 hrs flight (1.7 revs) the main propulsion system will be ignited to transfer the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit of 250 km x 4150 (...4170) km, with a period of 2.2 hrs. After 2.1 hrs (1 revolution), a 2nd engine burn for TMI (Trans-Mars Injection) at 8:04:06pm EST will transfer the spacecraft into an interplanetary Earth-Mars trajectory.
The ISS crew will be able to view PhSRM tonight, starting at ~7:58pm, at a range of 3248 nmi., with the spacecraft and its exhaust plume in sunlight for the entire duration of the viewing opportunity and the ISS in eclipse (darkness). If successful, Russia is back in the business of planetary exploration. Lets all wish them well! Godspeed, Fobos-Grunt!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sewand on 11/08/2011 08:45 PM
Good luck Fobos-Grunt!  It's a very ambitious and interesting mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/08/2011 08:45 PM
Many years ago (mid-1990s) I was at a conference where somebody from Ukraine showed a video of the Zenit launch preparations. They were then starting to market it for western launches. The Americans--including some people who worked on US launch vehicle operations--were all amazed at how automated everything was. They just press a few buttons and the vehicle rolls out to the pad and connects itself. They have people to monitor what is happening, but it was a lot different than US launch preparations.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 08:50 PM
I will be on-line. You can rely on me.

thanks (http://www.novojonov.ru/resource/smile-set-small/smile-thumb-up.gif)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: e of pi on 11/08/2011 08:57 PM
Observers are still being recruited to watch the two Fregat burns. Not all of them are on Earth. More to come.

From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 08/11/2011.

FOBOS-GRUNT Launch:
If everything goes as planned, Russia will launch its FOBOS-GRUNT (Phobos-Soil) probe to Mars tonight at 7:16pm EST on a Zenit-2SB/Fregat rocket. The Phobos Sample Return Mission PhSRM, which is also carrying a Chinese Mars satellite, Yinghuo-1, a 2nd Chinese experiment, and an experiment of the U.S. Planetary Society, will land on the Martian moon and return a soil sample (~200g) to Earth. It will also study Mars from orbit, including its atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation environment. The return vehicle is scheduled to arrive back on Earth in August 2014. The spacecraft will be inserted into a 207 x 347 km elliptical orbit inclined 51.4 deg. After 2.5 hrs flight (1.7 revs) the main propulsion system will be ignited to transfer the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit of 250 km x 4150 (...4170) km, with a period of 2.2 hrs. After 2.1 hrs (1 revolution), a 2nd engine burn for TMI (Trans-Mars Injection) at 8:04:06pm EST will transfer the spacecraft into an interplanetary Earth-Mars trajectory.
The ISS crew will be able to view PhSRM tonight, starting at ~7:58pm, at a range of 3248 nmi., with the spacecraft and its exhaust plume in sunlight for the entire duration of the viewing opportunity and the ISS in eclipse (darkness). If successful, Russia is back in the business of planetary exploration. Lets all wish them well! Godspeed, Fobos-Grunt!

I would love to see those pictures/video! What an amazing vantage point on this flight!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/08/2011 09:20 PM
Here is one of the videos they showed before launch, which shows the vehicle being wheeled out to the pad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq2gWd73IsY

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/08/2011 09:41 PM
  2 minutes later Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Separation

Don't count this dull-sounding maneuver out as the source of an astonishing sky apparition. The post-sep propellant dump, especially on Molniya-orbit insertions, has created a short-lived dim spherical cloud larger than the moon, moving across the skies of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, a dozen times or so in past decades [whenever the burn happened to occur just after local sunset].

Different booster, different ground track, different illumination conditions -- but potentially similar visual effects. Especially if the tank is tumbling as it vents, creating not a symmetric cloud but a spiralform apparition.

And no, nobody who EVER saw these past apparitions EVER suspected it was an EARTH spacecraft causing them. Just the opposite...[sigh].
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/08/2011 09:46 PM
Good to see the space cat is out of the bag re the ISS observations. I was relaying messages back and forth for the last three days between friends old and new, tried and true, to facilitate this, and it now may actually happen. Mostly we left upper management out of the loop.

On the Russian side, is there any indication that IKI asked TsUP-M to have Volkov try to see it, or didn't they think to ask?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 09:55 PM
Too bad. Novosti Kosmonavtiki appears offline and this is my best source for news...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 09:55 PM
btw, it is a time for the first burn of the Fobos-Grunt powerplant
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/08/2011 09:59 PM
We should be into the first on-orbit burn, crossing the Chile coast near Concepcion, then across to north eastern Brazil. It could be a long time before we hear about any ground sightings, but it will take only half an hour to get confirmation from Moscow that the burn went well.


Then we can monitor live ISS A/G as Mike [and maybe Sergey] report live on what THEY are seeing for burn-2.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 10:06 PM
23:05:18.253 - UTC time for powerplant shutdown
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 10:07 PM
23:07:17.145 - UTC time for fuel tank separation
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pippin on 11/08/2011 10:08 PM
Schedule (UTC):
22:56 First ignition of ADU (for 570 sec)
23:07 Tank jettison
01:03 Second ignition of ADU (for 1061 sec)

Tank jettison? I thought this ADU is essentially a Fregat? Since when does Fregat have jettisonable tanks? Any details on this? I mean: I don't see how this could even work with Fregat's overlapping tanks spheres.
Or is this the additional ring shown in one of the videos?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 10:10 PM
The first burn should have been completed, but still can't confirm it... Novosti-kosmonavtiki is down and Roscosmos hasn't updated main page
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: e of pi on 11/08/2011 10:10 PM
Schedule (UTC):
22:56 First ignition of ADU (for 570 sec)
23:07 Tank jettison
01:03 Second ignition of ADU (for 1061 sec)

Tank jettison? I thought this ADU is essentially a Fregat? Since when does Fregat have jettisonable tanks? Any details on this? I mean: I don't see how this could even work with Fregat's overlapping tanks spheres.
Or is this the additional ring shown in one of the videos?

The ADU is modified with the addition of a jetisonable external tank as can be seen here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pippin on 11/08/2011 10:12 PM
Ah. Cool. Thanks.
My nonexistent Russian didn't help with the description in the video.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pippin on 11/08/2011 10:13 PM
Next question: Is this the Block DM tank?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lerm on 11/08/2011 10:15 PM
Tank jettison? I thought this ADU is essentially a Fregat? Since when does Fregat have jettisonable tanks? Any details on this?

Since 'Fregat-SB' design, which was first used to launch Elektro-L.
http://www.laspace.ru/rus/fregat_blocksb.php (http://www.laspace.ru/rus/fregat_blocksb.php)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 10:20 PM
Next question: Is this the Block DM tank?
;D

btw fregat is wider
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pippin on 11/08/2011 10:27 PM
Ah. So it was more or less designed for it from the start?
You've simply got to love that vehicle. These upper stages (Fregat, Block DM) really are almost like tugs...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lerm on 11/08/2011 10:28 PM
Next question: Is this the Block DM tank?

No. It was specially designed by Lavochkin for Fregat. Part of construction elements were derived from tank of Block L (upper stage of Molniya rockets), which was previously in production on Lavochkin.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 10:32 PM
Ah. So it was more or less designed for it from the start?
You've simply got to love that vehicle. These upper stages (Fregat, Block DM) really are almost like tugs...
have to on both accounts )))

http://www.laspace.ru/rus/fregat_blocksb.php

http://tihiy.fromru.com/Rn/Image_Proton/DMinFarning.gif
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/08/2011 10:36 PM
Guys, I know it is silly, but i've registered only to say that I have seen it with naked eyes.
Im at south of Brazil, city of cascavel, parana state (24 57 S, 53 17 W). And it passed exactly above us! I've seen the rocket, as a little star, and right behind it another little star, witch I believe are the discarted stuff. Really, really fast!
Too bad that there were clouds and the full moon in the sky, but it was possible to see.
I know it doesn't add anything to the topic, but i' amazed with it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/08/2011 10:47 PM
Guys, I know it is silly, but i've registered only to say that I have seen it with naked eyes.
Im at south of Brazil, city of cascavel, parana state (24 57 S, 53 17 W). And it passed exactly above us! I've seen the rocket, as a little star, and right behind it another little star, witch I believe are the discarted stuff. Really, really fast!
Too bad that there were clouds and the full moon in the sky, but it was possible to see.
I know it doesn't add anything to the topic, but i' amazed with it.
Bruno, what time it was? First engine burn was to begin just above you at 22:56 UTC/Grinwich Time. And you could see two objects, the spacecraft and the second stage rocket body.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pm1823 on 11/08/2011 10:52 PM
just quoting
http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=388&L=0&view=single_thread&cat_uid=1&conf_uid=1&thread_uid=65
Quote
Anton Ledkov
Published: November 9, 2011 - 01:16
Spacecraft is practically on the nominal orbit after separation from Zenit launcher!


http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=388&L=0&view=single_thread&cat_uid=1&conf_uid=1&thread_uid=21
Quote
Anton Ledkov
Published: November 9, 2011 - 01:17

we getting TMI
AB(storage batteries) went to charge mode
we have PSO(constant solar orientation)
We have Sun

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/08/2011 11:01 PM
....I know it doesn't add anything to the topic, but i' amazed with it.

Bruno, this adds IMMENSELY to this discussion, multo obrigado, and thank you. We are watching this launching with special anxieties and you have helped give us better feelings.

If you hear of any other news media coverage -- radio, TV -- about other sightings, please, PLEASE relay them to us here as quickly as you can.

The timing and direction of your sighting is important, to make sure it really was the probe and not a coincidence with aircraft.

Email me separately if you want some of my research reports about OTHER rockets that were seen in the skies over Brazil, in years past. Mostly, people thought they were OVNIs.

Jim O -- very grateful to you!

jamesEoberg@comcast.net



Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/08/2011 11:09 PM
  Less than two hours until the start of the second in-orbit burn.




BTW, what this Brazilian poster saw was NOT the separation of the second-stage from the Fregat-FG combo,; that separation took place around
688 seconds after launch, only a fraction of the way around the world from Baikonur.
  It had to be the jettisoned tanks that he saw.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/08/2011 11:11 PM
BTW, what this Brazilian poster saw was NOT the separation of the second-stage from the Fregat-FG combo,; that separation took place around
688 seconds after launch, only a fraction of the way around the world from Baikonur.

So what? The two will be in virtually identical orbits until one of them performs an additional maneuver.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/08/2011 11:13 PM
Guys, I know it is silly, but i've registered only to say that I have seen it with naked eyes.
Im at south of Brazil, city of cascavel, parana state (24 57 S, 53 17 W). And it passed exactly above us! I've seen the rocket, as a little star, and right behind it another little star, witch I believe are the discarted stuff. Really, really fast!
Too bad that there were clouds and the full moon in the sky, but it was possible to see.
I know it doesn't add anything to the topic, but i' amazed with it.
Bruno, what time it was? First engine burn was to begin just above you at 22:56 UTC/Grinwich Time. And you could see two objects, the spacecraft and the second stage rocket body.

It was 20:55h local summer time on my phone.  It took me a lot to register an post cause i'm at class now.  :D
I almost missed it. Started to ook at a satellite when my friend called my attention to the actual spacecraft, heading NE.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Guy on 11/08/2011 11:15 PM
According to the See Sat L satellite mailing list, the spacecraft have been found in the same orbit as before the burn, after the planned burn time.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/08/2011 11:18 PM
Hoping for the best...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/08/2011 11:19 PM
Roscosmos is still silent
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: robertross on 11/08/2011 11:21 PM
And William Graham's excellent article for this launch/mission - updated to post launch:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/11/live-zenit-2launch-fobos-grunt-sample-return-mission-to-phobos/

Great article William!

(never knew about the alien spacecraft conspiracy theory, but we don't need to get into that)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2011 11:28 PM
Welcome to the site's forum Bruno! Same goes for some other more active members on this thread - it's appreciated!

Fingers crossed for good news on the mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/08/2011 11:28 PM
According to the See Sat L satellite mailing list, the spacecraft have been found in the same orbit as before the burn, after the planned burn time.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html
:C

Might not be the spacecraft itself, though.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/08/2011 11:35 PM
According to the See Sat L satellite mailing list, the spacecraft have been found in the same orbit as before the burn, after the planned burn time.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html
:C

Might not be the spacecraft itself, though.

two objects:

Quote
After the planned first burn of the engine, the spacecraft was not found in the predicted orbit. Alternative radar
observations preliminarily show that there are two objects in the orbit with parameters the same as before the planned
engine burn. Observers are requested to attempt to discover the spacecraft in the initial LEO parking orbit.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/08/2011 11:45 PM
http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=388&L=0&view=single_thread&cat_uid=1&conf_uid=1&thread_uid=21&page=2

"ЧП, нет телеметрии"

No telemetry :(

ЧП means Чрезвычайное Происшествие (something that could be translated as extraordinary/unplanned event)

Still hoping for the best
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pm1823 on 11/08/2011 11:46 PM
Quote
Author: Anton Ledkov
Published: November 9, 2011 - 3:42

ChP(off-nominal situation), no telemetry
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/08/2011 11:47 PM
How do you swear in Russian?

I was really hoping this would be successful. Might still be a chance to salvage this somehow since the upper stage is solar-powered, right? If the spacecraft can receive commands and transmit responses, there's still a chance...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 11/08/2011 11:49 PM
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_launch.html

this page has an orbital map for the mission, with burn times; not sure about posting the actual map; erring on the side of caution, to avoid the sin-bin ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: pm1823 on 11/08/2011 11:53 PM
How do you swear in Russian?

I was really hoping this would be successful. Might still be a chance to salvage this somehow since the upper stage is solar-powered, right? If the spacecraft can receive commands and transmit responses, there's still a chance...

it's still on orbit and have power, waiting some watchdog-timer to reset...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/08/2011 11:58 PM
it's still on orbit and have power, waiting some watchdog-timer to reset...
it could be also engine failure ((

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o43xIqxjtoU
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: the_roche_lobe on 11/08/2011 11:58 PM
...P-G we hardly knew you... (God it seems like 96 all over again)

...I know I know its not all over yet....

p
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/08/2011 11:58 PM
According to the See Sat L satellite mailing list, the spacecraft have been found in the same orbit as before the burn, after the planned burn time.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html
:C

Might not be the spacecraft itself, though.

My friend at U.S. Deep Space Network's control center provides the following:
U.S. DSN's Goldstone Antenna Complex received one ping from Spacecraft. SC performed TM downlink via all available channels, this is indicating an anomaly detected by SC computer. During SC testing, Roscosmos inserted an SC slew commanding sequence in the flight program to point the SC's antennas toward the North (to be pointing at U.S., European, Russian ground stations) in the event of a problem before the burn(s) so that data can be more quickly obtained. This allows them to analyze the data and try again another day since MDU is completely powered by SC's solar panels. Goldstone DSN is indicating that SC is in a contingency safe mode. Contact was lost at planned LOS (with no first burn) and was picked up by Europe's first tracking station, TM unreadable at moment. Sun pointing for solar panels cannot be confirmed at this time (may not have been established before battery charging was commenced by flight computer). SC can be commanded to reset if need be.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 12:07 AM
Bruno, this adds IMMENSELY to this discussion, multo obrigado, and thank you. We are watching this launching with special anxieties and you have helped give us better feelings.

If you hear of any other news media coverage -- radio, TV -- about other sightings, please, PLEASE relay them to us here as quickly as you can.

The timing and direction of your sighting is important, to make sure it really was the probe and not a coincidence with aircraft.

Email me separately if you want some of my research reports about OTHER rockets that were seen in the skies over Brazil, in years past. Mostly, people thought they were OVNIs.

Jim O -- very grateful to you!

jamesEoberg@comcast.net





Wow! Thanks!! I like a lot to see satellites, specially the ISS. Love to look up to the sky right after the sunset, the best time to do it. Altrough i still don't have any gear to do that... YET.
So, now i'm at home, on a pc and a proper internet conection.

Our exact position when we saw the spacecraft was 24 56 44.83 S / 53 30 29.95 W. It wasn't exacly upright related to our point of view, but was very near to that. It was heading nort-east. The other satellite I saw was heading north and was about 70~80 degrees above the horizon line.

About the spacecraft: The first object was brighter than the second one, and was catching speed, relating to the second object. I saw them for about 20 seconds before they fade behind a light cloud that was illuminated by the moon (that right now dissipated completely ).

It's hard for me to say the distance they were from each other by the time i saw, but it already should be a few miles away.

Holy Sh**! I rushed to post perfectly what i've seen, and then went to read the topic. So what I saw was the spacecraft already out of control? The difference of distance between the objects on these few seconds that I saw, as little as it was appearing, should it be different?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 12:09 AM
According to the See Sat L satellite mailing list, the spacecraft have been found in the same orbit as before the burn, after the planned burn time.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html
:C

Might not be the spacecraft itself, though.

My friend at U.S. Deep Space Network's control center provides the following:
U.S. DSN's Goldstone Antenna Complex received one ping from Spacecraft. SC performed TM downlink via all available channels, this is indicating an anomaly detected by SC computer. During SC testing, Roscosmos inserted an SC slew commanding sequence in the flight program to point the SC's antennas toward the North (to be pointing at U.S., European, Russian ground stations) in the event of a problem before the burn(s) so that data can be more quickly obtained. This allows them to analyze the data and try again another day since MDU is completely powered by SC's solar panels. Goldstone DSN is indicating that SC is in a contingency safe mode. Contact was lost at planned LOS (with no first burn) and was picked up by Europe's first tracking station, TM unreadable at moment. Sun pointing for solar panels may not have been established before battery charging was commenced by flight computer. SC can be commanded to reset if need be.

Thanks! It sounds like they may be able keep this mission alive if they can get the flight computer back? If that's even possible?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 12:18 AM
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0071.html

Phobos-Soil:

Some indications are that it may be in "safe mode".  Let's hope.

Would be passing observers in Ecuador at the moment - only visible if there
was an engine plume.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Peter NASA on 11/09/2011 12:20 AM
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0071.html

Phobos-Soil:

Some indications are that it may be in "safe mode".  Let's hope.

Would be passing observers in Ecuador at the moment - only visible if there
was an engine plume.


Sounds like he's copying off the RussianHalo post! Some people don't accredit to make themselves seem more informed.

We won't be long from the schedule for the second burn, which will take it into heliocentric orbit?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JPL-Jones on 11/09/2011 12:26 AM
Correct :(

I'm not in, but I can make a few phone calls. Want a L2 thread for internal updates Chris?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/09/2011 12:26 AM
Quote
Thanks! It sounds like they may be able keep this mission alive if they can get the flight computer back? If that's even possible?

  It's parking orbit will certainly keep it up there for a few more days,
 but not much more.
  And the Russians do have better computers and software than they had in 1996.

  But there is the problem of Solar orientation for the F-G solar panels.
And even if it has reliable power and is perhaps in a safe mode,
and if the Russians were able to reestablish communication with it
how would they know how much mass the orbiting-assembly has now (something separated & drifted off the craft)?
  They can't just fire up the rocket motors on that orbiting craft without knowing all the details and expect a successful TMI.
 
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 12:28 AM
Correct :(

I'm not in, but I can make a few phone calls. Want a L2 thread for internal updates Chris?

Thanks sir, but no - let's keep it all in this live thread. If you do inquire, please let whoever you speak know it would be for passing on to public domain (this thread). Don't want to give anyone a nasty shock over there or something going on which shouldn't, etc.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/09/2011 12:29 AM
According to the See Sat L satellite mailing list, the spacecraft have been found in the same orbit as before the burn, after the planned burn time.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0069.html
:C

Might not be the spacecraft itself, though.

My friend at U.S. Deep Space Network's control center provides the following:
U.S. DSN's Goldstone Antenna Complex received one ping from Spacecraft. SC performed TM downlink via all available channels, this is indicating an anomaly detected by SC computer. During SC testing, Roscosmos inserted an SC slew commanding sequence in the flight program to point the SC's antennas toward the North (to be pointing at U.S., European, Russian ground stations) in the event of a problem before the burn(s) so that data can be more quickly obtained. This allows them to analyze the data and try again another day since MDU is completely powered by SC's solar panels. Goldstone DSN is indicating that SC is in a contingency safe mode. Contact was lost at planned LOS (with no first burn) and was picked up by Europe's first tracking station, TM unreadable at moment. Sun pointing for solar panels may not have been established before battery charging was commenced by flight computer. SC can be commanded to reset if need be.

Thanks! It sounds like they may be able keep this mission alive if they can get the flight computer back? If that's even possible?

Roscosmos and NASA are both probably hoping that programming is not the issue. NASA JPL supplied the auxiliary flight control computer, at the request of the prime contractor with approval from Roscosmos, to increase chances of mission success. Both are turned on for launch through TMI with JPL computer taking over after last orbit correction burn to perform Mars System insertion. JPL computer is then turned off until Phobos launch of Sample return SC back to Earth.
Interesting, didn't know that (probably my fault for not reading thoroughly enough).

Good to know there's still a decent chance here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 12:32 AM
Quote
Thanks! It sounds like they may be able keep this mission alive if they can get the flight computer back? If that's even possible?

  It's parking orbit will certainly keep it up there for a few more days,
 but not much more.
  And the Russians do have better computers and software than they had in 1996.

  But there is the problem of Solar orientation for the F-G solar panels.
And even if it has reliable power and is perhaps in a safe mode,
and if the Russians were able to reestablish communication with it
how would they know how much mass the orbiting-assembly has now (something separated & drifted off the craft)?
  They can't just fire up the rocket motors on that orbiting craft without knowing all the details and expect a successful TMI.

raw TM indicates no evidence of first burn taking place at all.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/09/2011 12:39 AM
Quote
Thanks! It sounds like they may be able keep this mission alive if they can get the flight computer back? If that's even possible?

  It's parking orbit will certainly keep it up there for a few more days,
 but not much more.
  And the Russians do have better computers and software than they had in 1996.

  But there is the problem of Solar orientation for the F-G solar panels.
And even if it has reliable power and is perhaps in a safe mode,
and if the Russians were able to reestablish communication with it
how would they know how much mass the orbiting-assembly has now (something separated & drifted off the craft)?
  They can't just fire up the rocket motors on that orbiting craft without knowing all the details and expect a successful TMI.

raw TM indicates no evidence of first burn taking place at all.

   And the planned 16 minute burn programmed to occur within 1/2 an hour from now would NOT be sufficient to achieve escape velocity for the craft.  I think they will send software commands to scrub that burn for today.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 12:40 AM

We won't be long from the schedule for the second burn, which will take it into heliocentric orbit?

A moot point if the first burn didn't even take place, as noted in RH's post - never mind the flight computer in safe mode.

Will be something if they can get the computer back up, and then re-target the burns!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 12:47 AM
Quote
Thanks! It sounds like they may be able keep this mission alive if they can get the flight computer back? If that's even possible?

  It's parking orbit will certainly keep it up there for a few more days,
 but not much more.
  And the Russians do have better computers and software than they had in 1996.

  But there is the problem of Solar orientation for the F-G solar panels.
And even if it has reliable power and is perhaps in a safe mode,
and if the Russians were able to reestablish communication with it
how would they know how much mass the orbiting-assembly has now (something separated & drifted off the craft)?
  They can't just fire up the rocket motors on that orbiting craft without knowing all the details and expect a successful TMI.

raw TM indicates no evidence of first burn taking place at all.

   And the planned 16 minute burn programmed to occur within 1/2 an hour from now would NOT be sufficient to achieve escape velocity for the craft.  I think they will send software commands to scrub that burn for today.
Lets hope they fixed the MARS 96 code glitch for the US jettison timer which is surfaced again during SC testing that was to place the US in safe mode. Very similar code is used to command the APT to separate from MDU. Someone might want to check some SC tracking sites/sources to verify that it hasn't separated, otherwise it's primary mission over and we might still be able to go to the moon and bring back some fresh samples.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/09/2011 12:52 AM
Anyone have any info on electrical power available?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 01:01 AM
Anyone have any info on electrical power available?
DSN won't be able to gain any data until next pass if Roscosmos sends requests for additional tracking. DSN was contracted for covering the first two burns plus TMI. Thats all we can do now except track it. Since the burns did not occur, they would have to declare an international mission contingency with a request for all available antennas per international space laws. Then we can help them.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Longhorn John on 11/09/2011 01:05 AM
Roscosmos will have to make a statement soon after the expected second burn, correct?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 01:08 AM
Someone might want to check some SC tracking sites/sources to verify that the APT hasn't separated yet, otherwise it's primary mission over and we might still be able to go to the moon and bring back some fresh samples. Please let there be two objects not three.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/09/2011 01:08 AM
Anyone have any info on electrical power available?
DSN won't be able to gain any data until next pass if Roscosmos sends requests for additional tracking. DSN was contracted for covering the first two burns plus TMI. Thats all we can do now except track it. Since the burns did not occur, they would have to declare an international mission contingency with a request for all available antennas per international space laws. Then we can help them.
Thanks... All fingers crossed...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 01:08 AM
Found a tweet of a guy who lives at 23 46 S / 53 18 W (about 85 miles north of my position)

he says: HA!! Vi daqui de casa a sonda Phobos-Grunt e os foguetes dela entrando em ignio!! Foi muito da hora ver a luz dela ficando mais forte!!

Translation is something like this: HA!!! I saw from my home the Phobos-Grunt and it's rockets ignigting. It was so cool to see it's light getting stronger!

And another tweet in english: I'm from Brazil, and i saw two diferents objects moving on predicted orbit. I thought it was the remains of the rocket. OMG!!!

The guy twitter account is @hevertonfreitas
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 01:13 AM
Found a tweet of a guy who lives at 23 46 S / 53 18 W (about 85 miles north of my position)

he says: HA!! Vi daqui de casa a sonda Phobos-Grunt e os foguetes dela entrando em ignio!! Foi muito da hora ver a luz dela ficando mais forte!!

Translation is something like this: HA!!! I saw from my home the Phobos-Grunt and it's rockets ignigting. It was so cool to see it's light getting stronger!

And another tweet in english: I'm from Brazil, and i saw two diferents objects moving on predicted orbit. I thought it was the remains of the rocket. OMG!!!

The guy twitter account is @hevertonfreitas

Can they verify that it was traveling with inclination of 54.1 deg. towards equator?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 11/09/2011 01:15 AM
we might still be able to go to the moon and bring back some fresh samples

Landing on Phobos is a lot different then landing on the Moon. Fobos-Grunt probably lacks the capacity to land on the Moon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 01:18 AM
we might still be able to go to the moon and bring back some fresh samples

Landing on Phobos is a lot different then landing on the Moon. Fobos-Grunt probably lacks the capacity to land on the Moon.
You might be right but it would prevent space junk if you put it on a free-return trajectory.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 11/09/2011 01:20 AM
You might be right but it would prevent space junk if you put it on a free-return trajectory.

If you can send it on a free-return trajectory, couldn't you just re-enter it directly?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 01:25 AM
Can they verify that it was traveling with inclination of 54.1 deg. towards equator?

I asked him. Let's see.
I'm national news on Globo tv now.They announced yesterday that it would be possible to see the spacecraft across the country.
Let's see if they say something, or interview someone who saw it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 01:26 AM
At long last - Russia finally admits abnormal situation - two sentences on Ria Novosti... http://ria.ru/science/20111109/484401134.html

As Anatoly Zak points out on russianspaceweb.com - technical problems weren't the only abnormal thing that happened during launch...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 01:26 AM
You might be right but it would prevent space junk if you put it on a free-return trajectory.

If you can send it on a free-return trajectory, couldn't you just re-enter it directly?

higher velocity results in reduced safety hazards unlike the 96 failure. also gives the ability of a steep, targeted reentry in the Pacific.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 01:31 AM
At long last - Russia finally admits abnormal situation - two sentences on Ria Novosti... http://ria.ru/science/20111109/484401134.html

As Anatoly Zak points out on russianspaceweb.com - technical problems weren't the only abnormal thing that happened during launch...

But what happens now is the question. This isn't a full on failure yet, as far as we know.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 01:34 AM
OK.. I continue with report... Translating RIA Novosti article:

http://ria.ru/science/20111109/484401134.html

It was a difficult night, we weren't able to see the spacecraft. Now we have its coordinates. It's clear that the MDU didn't work... There weren't neither the first, nor the second engine burns - says Vladimir Popovkin, head of Roscosmos
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 01:36 AM
Roscosmos and NASA are both probably hoping that programming is not the issue. NASA JPL supplied the auxiliary flight control computer, at the request of the prime contractor with approval from Roscosmos, to increase chances of mission success. Both are turned on for launch through TMI with JPL computer taking over after last orbit correction burn to perform Mars System insertion. JPL computer is then turned off until Phobos launch of Sample return SC back to Earth.

This is the first I've ever heard of this JPL contribution. Is there any information on the JPL site?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 01:39 AM
Sounding pretty terminal based on the quotes. I'm guessing that will be the next confirmation :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/09/2011 01:40 AM
At long last - Russia finally admits abnormal situation - two sentences on Ria Novosti... http://ria.ru/science/20111109/484401134.html

As Anatoly Zak points out on russianspaceweb.com - technical problems weren't the only abnormal thing that happened during launch...

But what happens now is the question. This isn't a full on failure yet, as far as we know.

DSN has completed tracking contract. Nothing else to report now that my friend is going off console.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 01:41 AM
ANOTHER OFFICIAL INFORMATION:

According to Popovkin it's possible that the spacecraft wasn't able to reorient itself from the Sun to the Stars...

It is possible that the MDU never received commands from the sensors to start burns

Popovkin says - it's abnormal situation, but it was worked out during development of the project... and it's also known what to do in such situations

They will try reprogramming the spacecraft... No tanks were thrown out... No fuel was spent.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 01:44 AM
Full Google translate link:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fria.ru%2Fscience%2F20111109%2F484401134.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 01:54 AM
http://www.interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=215883


INTERFAX: Russian specialists have only three days to upload the new software before the batteries run out of power...

Popovkin: I won't say that the launch was a failure. It was an abnormal situation - but it has already been worked out.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 01:58 AM
Ok, a bit of hope at least!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/09/2011 01:58 AM
http://www.interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=215883


INTERFAX: Russian specialists have only three days to upload the new software before the batteries run out of power...

Popovkin: I won't say that the launch was a failure. It was an abnormal situation - but it has already been worked out.
Thank you, it gives us some time then.

Robert
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 01:59 AM
INTERFAX: Russian specialists have only three days to upload the new software before the batteries run out of power...
Thanks again, Svetoslav! This reads like confirmation of a sensor/orientation issue.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 02:21 AM
They seem to have a stable vehicle and time to work it out. What they probably don't have enough of, because of the deterioration of the Soviet-era space tracking capabilities [no tracking ships, no TDRSS, loss of some western and southern in-country sites], is enough contact time -- 'AOS'.

Still, this could yet be pulled back from the jaws of defeat.

Eyewitness accounts from South America, and the ISS, might provide critical clues. It was prudent to ask for them, and it is extremely valuable that Western volunteer groups responded so energetically.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 02:21 AM
http://ria.ru/science/20111109/484413896.html

Unfortunately I bear once again some bad news...

Specialists are already working on two versions about why the spacecraft wasn't able to switch to Star orientation.

The first one is a programming mistake. If this is true - it can be corrected easily and the spacecraft will fly to Mars.

The second version - a hardware problem - failure of hardware components - like sensors... This would mean that Phobos-Grunt can't continue its trek to Mars.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/09/2011 02:23 AM
The first one is a programming mistake. If this is true - it can be corrected easily and the spacecraft will fly to Mars.


You know what that means.....
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 02:36 AM
We need visual passes for the vehicle for the next 24 hours, so observers can search for any nearby objects to help characterize the vehicle's status. It's in a low, fast orbit and these passes will be challenging.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 02:43 AM
Given we don't have much official info to play with, I've provided a short summary of the state of play into Williams's main article:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/11/live-zenit-2launch-fobos-grunt-sample-return-mission-to-phobos/

Excellent thread, with lots of very good contributions - and my earlier extended comment is no longer valid as I misunderstood what the person on twitter was aiming at. So that's all good now :)).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr. mark on 11/09/2011 02:49 AM
Gees... I leave for a couple hours and all heck breaks loose on the spacecraft. Well, it's looks like I'm going to have to back read a bunch of pages. Sounds serious though, I hope flight controllers can work the problem.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: joek on 11/09/2011 03:10 AM
Agree great article and great thread.  While I'm anxious for updates, I empathize with the mission crew and the pressure they must be feeling, let them do their jobs, and restrain myself and patiently await further word.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/09/2011 03:52 AM
Not sure if this is the best place to bring it up but I'm a little confused by the article, specifically the translation. Fobos is not the name of the martian moon, it's Phobos. The Russian letter "ф" is pronounced similarly to "f," but we're not talking about some place called Fobos, we're talking about the Martian moon Phobos. A nitpicky point perhaps but I disagree that Roscosmos has been mistranslating the name of the mission.

Also, according to the Space Review (http://thespacereview.com/article/1966/1) Phobos-Grunt "is the heaviest solar system explorer ever (more than twice the second-heaviest, Cassini).", not just the heaviest built in the former USSR.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 04:24 AM
http://www.interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=215883

INTERFAX: Russian specialists have only three days to upload the new software before the batteries run out of power...

As I understand it, the solar panels do not unfold until AFTER the completion of the burns. But while folded, do they generate ANY 'trickle power'?

Another time constraint is the rate with which the probe's parking orbit is precessing -- about 6-7 degrees per day -- out of the optimal plane for insertion onto the trans-Mars trajectory. Each day means the need for a bigger burn to correct for the growing planar error.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 04:28 AM
.... according to the Space Review (http://thespacereview.com/article/1966/1) Phobos-Grunt "is the heaviest solar system explorer ever (more than twice the second-heaviest, Cassini).", not just the heaviest built in the former USSR.

I don't accept that claim, since the probe's mass is presented in LEO parking orbit, prior to insertion on the trans-Mars route. More than half of that mass disappears by the time it's on interplanetary cruise.

But the mass IS a critical issue, BECAUSE it's now of the heaviest satellites that might randomly fall back to Earth. If a controlled de-orbit can't be accomplished, we're talking about a spacecraft reentry within a week or two far more hazardous than the recent high-fear-factor falls of UARS and others, aren't we?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: slavnus on 11/09/2011 05:14 AM
prelaunch report from Baikonur

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV7V7Je_FDo

Everybody fingers crossed!!!

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 05:25 AM
Apparently there's a few grams of radioactive cobalt-57 in one of the soil analysis instruments. Doesn't look like any significant contamination threat if/when it falls back to Earth.
http://vz.ru/news/2011/11/9/537080.print.html
http://www.ria.ru/science/20111109/484486608.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jcm on 11/09/2011 05:34 AM
Not sure if this is the best place to bring it up but I'm a little confused by the article, specifically the translation. Fobos is not the name of the martian moon, it's Phobos. The Russian letter "ф" is pronounced similarly to "f," but we're not talking about some place called Fobos, we're talking about the Martian moon Phobos. A nitpicky point perhaps but I disagree that Roscosmos has been mistranslating the name of the mission.

Also, according to the Space Review (http://thespacereview.com/article/1966/1) Phobos-Grunt "is the heaviest solar system explorer ever (more than twice the second-heaviest, Cassini).", not just the heaviest built in the former USSR.


There's a confusion here between translation and transliteration.
If you want to TRANSLATE the probe's name, you should say "Phobos-Ground" or "Phobos-Soil". And you should refer to the Union-TM spaceship docking with the Star module, not the Soyuz-TM docking with Zvezda, etc...
but in TRANSLITERATION, which we normally do for names, it is useful to have a fixed mapping between the two alphabets (in this case Cyrillic and Roman) - this helps because if a reader knows both they can more reliably guess what the original Cyrillic was. Mapping the Russian letter Ф to the English letter F, rather than Ph, is a common choice - either would do as long as you are consistent, but in most Western space historiography we've picked F.

It's a Russian space probe, so I prefer to render the Russian spelling as best
I can. Now when I talk about the moon of Mars, that isn't Russian, and there's
already an English name for it, so when TRANSLATING a Russian statement I talk about the Fobos-Grunt mission to the moon Phobos.

When rendering names from another language or alphabet it's always a tricky choice - is the notorious late terrorist called Osama bin Laden, Usama bin Laden, or (translating)  Leonine Ladenson? Transliterating is usually a better choice than translating in my opinion.

Meanwhile... crossing my fingers that the team can save the mission, whatever its name is..
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Moe Grills on 11/09/2011 06:33 AM
http://ria.ru/science/20111109/484413896.html

Unfortunately I bear once again some bad news...

Specialists are already working on two versions about why the spacecraft wasn't able to switch to Star orientation.

The first one is a programming mistake. If this is true - it can be corrected easily and the spacecraft will fly to Mars.

The second version - a hardware problem - failure of hardware components - like sensors... This would mean that Phobos-Grunt can't continue its trek to Mars.

If it's a hardware problem like sensors, wouldn't there be some redundancy built in to the system? Perhaps four sensors, instead of three? So if one fails the other three are sufficient?

Or, if one set of propellant valves fail on the Freget, would there be a
redundant set or bypasses?

I think that old saying is true: Give engineers the time to work out a problem, and they will....I hope it is this time.
I don't share in Jame Oberg's pessimism. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 06:44 AM
I think that old saying is true: Give engineers the time to work out a problem, and they will....I hope it is this time.
I don't share in Jame Oberg's pessimism. 

Pessimistic? By no means. Nothing irreversibly bad has happened, the full prop load is still available, and short-term 'stay healthy' maneuvers can be performed.

Since the solar panels must be strong enough to perform Mars orbit insertion with the Fregat stage, it seems plausible that they can be deployed even before the Earth departure burn is made. That solves one problem. Going into a higher apogee orbit allowing more dwell time over Russian tracking sites solves another.

The major current problem is to get the spacecraft out of 'safe' mode. But such a mode is DESIGNED to be able to leave when you feel better.

I'll offer better than even odds that they WILL be able to make their interplanetary insertion -- maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not in three days, but within the launch window.

Right now I need to go get some sleep.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 06:50 AM
Roscosmos and NASA are both probably hoping that programming is not the issue. NASA JPL supplied the auxiliary flight control computer, at the request of the prime contractor with approval from Roscosmos, to increase chances of mission success. Both are turned on for launch through TMI with JPL computer taking over after last orbit correction burn to perform Mars System insertion. JPL computer is then turned off until Phobos launch of Sample return SC back to Earth.

This is the first I've ever heard of this JPL contribution. Is there any information on the JPL site?


I've made a medium-thorough search of the JPL site and can find NO menton of any JPL participation in the Fobos-Grunt spacecraft, much less a critical piece of guidance avionics. But then, I need sleep. Can anybody else try to vereify this claim about a 'secret' NASA contribution to the Russian program? 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/09/2011 06:53 AM
If a controlled de-orbit can't be accomplished, we're talking about a spacecraft reentry within a week or two far more hazardous than the recent high-fear-factor falls of UARS and others, aren't we?

Twitter user @OrbitOps reports having performed "quick calculations" and suggests re-entry would take placed "in about 130 days" if no control were possible.  My main hope is of course that the Fobos-Grunt mission controllers fix their little problem and light this candle.  But even if the main engine simply will not ignite, wouldn't they still have their RCS thrusters to effect a controlled entry?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 06:57 AM
Here's a pessimistic thought -- if they CANNOT regain control of the bird, and it heads for an uncontrolled entry, the hypergolics it carries -- about seven tons of nitrogen teroxide and hydrazine, which could freeze before ultimately entering -- will make it the most toxic falling satellite EVER. Old USA-193 will pale in comparison, as would Mars-96 and the plutonium it dumped on Bolivia in 1996.

Any wild and crazy estimates of orbital lifetime if it becomes a derelict?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/09/2011 06:57 AM
Someone on NK posted that the solar arrays have been deployed. (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=830982#830982) Hope it's true....
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/09/2011 07:50 AM
Someone on NK posted that the solar arrays have been deployed. (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=830982#830982) Hope it's true....

not sure it's good if true. it depends whether the attitude control system is designed for a firing with highly flexible appendages deployed
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: William Graham on 11/09/2011 08:51 AM
Not sure if this is the best place to bring it up but I'm a little confused by the article, specifically the translation. Fobos is not the name of the martian moon, it's Phobos. The Russian letter "ф" is pronounced similarly to "f," but we're not talking about some place called Fobos, we're talking about the Martian moon Phobos. A nitpicky point perhaps but I disagree that Roscosmos has been mistranslating the name of the mission.

They're translating "Phobos" correctly, but "Грунт" does not translate to "Grunt". You can either translate the name to "Phobos-Soil" or "Phobos-Ground", or you can transliterate to "Fobos-Grunt" (the latter being standard for virtually all other Russian and Chinese spacecraft). Roskosmos are effectively translating the first half of the name, and just transliterating the second half, which is wrong. There a few cases where transliterated and translated rocket and spacecraft names are the same (Proton, Progress, etc), so I'm guessing that Roskosmos thought this was anoher such case, which it wasn't.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 09:06 AM
Guys! Found a brazillian video of the Phobos Grunt made last night.
His position is Lat: Lon-23.552XX: Alt-46.184XX: 742m, 467 miles ENE from me.

this is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=INOwSWTHe20#

What he says: 1:08 Found the son of a b***

So I was wrong when i said that the two objects were taking distance from each other. On the beginning of his video the distance of them is about the same as what i saw.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: NH2501 on 11/09/2011 09:09 AM
Regarding translations and transliteration.

Fortunately, in Polish we don't have such a problem because of common language group for Polish (West Slavian) and Russian (East Slavian).
In both of them the correct name for Greek god of fear is Fobos (F equals letter and sound like Greek Φ, and ф in Russian!). We also both use noun "grunt" to describe a top/upper layer of soil or ground or contact area between building and ground.

Thanks to all contributors of this topic, by the way.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/09/2011 09:51 AM
there is an update (in Russian) on the RKA website
http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18227
controllers will not be able to contact F-G before 23 Moscow time (19 UTC, I guess) when it will fly over Russian territory... very bad way of managing a critical event like a trans-Mars insertion!
on the other hand, the update states that the firings have to occur within two weeks before the spacecraft reenters and batteries are exhausted. if true, this is very good news!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/09/2011 09:59 AM
Some good news. (http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=388&L=0&view=single_thread&cat_uid=1&conf_uid=1&thread_uid=21&page=3)  :)

Quote
A telemetry had been received. Attitude keeping works. At present, the spacecraft is out of our visibility zone. We'll wait for telemetry feed at 21:30 Moscow (17:30 UTC). Then we'll know what's the problem.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/09/2011 10:24 AM
on the other hand, the update states that the firings have to occur within two weeks before the spacecraft reenters and batteries are exhausted. if true, this is very good news!

That still leaves the orbit plane moving away from the required injection plane with each passing day. I wonder how long it would take for the nodal regression to reach 180 deg and if that would still happen inside the possible launch window.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 10:29 AM
According to this site http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos&jd=2455874.35069566&Post=800#MAP
the spacecraft should be over U.S. now.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kaptein80 on 11/09/2011 10:33 AM
With the telemetry we should be able to know the status of the sensors and in general the satus of Phobos-Grunt. Hope they can fix the problem! this is real science but again something is wrong on the engineering phase, this should not happen.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: thuvt on 11/09/2011 10:51 AM
Apollo 13 in the 21st century? Keeping my fingers crossed and hope for the best!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/09/2011 11:40 AM
Well this is surprising..... (http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=625364&cid=7)  :o

Quote
9.11.2011 14:46
Phobos-Grunt's main engine will be test fired tonight

First attempt to start the propulsion unit of the "Phobos-Grunt" interplanetary probe that had failed to eject onto a Mars-bound trajectory, will commence tonight, reports ITAR-TASS.

A source from rocket&space industry said: "We plan the first attempt to start the propulsion unit of the "Phobos-Grunt" interplanetary probe for 21:16 Moscow time (17:16 UTC)". Specialists say the spacecraft will be situated in a best point of its orbit for a proper boosting burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Silmfeanor on 11/09/2011 11:52 AM
Well this is surprising..... (http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=625364&cid=7)  :o

Quote
9.11.2011 14:46
Phobos-Grunt's main engine will be test fired tonight

First attempt to start the propulsion unit of the "Phobos-Grunt" interplanetary probe that had failed to eject onto a Mars-bound trajectory, will commence tonight, reports ITAR-TASS.

A source from rocket&space industry said: "We plan the first attempt to start the propulsion unit of the "Phobos-Grunt" interplanetary probe for 21:16 Moscow time (17:16 UTC)". Specialists say the spacecraft will be situated in a best point of its orbit for a proper boosting burn.
I assume they have control and working telemetry then, and have even uploaded data?
Hope it all works, I'd love the picture of a russian official holding up a bag of phobos soil.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SiberianTiger on 11/09/2011 12:01 PM
I assume they have control and working telemetry then, and have even uploaded data?

We have to assume that some control input could be sent aboard during PhG pass near Ussuriysk Control Centre at 14:16 UTC.

Hope it all works, I'd love the picture of a russian official holding up a bag of phobos soil.

I hope we'll see a Russian scientist in this role, though.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/09/2011 01:00 PM
Jim, I see the AP has heavily quoted you.
http://news.yahoo.com/russian-scientists-try-save-mars-moon-probe-082920979.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Silmfeanor on 11/09/2011 01:15 PM
Jim, I see the AP has heavily quoted you.
http://news.yahoo.com/russian-scientists-try-save-mars-moon-probe-082920979.html

Also in an earlier version of this BBC article:
Quote
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15631472
- but it has now been updated / removed.

I hope we'll see a Russian scientist in this role, though.
Agreed, of course. No time for Putin jokes yet though; first let's hope they can get this bird on it's way...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/09/2011 01:19 PM
Any confirmation of solar array deploy from a secondary source? Hopefully that could buy us more time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/09/2011 01:31 PM
drawings show the solar panels deployed during burns but are they really designed to be so?
usually satellites do not deploy solar panels and other flexible appendages that can perturb their attitude before such maneuvers
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/09/2011 01:43 PM
drawings show the solar panels deployed during burns but are they really designed to be so?
usually satellites do not deploy solar panels and other flexible appendages that can perturb their attitude before such maneuvers

This thing is built like a tank Perhaps JimO could comment :)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15631472
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/09/2011 01:49 PM
No time for Putin jokes yet though; first let's hope they can get this bird on it's way...

I suspect Putin is not in a joking mood, hopefully they can salvage this mission or I fear he might show how unfunny he thinks this is. Fingers crossed for the workers.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/09/2011 01:52 PM

This thing is built like a tank Perhaps JimO could comment :)


What in that photo determines that it is a tank and that the solar arrays can be deployed during burns?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/09/2011 01:53 PM
drawings show the solar panels deployed during burns but are they really designed to be so?
usually satellites do not deploy solar panels and other flexible appendages that can perturb their attitude before such maneuvers

Since the same propulsion system performs MOI, if it can handle the Gs when the whole stack is lighter, it should by definition be able to handle TMI with arrays unfolded and with heavier mass.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/09/2011 01:54 PM
Latest news: http://www.interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=216042 (http://www.interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=216042)

Quote
Roscosmos specialists will attempt to save Phobos-Grunt tonight

November 9, 2011, 17:40

Moscow, November 9. INTERFAX.RU - Speciatists of Roscosmos will attempt to eject Phobos-Grunt spacecraft to a Mars-bound trajectory during the night of Wednesday and Thursday's morning, told a source in the rocket&space industry to Interfax AVN.

According to him, at 23:00 Moscow time (19:00 UTC) Phobos-Grunt will pass within visibility range of the primary measurement and command centre in Baikonur. At this time, specialists will collect telemetry information from the spacecraft, that will allow them to determine the exact cause of the issue.

After analyzing the information, measures will be taken to address the problem, if it is found solvable. If possible, manoeuveres to boost into the intermediate orbit and then to escape trajectory will also be performed.

The source highlighted that Phobos-Grunt will appear in range of Russian tracking stations earlier, about 21:30 MSK (17:30 UTC), but only Baikonur station is capable of gathering the full set of telemetry information and, what's most important, to issue the command to perform the manoeuvres.

"Having the issues with the present orbit's height and electric supply of equipment, we have to perform boosting as soon as possible. But undue hurry is not desirable, as well. One error now may cost us the whole mission" - he remarked.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 01:58 PM
Wow, thanks for the translation on the above. This will be a great mission save if they pull it off!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 02:04 PM
Greetings for me again!

A poster on Novosti-Kosmonavtiki puts a list of times when Phobos-Grunt will be visible from different control centers:

http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=831515#831515
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/09/2011 02:06 PM
Since the same propulsion system performs MOI, if it can handle the Gs when the whole stack is lighter, it should by definition be able to handle TMI with arrays unfolded and with heavier mass.

that's probably true.
note however that I am not talking about a problem of gees and acceleration (a relatively simple static problem), but a problem of array vibrational frequencies, damping and attitude control response (a complex dynamical problem).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yamato on 11/09/2011 02:08 PM
if they succeed in igniting the propulsion unit, where should it happen? Directly over russia, or somewhere else? (europe O:))
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 02:12 PM
I fixed the link above. I sinserely apologize that I put a wrong one.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: FinalFrontier on 11/09/2011 02:19 PM
Jeez, another mission in jeopardy for the Russians. I hope they can save this one. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Archibald on 11/09/2011 02:22 PM
To me that bad start confirms fears expressed before the mission - that the russians did not solved issues that cost them so many Mars probes in the past. Read - overcomplication (Phobos); the damn parking orbit (Mars 96) computer glitches (Mars 69 /71 / 73).
I fear that, even if they managed to save Phobos Grunt from its actual dire situation, the probe might fail without a warning only days before reaching Mars...
Not that I wish that mission any bad !
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 02:31 PM
Archibald - excuse me, but you are wrong. You can't compare apple with ranges. The Mars 73 probes failed due to faulty transistors - they could have saved the mission if they had delayed it to 1975. Phobos-Grunt failed during tests in 2009 and the Russian specialists requested a two-year delay.

Mars 96 failure was due to lack of funding - even the assembly of the rocket took place under the illumination of gas lanterns - the taxes for electroenergy weren't paid.

Phobos failures were indeed due to software glitches.

The only thing that is worthy to be criticized is overcomplication.

As for Phobos-Grunt - it was already explained that this is one of the predicted anomalies and the specialists already have a working plan... This is a huge improvement. We have a spacecraft in a stable preliminary orbit- and specialists have their time to analyze the situation and to find out what went wrong.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/09/2011 02:50 PM
Archibald - excuse me, but you are wrong. You can't compare apple with ranges.

I agree 100% with you.
However, the Russians were extremely naive on this one, and have not evidently learned the lesson of Nozomi and CONTOUR: NEVER (and I mean NEVER!) plan a  burn or maneuver or other critical maneuvers out of contact with the ground. I know that the fleet of telemetry ships has long been dismantled, but they could easily have asked for some satellite station in South America to track F-G and record its telemetry, instead of having to wait tens of hours to have a status snapshot!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 03:06 PM
...they could easily have asked for some satellite station in South America to track F-G and record its telemetry, instead of having to wait tens of hours to have a status snapshot!

Here is a interesting story.
I have a friend who is a journalist, and told her last week about this event. She got interested about the launch and made a few calls for the "competent" national agencies, since she wanted to write about it on the news.
The most important agency here in Brazil is the INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, or National Institute of Space Researches). So obviously she called them to get info. The answer on friday was: "We can't confirm anything, since the russian government did not warned us about it."
They were talking as if they simply didn't know anything.

Then on monday she called again. This time they knew about it, but said that it would not be possible to see without a telescope (!!!).

All in all, they don't even know when they're hungry. Try to picture these morons tracking a rocket.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 03:19 PM
A poster on Novosti-Kosmonavtiki puts a list of times when Phobos-Grunt will be visible from different control centers:

http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=831515#831515 

Great info.

and note quote: "The source highlighted that Phobos-Grunt will appear in range of Russian tracking stations earlier, about 21:30 MSK (17:30 UTC), but only Baikonur station is capable of gathering the full set of telemetry information and, what's most important, to issue the command to perform the manoeuvres."

which reveals only a SINGLE ground site can perform the required comm.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 03:22 PM
Looking ahead, and assuming they get a successful trans-Mars insertion, my next big concern is the operation of the Fregat stage for Mars Orbit Insertion after an eleven month cold cruise. NASA probes have been badly bit by problems caused by using hypergolic engines after such an exposure to flight conditions. Since [for the first time?] the same engine is being used both for Earth departure and Mars arrival [Mars-96 apparently intended to do the same -- did Phobos-1 and -2?] , I am deeply concerned over the state of its engine valves when the probe finally [we hope] gets to Mars.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/09/2011 03:26 PM
Mars-96 apparently intended to do the same -- did Phobos-1 and -2?

yes. only Phobos 2 did, of course

which reveals only a SINGLE ground site can perform the required comm.

this is crazy!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 11/09/2011 03:41 PM
my next big concern is the operation of the Fregat stage

There is no Fregat stage. There is a MDU, which is derived from Fregat stage.  :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 03:43 PM
How long is it taking to do a full lap around the earth?
According to this: http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos&jd=2455874.35069566&Post=800#MAP the spacecraft just went over Argentina, and on the next 4 passes will be almost on the same spot as it was last night when i saw it. Actually a bit over west. As sunset is around 21:30 GMT here, it will be perfect for me to see it again.
Of course, if the russians don't fire up the rocket, cause it will start to fly over them in the same laps.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/09/2011 03:59 PM
How long is it taking to do a full lap around the earth?
According to this: http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos&jd=2455874.35069566&Post=800#MAP the shuttle just went over Argentina, and on the next 4 passes will be almost on the same spot as it was last night when i saw it. Actually a bit over west. As sunset is around 21:30 GMT here, it will be perfect for me to see it again.
Of course, if the russians don't fire up the rocket, cause it will start to fly over them in the same laps.

If the shape of the orbit is 207 x 347 km then the period of the orbit would be almost exactly 90 minutes, I think.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/09/2011 04:08 PM
Orbital period is 1h 29m 51s.

Ulan Ude might have got 8 minutes to contact the spacecraft, however it appears that we have to wait until a pass over Baikonur for better data.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nick on 11/09/2011 04:09 PM
RIA Novosti is quoting Vladimir Popovkin as saying that there are two weeks to send the necessary commands to Phobos-Grunt and that it will remain in orbit for four weeks::

http://en.rian.ru/science/20111109/168547329.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 04:11 PM

If the shape of the orbit is 207 x 347 km then the period of the orbit would be almost exactly 90 minutes, I think.



Thanks.
So it should be over me around 22:45 GMT. Almost the same time as it was yesterday.
We will be looking up to the sky here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/09/2011 04:12 PM
This was posted a couple pages ago, but to elaborate on the statement from Roscosmos: http://roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18227

The Google translate link is surprisingly good: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Froscosmos.ru%2Fmain.php%3Fid%3D2%26nid%3D18227

But to clarify a bit on the third paragraph: During the first planned engine burn an off-nominal situation occured - the engines were not fired. At the time of this planned burn the spacecraft was not in view of ground stations.
At the present time all parameters related to the motion/orbit of the spacecraft have been determined.

Key point: Adjusted analysis of the orbital parameters and energy supply on board showed that these commands must be issued within 2 weeks.

NOT 3 days, as initially reported. Remember, this is an official source.

We'll hopefully know more sometime around 3pm EST (23MSK) or at least shortly thereafter.

And can we please stop calling it a shuttle?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 11/09/2011 04:15 PM
this is part of a concise chronology of the crisis of the space craft

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_launch.html

At 16:35 Moscow Time (7:35 EST), a poster on Astronomy.ru web forum reported that new attempts to escape Earth orbit would be conducted between 03:00 and 05:00 Moscow Time on Thursday, November 10 (6 p.m. - 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday). According to Interfax news agency, Phobos-Grunt was expected to enter the range of Russian ground control stations at around 21:30 Moscow Time (12:30 p.m. EST), however only a ground station in Baikonur was equipped to downlink all necessary telemetry data and transmit new commands for the upcoming maneuver.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/09/2011 04:25 PM
The previous two posts indicate the two-week period to solve the problems is virtual; there are only three days... the click is ticking!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/09/2011 04:27 PM
This makes me wonder what this forum would have been like during Apollo 13.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/09/2011 04:27 PM
The previous two posts indicate the two-week period to solve the problems is virtual; there are only three days... the click is ticking!

How do they indicate that?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 04:31 PM
Quote
And can we please stop calling it a shuttle?

People in USA/English speaking countries call it an unmanned probe or an unmanned spacecraft...

The true name in Russian - Автоматическая межпланетная станция can be translated into English as "Automatic Interplanetary Station"
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 04:33 PM
This makes me wonder what this forum would have been like during Apollo 13.

"OMG! Just heard 'Houston, we have a problem' over the loop! That doesn't sound good?!"

"Calm down, it could be anything."

"Uh oh, someone's just tweeted they are losing O2!"

And so on ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JWag on 11/09/2011 04:33 PM
The RussianSpaceWeb site says this:

Quote
in just two days [Phobos-Grunt] would descent too low for the available propellant to raise its parking orbit and conduct another attempt to enter escape trajectory toward Mars, reports said.

It's not clear to me what "reports" the author is referring to.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/09/2011 04:39 PM
This makes me wonder what this forum would have been like during Apollo 13.

"OMG! Just heard 'Houston, we have a problem' over the loop! That doesn't sound good?!"

"Calm down, it could be anything."

"Uh oh, someone's just tweeted they are losing O2!"

And so on ;)

.. for three and a half straight days. And let's hope you wouldn't change the thread's title to "LOC: Apollo 13" during the period before splashdown!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 11/09/2011 04:50 PM
This makes me wonder what this forum would have been like during Apollo 13.

we slept in shifts, in the living room with the TV on; I can only say, it would have been 10 times the pages on this thread by now at least; would have been a zoo with the hundreds of people posting; I think the closest equivalent would have been Katrina, Christmas Tsunami or last springs Japan Earth Quake;

edit - it is quite probable that this website would have crashed in the first day along with many others as people tried to get news; I'm not sure the TV networks would have coped any better; interesting idea though, perhaps someone has a book in them on this ;-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 05:13 PM
http://www.firstnews.ru/news/lenta/evropa-predlagaet-rf-pomoshch-v-podderzhanii-svyazi-s-fobos-gruntom/

Europe offers help to Russia. ESA says the deep space station of the agency can be activated so specialists would communicate with Phobos-Grunt all the time...

I wonder ... what is that station
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: nrh on 11/09/2011 05:19 PM
Maybe these? http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Operations/SEMGSDSMTWE_0.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/09/2011 05:21 PM
I wonder ... what is that station
 

"Station" as in "ground tracking station," not "orbital station."
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/09/2011 05:31 PM
I'm suddenly a bit confused by the Roscosmos statement I posted. They claim the SC was out of range of ground stations during the planned burn, but RussianHalo posted information that DSN was contracted to provide telemetry for the burns. Does anyone know about the contract with DSN? And it seems we haven't confirmed the rumour that JPL supplied an auxiliary guidance computer either.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 05:48 PM
Phobos-Grunt is above Baikonur right now. Let's see if we have any news on the next minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 05:51 PM
Phobos-Grunt is above Baikonur right now. Let's see if we have any news on the next minutes.
Yep, ground track here:
http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos%20#MAP
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: butters on 11/09/2011 06:07 PM
I can understand why Russia might want to try and get away with using only their limited domestic tracking and telemetry assets in order to save costs, but I don't understand how that consideration wasn't nullified immediately when the spacecraft encountered a potential LOM situation and they clearly could benefit from additional coverage in resolving the problem. They should have asked for help, and I don't understand why they haven't. The cost of this mission far exceeds the cost of securing international assistance in saving it.

If this is viewed as a matter of national pride, then that concerns me. Would they insist on making do with their domestic resources if there were cosmonauts on that spacecraft? I sincerely hope they save this very ambitious mission. I wish they would pursue every available resource and not rely completely on the one and only ground station in the world that can provide insight into the situation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/09/2011 06:19 PM
I can understand why Russia might want to try and get away with using only their limited domestic tracking and telemetry assets in order to save costs, but I don't understand how that consideration wasn't nullified immediately when the spacecraft encountered a potential LOM situation and they clearly could benefit from additional coverage in resolving the problem. They should have asked for help, and I don't understand why they haven't. The cost of this mission far exceeds the cost of securing international assistance in saving it.

If this is viewed as a matter of national pride, then that concerns me. Would they insist on making do with their domestic resources if there were cosmonauts on that spacecraft? I sincerely hope they save this very ambitious mission. I wish they would pursue every available resource and not rely completely on the one and only ground station in the world that can provide insight into the situation.

That all assumes that using additional tracking assets from other concerns is as simple as switching a switch. It may not be, and may have required planning before the mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: apace on 11/09/2011 06:22 PM
Just to know, Russia has only one tracking station? What about data relay satellites to use?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/09/2011 06:23 PM
There haven't been operational Luch satellites (TDRS equivalent) for quite some time, however they are launching one this December.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 06:24 PM
Just to know, Russia has only one tracking station? What about data relay satellites to use?
They hope to (re)build their own Luch relay satellite system, and they are using 3 ground stations. But only one was capable of downloading all the telemetry: Baikonur.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/09/2011 06:24 PM
If this is viewed as a matter of national pride, then that concerns me. Would they insist on making do with their domestic resources if there were cosmonauts on that spacecraft?

Look up the story of the submarine Kursk.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/09/2011 06:26 PM
Looking ahead, and assuming they get a successful trans-Mars insertion, my next big concern is the operation of the Fregat stage for Mars Orbit Insertion after an eleven month cold cruise. NASA probes have been badly bit by problems caused by using hypergolic engines after such an exposure to flight conditions. Since [for the first time?] the same engine is being used both for Earth departure and Mars arrival [Mars-96 apparently intended to do the same -- did Phobos-1 and -2?] , I am deeply concerned over the state of its engine valves when the probe finally [we hope] gets to Mars.


Thanks for your thoughts Jim. I guess one step at a time, no TMI, it will be all academic and another engineering forensics case


Regards
Robert
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Flint on 11/09/2011 06:28 PM
Hi folks

Does anybody know which radio frequencies are being used by the spacecraft?

Greetings from Switzerland
Alex
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SiberianTiger on 11/09/2011 06:42 PM
Hi folks

Does anybody know which radio frequencies are being used by the spacecraft?

Greetings from Switzerland
Alex


Transmission - 7,159.72-7,176.28 MHz
Receiving - 8,412.268-8,431.1 MHz
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lars_J on 11/09/2011 07:23 PM
According to the ground track info at http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos%20#MAP , the spacecraft is passing right over Baikonur right now, so hopefully they can communicate properly with it and figure out a workaround.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/09/2011 07:44 PM
According to the ground track info at http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos%20#MAP , the spacecraft is passing right over Baikonur right now, so hopefully they can communicate properly with it and figure out a workaround.

does it have a Norad listing yet?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 08:06 PM
Can someone check this Russian post? Propulsion test at 21:16 MSK?

Quote
на офф канале тв студии роскосмоса на трубе написали вот что:
Первая попытка запустить двигательную установку межпланетной станции "Фобос-грунт", которая не вышла на траекторию отлета к Марсу, состоится сегодня в 21:16 мск.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 08:07 PM
I wish I could say something more, but I can't... I have trouble with Novosti Kosmonavtiki once again. Vesti offers no new information - they are still saying that specialists are trying to save the mission. There is a little moaning in the official discussion forum and astronomy.ru forum about lack of data - but nothing that's worth of mentioning.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 08:10 PM
Ten minutes from a first propulsion test, supposedly.

Quote
на офф канале тв студии роскосмоса на трубе написали вот что:
Первая попытка запустить двигательную установку межпланетной станции "Фобос-грунт", которая не вышла на траекторию отлета к Марсу, состоится сегодня в 21:16 мск.

Are you sure about this? 21:16 МСК was two hours ago...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 08:12 PM
Ten minutes from a first propulsion test, supposedly.

Quote
на офф канале тв студии роскосмоса на трубе написали вот что:
Первая попытка запустить двигательную установку межпланетной станции "Фобос-грунт", которая не вышла на траекторию отлета к Марсу, состоится сегодня в 21:16 мск.

Are you sure about this? 21:16 МСК was two hours ago...
Edited my post, a second reading makes it likely this is the plan for tomorrow.

Check here: http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=388&view=single_thread&cat_uid=1&conf_uid=1&thread_uid=21&page=8
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/09/2011 08:15 PM
Can someone check this Russian post? Propulsion test at 21:16 MSK?

Quote
на офф канале тв студии роскосмоса на трубе написали вот что:
Первая попытка запустить двигательную установку межпланетной станции "Фобос-грунт", которая не вышла на траекторию отлета к Марсу, состоится сегодня в 21:16 мск.
"First try to fire FG is planned for 21:16, Moscow time"

It is old info now...

There was also rumor they just want to get some data from Fobos, and then (tomorrow) decide what to do
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/09/2011 08:15 PM
So, only tomorrow we will know if the mission can be saved?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 08:16 PM
According to RussianSpaceWeb website which is quoting astronomy.ru, the firings that would send the spacecraft on its way to Mars are going to occur between 03:00 and 05:00 MSK Thursday. This would mean that there are about two hours remaining until the first burn ...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 08:19 PM
Are you sure about this? 21:16 МСК was two hours ago...
More like 2 minutes ago, if they indeed meant GMT. But as posted now by Yaroslav, it was an old rumour.

Edit: it seems google translation automatically replaced with GMT, while it should have been MSK.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 08:23 PM
Correct.. But they could still try firing the engines, dependent on the situation... We still wait and listen for word
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 09:09 PM
Is this valid?

Quote
@b0yle Alan Boyle
Russians due to try raising #PhobosGrunt orbit slightly at 12:16 pm ET to test software workaround. H/T to Jim Oberg

5 hours ago
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 09:25 PM
Is this valid?

Quote
@b0yle Alan Boyle
Russians due to try raising #PhobosGrunt orbit slightly at 12:16 pm ET to test software workaround. H/T to Jim Oberg

5 hours ago

Seems like it was a garbled translation of an ambiguously-worded report, so disregard.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/09/2011 09:32 PM
Is this valid?

Quote
@b0yle Alan Boyle
Russians due to try raising #PhobosGrunt orbit slightly at 12:16 pm ET to test software workaround. H/T to Jim Oberg

5 hours ago

Seems like it was a garbled translation of an ambiguously-worded report, so disregard.
Okay Jim, just asking because of the fluidity of all this.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/09/2011 09:38 PM
'Fluidity' may imply more substance then we really have.

How about 'gaseousness'?

Will there be a Mars orbit insertion burn attempt tonight, or not?

The IKI trajectory site has not been updated, and no invitation seems to have gone out to South American observers.

ADD: And the NK site appears to be still down -- do we know why?
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/content/news.shtml



Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 09:42 PM
We really don't know yes, but if there is a MOI tonight, it will start after 20 mins...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rdiaz on 11/09/2011 10:17 PM
Thanks everyone for the updates, I was talking with a friend and we are hoping that soon controllers will be able to see something like this: http://imageshack.us/f/831/thumbsupec.jpg/ (http://imageshack.us/f/831/thumbsupec.jpg/)  :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: DaveS on 11/09/2011 10:20 PM
We really don't know yes, but if there is a MOI tonight, it will start after 20 mins...
MOI will not be done tonight. Rather it is the Trans Martian Injection(TMI) burn that remains to be executed. MOI is at Mars arrival.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 10:21 PM
Sorry, silly mistake.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/09/2011 10:23 PM
Just saw our russian friend again. Exactly were it was predicted on the tracking site.
Today it was a lonely star crossing the sky on the same direction (NE) and speed as it was yesterday.

The difference is that the clouds were a lot friendly today. We managed to see the probe for over a minute.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/09/2011 10:28 PM
The probe is once again over Baikonur, however there is no official info, both the Balancer and Novosti Kosmonavtiki boards are overloaded and the only message board where there were actual people from NPO writing is silent. Any real info if ground stations outside of Russia had intercepted any signals at all from the craft?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2011 10:39 PM
Yeah, NK is down for sure. The demand will be the problem as sites like this (very much like ours) - which include large databases (forums) - will go down unless you've got some very meaty servers....which cost a lot of money, which is the main reason we have L2.

If it wasn't for our L2 subscribers, we wouldn't have a site, certainly not one which can cope with high demand.

I'm making a point about that as less than 1 percent of our actual forum members are L2 members, which is very poor considering how good L2 is.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/09/2011 10:44 PM
Thanks everyone for the updates, I was talking with a friend and we are hoping that soon controllers will be able to see something like this: http://imageshack.us/f/831/thumbsupec.jpg/ (http://imageshack.us/f/831/thumbsupec.jpg/)  :)
Yeah, this is the standard software interface for interplanetary Russian sample return missions. Hope they get the first icon, not the second:
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/09/2011 10:51 PM
@JimO:

With respect to the NASA press release where you're quoted that Phobos-Grunt would be the "most dangerous spacecraft to hit Earth", wouldn't Kosmos 954 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_954) take that honor? ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/09/2011 11:16 PM
Nothing new on news broadcast at 'Rossia24'... seems nothing happened.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mtakala24 on 11/09/2011 11:17 PM
I'm making a point about that as less than 1 percent of our actual forum members are L2 members, which is very poor considering how good L2 is.

Members vs. Active Members are a completely different thing. In any web forum,  there are many people who just register once, login, and then never come back - or forget the details and register again.

Is the L2 subscription rate any closer to 1% of active members?

And oh boy, do we have some good active members here. This thread wouldn't be as good as it is without JimO and others. I only wish the Russians would also post here, even with bad English!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/09/2011 11:33 PM
It's almost certain that whatever they have found about the yesterday's failure, there won't be a press release tonight. Looks like we will have to wait until tomorrow morning. It's disappointing. I go to bed, see you tomorrow.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: just-nick on 11/09/2011 11:53 PM
I'm making a point about that as less than 1 percent of our actual forum members are L2 members, which is very poor considering how good L2 is.

Well, Chris, the gentle nudge worked and reminded me to re-up my L2 membership!  After spending (too) much of today following the Phobos-Grunt saga, I couldn't not do it.

Cheers,

N
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 12:06 AM
And oh boy, do we have some good active members here. This thread wouldn't be as good as it is without JimO and others. I only wish the Russians would also post here, even with bad English!

Hey! I take pride in my english! Haha, just kidding (born in Russia, living in US since '93)

Also, what is the deal with that bear and YeTMS? What is it?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lee Jay on 11/10/2011 12:07 AM
I'm making a point about that as less than 1 percent of our actual forum members are L2 members, which is very poor considering how good L2 is.

And how cheap it is - less than 25 cents a day.  A tiny (ridiculously tiny) price to pay to keep such a great site running, and also to have access to L2 for which the term "good" doesn't seem like nearly enough.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 12:24 AM
Thanks guys. I didn't mean to derail about L2 - more to do with NK being down. So anyway....

It's almost certain that whatever they have found about the yesterday's failure, there won't be a press release tonight. Looks like we will have to wait until tomorrow morning. It's disappointing. I go to bed, see you tomorrow.

Thanks for keeping an eye on things. Looking rather grim, but let's keep the faith and see what tomorrow brings!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/10/2011 12:51 AM
I only wish the Russians would also post here, even with bad English!
There are quite a few Russians on this forum. I even recognise the same nicks from the NK forum. They are doing good job in terms of covering Russian missions. The problem we are facing now is there is almost zero official news. Yes, I know, the engineers are busy. But the press services could have done a better job.
One thing that I love about this forum/community is no matter which country's mission we talk about there is a general sense of support and genuine interest. People actually DO wish the best. Well done everyone. This mission is far from being over yet.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: robertross on 11/10/2011 12:52 AM
And oh boy, do we have some good active members here. This thread wouldn't be as good as it is without JimO and others. I only wish the Russians would also post here, even with bad English!

Also, what is the deal with that bear and YeTMS? What is it?

From the movie 'Red Planet' with Val Kilmer. Russian science probe the landed on Mars and never fulfilled its mission. It was the interface display when Val was looking to use it (probe) to go home, but it had a failure (low battery power).

I thought it was a good movie.

Moving on...I really hope they can get this sorted. And yes, this has been a great thread so far, with lots of input from new (and seasoned) members
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/10/2011 01:46 AM
Also, what is the deal with that bear and YeTMS? What is it?

From the movie 'Red Planet' with Val Kilmer. Russian science probe the landed on Mars and never fulfilled its mission. It was the interface display when Val was looking to use it (probe) to go home, but it had a failure (low battery power).

I thought it was a good movie.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1473/1

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 11/10/2011 02:38 AM
I am very surprised by all this reporting of attempts to command a new firing of the Fregat engine - it is well known that Fregat does not have uplink capability.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/10/2011 02:43 AM
I am very surprised by all this reporting of attempts to command a new firing of the Fregat engine - it is well known that Fregat does not have uplink capability.
The MDU is not an off the shelf Fregat, it's part of the spacecraft and has to be programmable because it also performs the MOI burn.

Meanwhile, from twitter
https://twitter.com/AstroRND
Quote
They recieved the telemetry from probe at 11-12 p.m. yesterday. (moscow time). It's all I can get now.

As far as I can tell he's legit, but... caveat twitter ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: i2000s on 11/10/2011 03:14 AM
I am very surprised by all this reporting of attempts to command a new firing of the Fregat engine - it is well known that Fregat does not have uplink capability.
The MDU is not an off the shelf Fregat, it's part of the spacecraft and has to be programmable because it also performs the MOI burn.

Meanwhile, from twitter
https://twitter.com/AstroRND
Quote
They recieved the telemetry from probe at 11-12 p.m. yesterday. (moscow time). It's all I can get now.

As far as I can tell he's legit, but... caveat twitter ;)


"I suppose they will try to restart propulsions todays evening. If it is soft problems of course"
Russia 1 (TV channel): analysis of the data recieved from Phobos-Grunt is in progress.

This news is better than none. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Andy USA on 11/10/2011 03:32 AM
Remember when posting links to sites, only link original source material, not other sites who aren't using original content. Has to be new updates here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/10/2011 04:00 AM
http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=626044&tid=94354

Once the SC become visible for the control centre, they've managed to download telemetry information.
They are currently performing analysis of the data.

Still considering 2 possibilities:
1. Star sensor/orientation system failure
2. Software bug

30 sec video (in Russian)
http://www.vesti.ru/only_video.html?vid=375409

At the very end of this news bulletin they say there are 2 days left (limitation based on the remaining battery charge)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Mikha on 11/10/2011 04:05 AM
http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=626044&tid=94354

They've managed to download telemetry information.
They are currently performing analysis of these data.
It also says that 2 days is the limit to solve the problem, the time (as the article says) is limited by the remaining charge of the onboard accumulators.

(I personally don't think that this information is very reliable, which means it could be both true or false)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 04:08 AM
I also noticed it listed 2 days until the battery runs out, which again contradicts Roscosmos' official statement from earlier today that controllers have 2 weeks to figure out the problem.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/10/2011 04:45 AM
http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=626044&tid=94354

Once the SC become visible for the control centre, they've managed to download telemetry information.
They are currently performing analysis of the data.

Still considering 2 possibilities:
1. Star sensor/orientation system failure
2. Software bug

30 sec video (in Russian)
http://www.vesti.ru/only_video.html?vid=375409

At the very end of this news bulletin they say there are 2 days left (limitation based on the remaining battery charge)


Makes sense...it's either a hardware problem that can be bypassed with software or it's a problem caused by software.  If it isn't one of those two categories, then it becomes an even more difficult (or impossible) problem.

Non-specific to Fobos-Grunt, but for past spacecraft who are stuck in low Earth orbit, the biggest immediate problem has been getting power to the spacecraft.  Batteries are usually sized for short mission durations since the solar arrays should provide primary power.  The batteries are for the night part of the orbit (Earth and Mars) as well as contingency operations such as the solar arrays fail to deploy the first time.  Batteries are heavy, so most manufacturers don't want to put more batteries than is needed for the mission (plus some fudge).  Two days would make some sense.  Of course, if you're stuck in low Earth orbit, your biggest problem is propulsion, but that goes without saying.

As was said in a previous post, arrays are usually not deployed until the burns are done because many arrays can't withstand the force of the burn as well as changing the cg when deployed.  It's usually considered "poor form" to leave the solar arrays behind with the spacecraft on its way to the final destination.

Finally, on the comment about the lack of news, the engineers/technicians working this are scrambling and are fighting against the clock.  Having been in that situation, you really want to devote your brain cells towards the problem rather than providing status reports to the outside - who can't really help with the problem.

So I suspect we won't know a true cause until the spacecraft is either on its way to Mars or has died in low Earth orbit.  BTW, as Jim O has reported, if the spacecraft dies, then the heaters keeping the hydrazine from freezing probably won't work anymore (unless they are radioisotope-driven).  That would probably be some spectacular re-entry but I hope it doesn't come to that.

Andy
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/10/2011 05:10 AM
Apparently (according to Vesti) there were 2 communication sessions already - late evening 9th and on the 10th of Nov at night. 2 consecutive orbits I presume?

http://www.ria.ru/science/20111110/485317739.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 05:55 AM
http://www.interfax.ru/politics/txt.asp?id=216123

Interfax reports that Phobos-Grunt isn't accepting commands. They say that they can downlink telemetry, but they can't send commands...

The spacecraft is in low earth orbit, the solar batteries aren't working yet and the antenna hasn't been deployed... this is what I understand. You can check the link if you want, with Google translate (for English-speaking fans)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris-A on 11/10/2011 06:07 AM
Looking very grim.  :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/10/2011 06:08 AM
Thanks everyone for the updates, I was talking with a friend and we are hoping that soon controllers will be able to see something like this: http://imageshack.us/f/831/thumbsupec.jpg/ (http://imageshack.us/f/831/thumbsupec.jpg/)  :)

Thinking about Mars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26uff6SDu88
:-\
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/10/2011 06:20 AM
http://www.interfax.ru/politics/txt.asp?id=216123

Interfax reports that Phobos-Grunt isn't accepting commands. They say that they can downlink telemetry, but they can't send commands...

The spacecraft is in low earth orbit, the solar batteries aren't working yet and the antenna hasn't been deployed... this is what I understand. You can check the link if you want, with Google translate (for English-speaking fans)

You have to be careful with the translation.
The first paragraph is correct. The article says that there was a one way communication - SC sending telemetry to the ground station. Then they say that in order to establish a 2-way communication and uplink the commands they need to be on the interim orbit (slower angular velocity and longer visibility periods). (To be honest - I am not sure if this is actually true - yes, the elongated orbit will increase visibility windows but regardless you should be able to control the SC on the low orbit too)

Edit: understood. Visibility period (min) * 8kbit/sec bandwidth = limited volume of data that can be transferred within the comms window.

The second paragraph (that batteries are not working, antennae are closed etc) - these are just assumptions/thoughts of one of the experts (Uvarov). This is not official in any way.

If they won't be able to reestablish control of the SC and it stays on its current orbit then the reentry will occur in 5 to 10 days.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/10/2011 06:57 AM
Looks like the main problem is to upload data to FG

Also I can't see any real info concerning FG orientation to Sun
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/10/2011 07:27 AM
more info: there were no any telemetry...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/10/2011 07:32 AM
http://interfax.ru/news.asp?id=216152
ESA will try to help to download telemetry from FG

"We shall use our stations located in Kuru and Australia"
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yamato on 11/10/2011 07:35 AM
no telemetry? didnt they download anything?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/10/2011 07:56 AM
looks like - nothing at all

only rumor about some "raw data", but it is only a rumor
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/10/2011 07:58 AM
My little advice...
Discard all reports on Fobos-Grunt unless they directly quote a named official. Just wait.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yamato on 11/10/2011 08:06 AM
dont worry, I treat rumors as they deserve to :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yaroslav on 11/10/2011 08:24 AM
My little advice...
Discard all reports on Fobos-Grunt unless they directly quote a named official. Just wait.

it is only a rumor  ;)

and  if you take a look at http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10631&start=3585 .....
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/10/2011 08:46 AM
Apparently (according to Vesti) there were 2 communication sessions already - late evening 9th and on the 10th of Nov at night. 2 consecutive orbits I presume?

http://www.ria.ru/science/20111110/485317739.html


Yes. One heading NE, and another about 2 to 3 hours later, heading SE.

Something like this (http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m278/BrunoRaven/PG1.jpg)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/10/2011 09:15 AM
Two attempts to hear from Fobos-Grunt, to be precise.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Mikha on 11/10/2011 10:18 AM
I can't guarantee that below is all true, but (for me personally) this guy proven to be quite reliable source of information:
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=832206#832206
Quote
Just a short report. [right after the launch] we've got telemetry from the 2nd stage of Zenit launcher, it shows normal separation. After the first loop the one and only [SC] telemetry session has been received, it showed deployment of the solar arrays, constant solar orientation and normal work of all systems. After the second loop we found the SC on the initial orbit, it was silent. No telemetry since that. Previous night at Baikonur there were failed attempts to restart the onboard computer. This attempts will be repeated this night.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/10/2011 10:33 AM
I wonder, do we need two threads?

One for facts and news.

The other for speculation, discussion, ect.

The reason I am asking this is people like Jim O, Liss, ect are providing excellent updates on what is going on, but at the same time there are questions and thoughts that might be better handled in a different thread.

For instance. I keep wondering in the back of my mind the following.

There are really two types of propellant tanks on this mission. Those that are used at Mars and those that are used for Earth departure. One would assume that the Mars tanks are built to prevent freezing using heaters, insulation, ect. Since the tanks used for leaving earth are used and discarded in the first few hours of flight they have no need for that extra insulation, heaters, and thermal control. So how long in LEO until they start having problems with fuel freezing preventing earth departure?

Second, Jim keeps comparing this to USA 193. Is it really the same, the propellant tank was buried inside of USA 193 providing protect against reentry. Phobos-Grunt's tanks are not buried in such a manner. Will the exposed tanks really behave in a similar manner on reentry? I suspect with the exposed tanks they will breach early and burn? But that is pure speculation, and I am not trying to take a swipe at Jim O here.

And now with that rambling I will report myself to Chris...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/10/2011 10:45 AM
The newest theory conveyed by a poster at NK (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=832256#832256) is that the spacecraft rebooted on the second orbit and cannot communicate with the ground stations because the spacecraft was reset to the mode before launch (a bit similar to the sudden loss of contact with Spirit on Mars back in 2004). Right now P-G is within the view of ESA's ground station at Kourou, so fingers crossed...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/10/2011 12:20 PM
The newest theory conveyed by a poster at NK (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=832256#832256) is that the spacecraft rebooted on the second orbit and cannot communicate with the ground stations because the spacecraft was reset to the mode before launch (a bit similar to the sudden loss of contact with Spirit on Mars back in 2004). Right now P-G is within the view of ESA's ground station at Kourou, so fingers crossed...

Looks like the latest attempt to restore communications from Kourou has failed. (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=832390) By now someone on the NK forum already claimed that they will shoot the darned thing down next Monday if the mission ultimately cannot be saved....  :-X
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/10/2011 12:53 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/science/space/russia-fights-to-save-mars-probe-after-launch-mishap.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: William Graham on 11/10/2011 12:58 PM
By now someone on the NK forum already claimed that they will shoot the darned thing down next Monday if the mission ultimately cannot be saved....  :-X

Highly unlikely. Russia has no ASAT capacity. Nor do they have ABMs that can be modified to act as ASATs, like the SM-3 could.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/10/2011 01:03 PM
Аппарат молчит, телеметрию за время ночных сеансов связи не получили. Причины проблем по прежнему не известны. Во время следующих сеансов связи будет произведена попытка послать команду и перезагрузить аппарат.

That is from http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=388&view=single_thread&cat_uid=1&conf_uid=1&thread_uid=21&page=14

Written by a guy who obviously is involved in the program and was the first to announce something was wrong. Basically the message says that there has been no contact with the spacecraft yesterday at all, it is not sending any telemetry. The reason for that is completely unknown, they will try to send a message for rebooting the spacecraft.

The same guy said before that in the very beginning that just after reaching orbit they had contact with the craft, it was having control of attitude and its solar arrays were open. Something happened when the craft started the first burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/10/2011 01:33 PM
does it have a Norad listing yet?
37872

http://heavens-above.com/satinfo.aspx?satid=37872
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2011 02:10 PM
.... according to the Space Review (http://thespacereview.com/article/1966/1) Phobos-Grunt "is the heaviest solar system explorer ever (more than twice the second-heaviest, Cassini).", not just the heaviest built in the former USSR.

I don't accept that claim, since the probe's mass is presented in LEO parking orbit, prior to insertion on the trans-Mars route. More than half of that mass disappears by the time it's on interplanetary cruise.


I agree.

If one were to compare inserted LEO mass, the Magellan deployment from the shuttle was heavier (18 metric-ton) .  The  13.5-metric-ton Phobos-Grunt spacecraft includes the propellant used for TMI and a tank that is jettisoned between burns.  It also propellant for MOI.  This is no different than the IUS for TVI and STAR-48 motor for VOI on Magellan. 

So a true measure of the size/mass of spacecraft would be its mass after leaving LEO

Sorry to rehash this
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 02:18 PM
Quote from: Vladi link=topic=15610.msg827696#msg827696
... Something happened when the craft started the first burn.

excellent input, thank you.

As to what "happened" at burn-1 ignition time, are we satisfied that Brazil observers saw NOTHING -- no flash, no indication of ANY plume -- so it's safe to conclude the failure was on the commanding side, not the engine side?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 02:20 PM
...Sorry to rehash this

No 'rehash', I'm still not satisfied with specific numbers on the propellant load -- since I'm anticipating it all coming down on our heads, now. Sadly.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/10/2011 02:21 PM
Something happened when the craft started the first burn.

Ouch! Shades of Akatsuki, but possibly no second chance...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/10/2011 02:22 PM
Hmm... what does this post mean? (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=832566) Something about the communication antennas got stuck in a position obstructing the line of sight with Earth by the external fuel tank? That doesn't sound like a benign chicken-and-egg problem...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/10/2011 02:24 PM
The way things are developing, did anyone who managed to see it passing overhead notice any sudden flare-ups in brightness that would suggest tumbling, etc?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 11/10/2011 02:26 PM
Brazil observers saw NOTHING -- no flash, no indication of ANY plume -- so it's safe to conclude the failure was on the commanding side, not the engine side?

I think we don't have enough information to draft such a conclusion.
The fact that there was no plume doesn't mean that the engine is not the source of the problem. The absence of plume could mean, for example, that there is an issue with a propellant valve... (this is pure speculation)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rcoppola on 11/10/2011 02:32 PM
Personally, the mass of robotic explorer craft mean little to me until they attempt an actual surface landing in a gravity well environment. And even then I am mainly interested on the final mass that actually makes it onto the surface. That's the real scale of achievement with regards to a spacecraft's mass, IMO. (Pardon the off-topic here)

If the worst does happen and it can't be salvaged, which is  heartbreaking for those who have spent so many years designing and building it, could we, if asked, shoot it down for them?




Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 02:33 PM
I wonder, do we need two threads?


Nope.

We're up to page 40. Most people have this as their update thread link. Half the "news" updates are based on the speculation, naturally. And most people can work out the difference between an update and a person's thoughts.

What we can/will do is move to a fresh update thread when we either have an End of Mission point (let's hope not) or the obvious move to the spacecraft thread to cover the transit to Phobos.

We're best avoiding this thread turning into a debate about how many threads we need ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: satcomuk on 11/10/2011 02:35 PM
Interesting comment about the fuel onboard  at the foot of this article...

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-struggles-save-mars-moon-probe-103419852.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/10/2011 02:40 PM
Ouch! Shades of Akatsuki, but possibly no second chance...

more than Akatsuki, it's shades of Nozomi and CONTOUR. and the Russians did the same bad choice that doomed these missions: having no ground stations tracking the burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 02:53 PM
Greetings from me again.

I have news to report. We have a plan for this evening. I will be calling it a sound plan.


http://ria.ru/science/20111110/485724052.html

Russian specialists will try to turn on the main transmitter of Phobos-Grunt, says a specialist from the space industry. Today we have not only the Russians listening for a signal, but also a European base in Australia.

It was announced earlier that Russians will try to contact the spacecraft today in 22:00-23:00 MSK which  means it's two hours after posting my comment.

During the first signal received from the probe it was found out that the solar panels have deployed, the spacecraft is Sun-oriented, and the batteries are being recharged. Then the transmitter was about to be turned off according to the on-board program sequence. He was then scheduled to be turned on several times after, but no signal has been received.

The good news is - the transmitter can be turned on if commanded from Earth. This is what specialists are going to do today. They will send commands to turn the transmitter on and they will listen.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr. mark on 11/10/2011 02:58 PM
Some good news. Let's hope for the best in a few hours.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: spectre9 on 11/10/2011 03:00 PM
I'm still holding out hope  ;D

I don't think it will fall out of orbit or lose power from what I've seen so far.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/10/2011 03:05 PM
Highly unlikely. Russia has no ASAT capacity. Nor do they have ABMs that can be modified to act as ASATs, like the SM-3 could.

To be precise, Russia has no announced, tested, ASAT system. However, several years ago they announced their intention to develop one, and Anatoly Zak gave a talk last week where he showed a picture of a previously-secret ASAT that they had developed in the 1980s that he believes is what they are currently working on.

But I don't expect them to do that even if they have the system ready.

Interesting question: The U.S. actually has formal standards that state that a vehicle must be de-orbited if it poses a risk to public safety. Do we know if the Russians have similar standards?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Antares on 11/10/2011 03:09 PM
more than Akatsuki, it's shades of Nozomi and CONTOUR. and the Russians did the same bad choice that doomed these missions: having no ground stations tracking the burn.

Lack of telemetry coverage had nothing to do with the failures.  It just made the failure investigations harder.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rcoppola on 11/10/2011 03:14 PM
more than Akatsuki, it's shades of Nozomi and CONTOUR. and the Russians did the same bad choice that doomed these missions: having no ground stations tracking the burn.

Lack of telemetry coverage had nothing to do with the failures.  It just made the failure investigations harder.
Isn't that a failure unto itself?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/10/2011 03:22 PM
Lack of telemetry coverage had nothing to do with the failures.  It just made the failure investigations harder.

and in the case of Nozomi it made the recovery impossible
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 03:23 PM
http://ria.ru/science/20111110/485786418.html

Latest news from RIA Novosti:

ESA's stations so far have failed to pick up a signal from Phobos-Grunt. More attempts will be made later.

Let's hope that by then Russia will be able to send the commands and turn on the transmitter...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/10/2011 03:23 PM
The latest rumour on NK has it that the low-gain omnidirectional antenna is not visible from the ground stations as the first fuel tank (the one that was supposed to be disposed of after the first burn) covers it. Which in turn means that they cannot reset the spacecraft and send orders (the directional antennas have really small field of view so chances of a signal being in the way are non-existent). If that is the case, is there any chance that they could get lucky and get a shot at the directional receivers or perhaps put enough power so that the craft could detect the input on the low-gain antenna?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 03:24 PM
Sorry, I have to leave you again... I will report more news (if there are any) about three hours later
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 03:35 PM
The latest rumour on NK has it that the low-gain omnidirectional antenna is not visible from the ground stations as the first fuel tank (the one that was supposed to be disposed of after the first burn) covers it. Which in turn means that they cannot reset the spacecraft and send orders (the directional antennas have really small field of view so chances of a signal being in the way are non-existent). If that is the case, is there any chance that they could get lucky and get a shot at the directional receivers or perhaps put enough power so that the craft could detect the input on the low-gain antenna?

Thanks for passing on. While there's still a chance, there's always hope!

As Mr Jon Bon Jovi would say...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZQyVUTcpM4&ob=av2e
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 03:37 PM
Sorry, I have to leave you again... I will report more news (if there are any) about three hours later

You're doing fine work! Nearly 100,000 reads for this thread - over half of which are since the problem was noted, so there's a good amount of interest in any media and internal (even if we need to class as rumor) updates from our guys or the NK guys.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/10/2011 03:41 PM
The latest rumour on NK has it that the low-gain omnidirectional antenna is not visible from the ground stations as the first fuel tank (the one that was supposed to be disposed of after the first burn) covers it. Which in turn means that they cannot reset the spacecraft and send orders (the directional antennas have really small field of view so chances of a signal being in the way are non-existent). If that is the case, is there any chance that they could get lucky and get a shot at the directional receivers or perhaps put enough power so that the craft could detect the input on the low-gain antenna?

Reposting the diagram to be clear; do you mean the two cone-shaped low-gains on the cruise stage? If they are obscured, that really means that they didn't deploy...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 03:52 PM
The latest rumour on NK has it that the low-gain omnidirectional antenna is not visible from the ground stations as the first fuel tank (the one that was supposed to be disposed of after the first burn) covers it. Which in turn means that they cannot reset the spacecraft and send orders (the directional antennas have really small field of view so chances of a signal being in the way are non-existent). If that is the case, is there any chance that they could get lucky and get a shot at the directional receivers or perhaps put enough power so that the craft could detect the input on the low-gain antenna?

Well, they were able to receive some telemetry from the spacecraft after separation from the LV so at least one antenna must be visible. Depending on their communications setup (which I would venture a guess, and this is based purely on speculation, is half-duplex since a mission like this has no real need for full-duplex) this antenna could be capable of both transmitting and receiving (half-duplex) or simply transmitting (full-duplex, and reception occurs on another frequency using another antenna). I'd bet it's the former, which means this rumor that the propellant tank is blocking the antenna is unlikely.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: InvalidAttitude on 11/10/2011 03:55 PM

http://ria.ru/science/20111110/485724052.html

 [...]it was found out that the solar panels have deployed, the spacecraft is Sun-oriented, and the batteries are being recharged [...]

So I assuming the battery power is not an issue and there is more than 2 days left to rescue the mission. Correct me If I'm wrong...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 04:09 PM

http://ria.ru/science/20111110/485724052.html

 [...]it was found out that the solar panels have deployed, the spacecraft is Sun-oriented, and the batteries are being recharged [...]

So I assuming the battery power is not an issue and there is more than 2 days left to rescue the mission. Correct me If I'm wrong...

Well, we don't know what orientation it's in at the moment. It could have oriented itself for the burn, failed to burn, and then kept that orientation. But if the batteries were reported fully charged to begin with then I guess they know they have at least 3 days from that point. Most information seems to point to a battery life of 3 days, but this contradicts the official statement from Roscosmos that controllers have 2 weeks to figure out the situation.

As was pointed out earlier, you want batteries to be fairly small to save weight. Since they're only used for nighttime passes (in the nominal case) they don't really need to last longer than a few hours really (orbital period of Phobos is 7h40m, half that time in night -> 3h50m), but of course designers will put in margin for cases like this. Since it doesn't need to last much longer than ~4h, 3 days seems like a more reasonable margin than 14 days. But we don't know the design specs. Perhaps they did design them for 14 days, perhaps for 3. We'll find out shortly I suppose, or not, if they fix it sooner.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rcoppola on 11/10/2011 04:10 PM
Where do we stand with how much time is specifically left before it's no longer possible to save the mission?

What is the orbital decay rate vs how much propellant margin there is to still get out of LEO?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 04:12 PM
Where do we stand with how much time is specifically left before it's no longer possible to save the mission?

What is the orbital decay rate vs how much propellant margin there is to still get out of LEO?

Good questions all, I'm sure mission controllers are trying to figure out the same thing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 04:18 PM
Looking back at the NK post that suggested one of the antennas is being blocked by the fuel tanks, the post is a little unclear. He suggests the aforementioned possibility, and then goes on to say

Quote
To all those talking nonsense about the communications system, everything installed on FG is the most reliable equipment there is, the most robust and trouble-free. The reason there is no telemetry is not because we aren't able to receive it, but because the SC is not outputting it.
(Post from Sab at: http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10631&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=3949)

So perhaps it is possible that one of the antennas is blocked by a fuel tanks, but that this does not imply it will be impossible to communicate with the probe.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rcoppola on 11/10/2011 04:19 PM
Where do we stand with how much time is specifically left before it's no longer possible to save the mission?

What is the orbital decay rate vs how much propellant margin there is to still get out of LEO?

Good questions all, I'm sure mission controllers are trying to figure out the same thing.
I'm just wondering if it indeed was/is frozen in a burn posture, what kind of extra drag that's putting on it's orbit and increasing it's decay rate?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 04:32 PM
Where do we stand with how much time is specifically left before it's no longer possible to save the mission?

What is the orbital decay rate vs how much propellant margin there is to still get out of LEO?

Good questions all, I'm sure mission controllers are trying to figure out the same thing.
I'm just wondering if it indeed was/is frozen in a burn posture, what kind of extra drag that's putting on it's orbit and increasing it's decay rate?

Considering the cross section of this thing, I don't think drag will change appreciably for any orientation. It's very small as well, so it won't have too much drag on it. I think we've been hearing that orbital decay constraints give controllers a couple weeks before it re-enters naturally.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Kaputnik on 11/10/2011 04:36 PM
Would it be possible for a ground based telescope to get a good enough image to determine the SC orientation?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/10/2011 04:38 PM
Well, I know that this doesn't mean much but it looks moral is not high about the mission

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/russia-scrambles-save-stranded-mars-moon-probe-phobos/story?id=14923797#.TrwC4vGqCRs

""I think we have lost the Phobos-Grunt," Vladimir Uvarov, a former top space expert at the Russian Defense Ministry, said in an interview Thursday in the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta."
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rcoppola on 11/10/2011 04:40 PM
Where do we stand with how much time is specifically left before it's no longer possible to save the mission?

What is the orbital decay rate vs how much propellant margin there is to still get out of LEO?

Good questions all, I'm sure mission controllers are trying to figure out the same thing.
I'm just wondering if it indeed was/is frozen in a burn posture, what kind of extra drag that's putting on it's orbit and increasing it's decay rate?

Considering the cross section of this thing, I don't think drag will change appreciably for any orientation. It's very small as well, so it won't have too much drag on it. I think we've been hearing that orbital decay constraints give controllers a couple weeks before it re-enters naturally.
Crazy question time:
Is there anyway the ISS can help with the receiving or transmission of mission data to PG?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/10/2011 04:40 PM
Translation of the words of the Lavochkin guy on NK that I mentioned about an hour ago:

Quote
основная проблема состоит в том, что малонаправленные антенны МНА сейчас затенены сбрасываемым баком и управляющий сигнал для перезагрузки систем не проходит. Никто не предпологал, что придется работать в такой ситуации. Остронаправленная антенна ОНА сейчас в зачекованном положении. Для тех кто тут нес чушь про системы связи, все что установлено на АМС - самое надежное из того что есть, самое дубовое и безотказное. ТМИ нет, не потому что мы не можем ее получить, а потому что аппарат ее не выдает (по какой то причине), и сама по себе она не появится. Поздно вечером снова будут попытки передать управляющий сигнал. На этом все до завтрашнего рабочего дня. ПС старайтесь хотя бы не обижать тех людей, которые с вами инфой деляться. И не ведитесь на теории заговора. Нет в сми новой инфы, только из-за того что ее действительно НЕТ. И ни кто не хочет лишний раз светить свою фамилию сообщая неблагоприятные вести...

The main problem is that the low gain antenna is now shaded by the fuel droptank and the signal for rebooting the system does not reach the spacecraft. No one suspected that we would have to work in such a situation. The high gain antenna is not currently deployed (a bit unclear here). For those who doubt the comms system all that is on the spacecraft is the most error-free and sturdy that there is. There is no telemetry not because we cannot receive it, but because the spacecraft is not sending it (for some unknown reason) and it will not appear by itself. Later tonight there will be a another attempt to send a signal. That was all for the working day yesterday. Please do not insult those people who try to give you information and do not start conspiracy theories. There is no additional info in the news only because in reality there is no new information and no one wants to appear and repeat the already known bad news.

Quote
от чистого сердца стараемся, для всех сопереживающих. А для тех кто говорит что в Лавке ничего делать не умеют, приходите к нам на работу инженерами или в цеха. Молодой специалист 14000 оклад плюс премия. Ждем. И все забыли про Электро и Спектр. Первая АМС в России за 15 лет, вы только вдумайтесь! Памятник поставить всем инженерам, которые в ттаких условиях работают!

For all concerned, we are trying with our entire hearth. For those who say that Lavochkin could not do anything, please come to work as engineers with us. A young engineer receives 14 000 roubles (note about 500 dollars). We wait. And all forgot about Electro-L and Spektr. The first interplanetary probe in Russia for the last 15 years, just think about it! There should be a monument for those engineers that work in those conditions.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2011 04:46 PM

Crazy question time:
Is there anyway the ISS can help with the receiving or transmission of mission data to PG?

Why would ISS be any different than any other spacecraft (HST, NPP, etc) in this instance?

Why not suggest TDRS, whose name has "data relay" in it?

Dont mean to sound snarky, just pointing out gaps in the thought process.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JRThro on 11/10/2011 04:52 PM
Why not suggest TDRS, whose name has "data relay" in it?

Dont mean to sound snarky, just pointing out gaps in the thought process.

Okay, what about TDRS?  (joking)

Jim, pointing out gaps in people's thought process does sound, and is, snarky.  ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rcoppola on 11/10/2011 04:54 PM

Crazy question time:
Is there anyway the ISS can help with the receiving or transmission of mission data to PG?

Why would ISS be any different than any other spacecraft (HST, NPP, etc) in this instance?

Why not suggest TDRS, whose name has "data relay" in it?

Dont mean to sound snarky, just pointing out gaps in the thought process.
No worries, I'm out of my depth with this issue.
I was just referring to some reports of signal blocking from the second stage as nobody anticipated having to re-load instructions at this point in the mission. So I was curious if there was anything, ISS etc, that may be in a better orientation to help with transmission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/10/2011 05:05 PM
Will there be any close passes between ISS and Phobos-Grunt?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 05:15 PM
Interfax at 16:51 gmt says ESA fails to receive telemetry.

Rene Pischal, in Moscow: "So far, we have failed to receive telemetry from the spacecraft. Three more attempts will be made at night."

Interfax quoted "a Russian space industry source" as saying, "The craft will soon be passing over Perth, Australia where ESA has two stations. There is still a chance that telemetry from our craft will be received by the Europeans and handed over to the Russian side for analysis."
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/10/2011 05:16 PM
A young engineer receives 14 000 roubles (note about 500 dollars).

This can't be serious.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/10/2011 05:22 PM
A young engineer receives 14 000 roubles (note about 500 dollars).

This can't be serious.

Yes, it is...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 05:24 PM
A young engineer receives 14 000 roubles (note about 500 dollars).

This can't be serious.

Yes, it is...

Consider this job opening at Khrunichev: http://www.khrunichev.ru/main.php?id=192

Заработная плата: от 20 тысяч рублей в месяц. -> Salary: from 20000 rubles per month
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2011 05:35 PM
Unless specificallt designed for it (like TDRSS) spacecraft can't relay other spacecraft signals
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/10/2011 05:45 PM
USAF still maintains the Maui Optical Station?  Surely its telescope could (at a minimum) determine whether FG is tumbling or stabilized, the deployment status of the solar panels, etc?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2011 05:48 PM
Spacecraft have unique frequencies for their transmitters and receivers.  More than likely, all other spacecraft are deaf to Phobos-Grunt.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 05:49 PM
What's the potential timeline today, and tomorrow, for burn-1 and burn-2 if control is established? Surely somebody at Lavochkin has generated 'burn targets' for 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day on-orbit delays.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: racshot65 on 11/10/2011 05:54 PM
From MSL press conference happening now

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15026.msg827813#msg827813

Quote
Q: Has Russia requested assistance for Phobos Grunt?

A: We have offered assistance and if they need it we will offer use of our communication network
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 05:55 PM
The authoritative data on spacecraft propellant is from anatoly Zak
at http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_design.html

and he lists 10,100 kg of prop in the main propulsion unit.

Using the ox/fuel mass ratio of the STS OMS, 1.65 to 1,
I calculate
N2O4     6290  kg [using proper rounding accuracy & significant digits]
Heptyl   3810   kg

The cruise stage carries an additional 1050 kg total prop. The return stage design had 40kg of prop several years ago but has doubled in mass since then, so perhaps it has 80 kg now.

Grand total, about 11160 kg, eleven metric tons of nastiness.

The N2O4 freezes at -11C, which could happen, but the heptyl freezing point looks way, WAY too cold for it to freeze. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jwestervelt on 11/10/2011 06:07 PM
Spacecraft have unique frequencies for their transmitters and receivers.  More than likely, all other spacecraft are deaf to Phobos-Grunt.

This is correct.  This is likely why someone previously asked about ISS as it has an amateur radio station on board that could likely be used to communicate with the spacecraft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: BrunoQuiocca on 11/10/2011 06:15 PM
A young engineer receives 14 000 roubles (note about 500 dollars).

This can't be serious.

Yes, it is...

Consider this job opening at Khrunichev: http://www.khrunichev.ru/main.php?id=192

Заработная плата: от 20 тысяч рублей в месяц. -> Salary: from 20000 rubles per month
My opinion, as a mechanical engineer student: Revolting.
Seriously, how on earth they want to keep good engineers if any small company around the world pays easily 6 to 8 times that money to a rookie? And russian engineers are seen as good ones.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rdale on 11/10/2011 06:17 PM
ISS as it has an amateur radio station on board that could likely be used to communicate with the spacecraft.

I'm not sure what you mean - that somehow the station crew can talk to Phobos with their amateur radio?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jwestervelt on 11/10/2011 06:35 PM
ISS as it has an amateur radio station on board that could likely be used to communicate with the spacecraft.

I'm not sure what you mean - that somehow the station crew can talk to Phobos with their amateur radio?

They have a transceiver onboard that can, at the least, communicate on the uplink frequencies previously posted in this thread by SiberianTiger:

Transmission - 7,159.72-7,176.28 MHz
Receiving - 8,412.268-8,431.1 MHz

The transmission frequency is right in the middle of the 40M band.  The receiving frequency, however, is out of band with regards to US amateur bands, however most transceivers would still be able to receive these frequencies, just not transmit.

There are computers onboard ISS attached to this transceiver for the purpose of facilitating digital transmission modes.  I'm fairly certain, though not positive, that they are using QPSK as a digital mode, so it should be trivial to initiate communication to the spacecraft from ISS provided that it is visible and that ISS could reorient their antenna to track the spacecraft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nick on 11/10/2011 06:35 PM
This is correct.  This is likely why someone previously asked about ISS as it has an amateur radio station on board that could likely be used to communicate with the spacecraft.

'Fraid not. As far as I know,  the amateur radio station on ISS (ARISS) is a voice and amateur packet station operating only in the 145Mhz and 440MHz bands (VHF & UHF). Someone posted here earlier that Phobos-Grunt uplinks and downlinks in the 7MHz and 8Mhz bands (HF). I don't believe there's an HF station on board  ISS. So no go.

And that's even without worrying about whether the ARISS equipment (a commercial piece of amateur radio kit) could be configured to provide a suitable signal format.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HammerD on 11/10/2011 06:36 PM
A young engineer receives 14 000 roubles (note about 500 dollars).

This can't be serious.

Yes, it is...

Consider this job opening at Khrunichev: http://www.khrunichev.ru/main.php?id=192

Заработная плата: от 20 тысяч рублей в месяц. -> Salary: from 20000 rubles per month
My opinion, as a mechanical engineer student: Revolting.
Seriously, how on earth they want to keep good engineers if any small company around the world pays easily 6 to 8 times that money to a rookie? And russian engineers are seen as good ones.

You have to remember that in many places in Russia and Ukraine (I'm not saying all) many things are much cheaper.

For example in Kiev most food is way cheaper, especially dairy products, than for example in Canada.

Transportation is also very cheap - in Kiev it's about 30 cents to ride the subway or take a bus.  In Toronto it is about $2.75 for the subway.

My wife worked as a flight attendant in Ukraine and got about the equivalent of $400/month and on domestic flights they didn't pay her anything for a full 10 hour shift.

Salaries (and thus standard of living) is lower there (for the average person).  But over there in Russia and Ukraine you mostly have people that are very rich and people that are poor or just making enough to get by.  Not a huge middle class.  If it looks like there are middle class people there it is because they are still decent people but they wouldn't be "middle class" as we would think of them from here in N. America.  They would be more like poor or just on the edge.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 06:39 PM
Getting out of hand folks. Let's focus on the effort of getting the spacecraft back on track.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 06:45 PM
EDIT: Saw Chris' message only later

OK... I am back as promised...

As a young person who works in an institute in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - our PhD student scholarship is equal to 450 levs. Young assistants who have their PhD degrees start with even less - this may sound impossible to you, but I assure you - it's true.

And it's not that much. 450 levs is about 300 dollars... A bread cost one lev. A cup of beer is 2 levs... The rent for the room I'm currently living in is 150 levs. A ticket for a cinema - 3D movie is between 13 and 15 levs...

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/10/2011 06:52 PM
Quote
Две МНА расположены по бокам аппарата и закрывают собой почти всю сферу, должны использоваться для сброса ТМИ на землю, это те о которых говорили на картинке. Еще две МНА стоят на МДУ снизу, как я понял, именно до них сейчас пытаются добить сигнал. Но так как включений не было и СББ остался на месте,МНА затенены. В этом посте высказано мое понимание на текущее время. Завтра я могу конкретно все расписать с картинками, получив инфу от разработчиков АФС.

The two LGA on the sides of the spacecraft cover almost the entire sphere around the spacecraft and are used for sending telemetry to the ground, these could be seen on the pictures. Two more LGAs are placed underneath the MDU (cruise engine) and as far as I understand they are trying to send signals to those. But because there was no engine start and the droptank is still there, the LGAs are not visible. This post covers my understanding of the problem at this point in time. Tomorrow I could tell you more once I get info from the developers of AFS.

My 2 cents: The low gain antennas are at the bottom of the spacecraft as this is the part that will point at Earth during the departure of the spacecraft towards Mars. However because of the droptank they are covered before the first burn. The high gain antennas are not deployed for some reason, probably they were too fragile for the initial burn? It appears the design simply did not take into account inability to fire the MDU the first time (or they just decided during the design phase that a problem at this point will be almost impossible to resolve even with working communications??). So now they probably rely on chance reflections and enough signal strength to get somehow through half a meter of hydrazine and the steel sides of the droptank??
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jwestervelt on 11/10/2011 07:03 PM
This is correct.  This is likely why someone previously asked about ISS as it has an amateur radio station on board that could likely be used to communicate with the spacecraft.

'Fraid not. As far as I know,  the amateur radio station on ISS (ARISS) is a voice and amateur packet station operating only in the 145Mhz and 440MHz bands (VHF & UHF). Someone posted here earlier that Phobos-Grunt uplinks and downlinks in the 7MHz and 8Mhz bands (HF). I don't believe there's an HF station on board  ISS. So no go.

And that's even without worrying about whether the ARISS equipment (a commercial piece of amateur radio kit) could be configured to provide a suitable signal format.

Unfortunately, I believe that you are correct.  Antenna WA3 does support HF, but the documentation that I see only indicates that they have dual-band (VHF/UHF) transceivers on board.  I guess that rules out ISS intervention.   :-\
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 07:03 PM
The inevitable has happened. People have started talking about being fired and resignations...

http://interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=216291

According to an anonymous expert in the space industry the failure with Phobos-Grunt unties the hands of the leadership of the space industry to reform it. Also, many people may lose their jobs.

Another article, on RIA Novosti, mentions that astronomers will try to evaluate the status of the spacecraft
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Pheogh on 11/10/2011 07:07 PM
USAF still maintains the Maui Optical Station?  Surely its telescope could (at a minimum) determine whether FG is tumbling or stabilized, the deployment status of the solar panels, etc?

I was wondering the same thing? Anyone?

If there was some kind of off-nominal separation, damage to the spacecraft or other anomalous situation (tumbling) couldn't it be verified optically?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 07:09 PM
UPDATE from Novosti Kosmonavtiki : Next Pass above Baykonur in 20:20 UTC, which means ten minutes after Posting my message
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: DaveJSC on 11/10/2011 07:17 PM
Who are Novosti Kosmonavtiki?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 07:18 PM
Who are Novosti Kosmonavtiki?

www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/

Google couldn't answer that one for you?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 07:18 PM
Who are Novosti Kosmonavtiki?

Russian space flight site, in Russian, been around a lot longer than NSF. Like we have a lot of NASA and such people on this site, they have a lot of Roscosmos and RSC Energia people.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JWag on 11/10/2011 07:19 PM
Thank you to Chris for this excellent forum.  I am reading current updates on a Russian Mars mission, thanks to the generosity of Svetoslav, Vladi (and others!), all while sitting at my desk in the middle of the United States.  It is amazing.

All the best wishes to the engineers trying to recover the mission!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2011 07:20 PM

There are computers onboard ISS attached to this transceiver for the purpose of facilitating digital transmission modes.  I'm fairly certain, though not positive, that they are using QPSK as a digital mode, so it should be trivial to initiate communication to the spacecraft from ISS provided that it is visible and that ISS could reorient their antenna to track the spacecraft.

No, it isn't trivial, would need to be a repeater. Also the antenna can't be reoriented.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: apace on 11/10/2011 07:22 PM
No, it isn't trivial, would need to be a repeater. Also the antenna can't be reoriented.
[/quote]

In Hollywood, some crazy russian kosmonaut will take the soyuz, fly to the fobos-grunt and kick it to mars ;-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: baldusi on 11/10/2011 07:23 PM
Thank you to Chris for this excellent forum.  I am reading current updates on a Russian Mars mission, thanks to the generosity of Svetoslav, Vladi (and others!), all while sitting at my desk in the middle of the United States.  It is amazing.

All the best wishes to the engineers trying to recover the mission!
And that's from countries with actual LV and space stations! Think of the rest of the world that this helps us get to this industry. A world that would have been basically denied to us.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kaptein80 on 11/10/2011 07:25 PM
The inevitable has happened. People have started talking about being fired and resignations...

http://interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=216291

According to an anonymous expert in the space industry the failure with Phobos-Grunt unties the hands of the leadership of the space industry to reform it. Also, many people may lose their jobs.

Another article, on RIA Novosti, mentions that astronomers will try to evaluate the status of the spacecraft

There should be a reform in the execution of the projects and resignation at managment level but I would say what has happened is a valuable know-how at the engineering level. The industry learns from the mistakes. Looking fordward to see future russian interplanetary spacecrafts.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/10/2011 07:30 PM
USAF still maintains the Maui Optical Station?  Surely its telescope could (at a minimum) determine whether FG is tumbling or stabilized, the deployment status of the solar panels, etc?
Their official website won't respond properly, but they did hold a conference last September, so it's likely still operational:
http://www.amostech.com/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jimvela on 11/10/2011 07:47 PM
USAF still maintains the Maui Optical Station?  Surely its telescope could (at a minimum) determine whether FG is tumbling or stabilized, the deployment status of the solar panels, etc?

There are far better assets available for that purpose.

EXTREMELY unlikely that they would be tasked to look at this mission in a publicly available way.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr. mark on 11/10/2011 07:55 PM
This being reported from RT....

http://rt.com/news/phobos-probe-space-mars-037/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 08:09 PM
A very interesting article on RIA appeared just now, I don't have time to translate it, unfortunately:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fria.ru%2Fscience%2F20111111%2F485978528.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 08:25 PM
According to info I have from Astronomy.ru forum - the two attempts to turn on the transmitter have been unsuccessful so far
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr. mark on 11/10/2011 08:26 PM
More info from russianspaceweb.com...

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_launch.html#11_10
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 08:34 PM
My information was confirmed by Anatoly Zak:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_launch.html

Around 23:00 Moscow Time, Phobos-Grunt reappeared over Baikonur and, according to some unofficial reports, ground controllers send a signal to activate probe's onboard transmitter, which was designed for radiomeasurements of its trajectory. The command was apparently sent directly to the device, bypassing other systems. However, yet again, no carrier signal from the transmitter was heard back. Further attempts were promised over the night.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/10/2011 08:51 PM
USAF still maintains the Maui Optical Station?  Surely its telescope could (at a minimum) determine whether FG is tumbling or stabilized, the deployment status of the solar panels, etc?

There are far better assets available for that purpose.

EXTREMELY unlikely that they would be tasked to look at this mission in a publicly available way.

Ah, yes.  Thank you sir for that observation and assessment!  Restating this a bit, more capable assets now perform the kinds of tasks for which the Maui station was constructed.  For Fobos-Grunt though, we can pretty much assume information from those more capable assets is ... not available.

But were you intending to say it is unlikely the Maui telescope would be used for FG?  There are many fewer obstacles that would make Maui-derived imagery unavailable to the Russian space agency or to the general public.  And the Maui telescope is likely sufficient for this purpose, as the attached image of STS-107 demonstrates....

Another article, on RIA Novosti, mentions that astronomers will try to evaluate the status of the spacecraft

Can anyone assess the capabilities of the optical assets directly available to the Russians?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 09:04 PM
My translation of a story that just moved:

Source: The fate of the probe Phobos-Grunt will be settled in the next few hours
On November 11, 2011, : 00:51 Moscow Time [20:51 gmt]
http://vz.ru/news/2011/11/11/537691.html

The fate of the automatic interplanetary station Phobos-Grunt, with which communications have not succeeded in being established, will be decided in the next few hours, a source in the rocket-space branch figures.

After a certain time Phobos-Grunt will fly above Baikonur and they will attempt to establish connection with it again. If this next attempt ends unsuccessfully, for all practical purposes there will not remain hopes for the rescuing of the apparatus, said the source.

According to him, even in the case of failure, Russian specialists will further continue attempts to establish connection with the apparatus, and European associates will continue to help them in this, in the hope for a miracle.

To Roskosmos, especially after the emergencies of rocket-space technology, which occurred this year, it is simply necessary to preserve face before the world community; therefore they will undertake newer and newer attempts to revive Phobos-Grunt, said the expert.

He noted that the failure with the launch of the interplanetary space station shows [the countrys [?]] complete noncompetitiveness in the creation of new rocket-space technology. The nickname space coachman, resting on the Soviet leftovers, will be fastened to us still more, said the source, reports Interfax.

As the newspaper Vzglyad reported, previously Pishel described that ESA attempted to obtain information at the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana and in Australia from Phobos-Grunt, but the attempts were not crowned with success.

It became later known that astronomers with the aid of the optical means will attempt to determine in what position the automatic interplanetary station Phoebus- ground is located.

The former chief specialist of armed forces RF in space Vladimir [Uvarov] noted on Thursday that the interplanetary space station, probable, can no longer be saved. However, some specialists still hope for the continuation of the mission of Phoebus- ground.

Let us recall that the cost of project was about 5 billion rubles, or about 120 million Euros.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jimvela on 11/10/2011 09:13 PM
But were you intending to say it is unlikely the Maui telescope would be used for FG?  There are many fewer obstacles that would make Maui-derived imagery unavailable to the Russian space agency or to the general public.  And the Maui telescope is likely sufficient for this purpose, as the attached image of STS-107 demonstrates....

I don't pretend to understand or comprehend politics or political processes, so I don't know how to answer that.

I'm sure that if the Russians formally requested the help of the US Government, that many things could be done to image this mission.

I suspect that the politics of saving face will prevent that from ever happening.

I'd also bet heavily that all of the nations with space observing capability are already using this opportunity to test their capabilities on a distressed mission as an exercise of these capabilities.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: agman25 on 11/10/2011 09:14 PM
I have a overhead pass tomorrow PM and a good set of binoculars. Anything I can do?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: daver on 11/10/2011 09:23 PM
Does the X-37B have any relay capability?  I know that's classified but just throwing it out there.   They are both pretty much over Australia right now. ???

 http://www.n2yo.com/?s=37872

http://heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=37375&lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=CET
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/10/2011 09:39 PM
Does the X-37B have any relay capability?  I know that's classified but just throwing it out there.
If a 10+ meter dishes on the ground with many kw of transmit power can't do it, it's extremely unlikely that some dinky radio on a spacecraft would do better, even if it were theoretically possible.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/10/2011 09:55 PM
Does the X-37B have any relay capability?  I know that's classified but just throwing it out there.   They are both pretty much over Australia right now. ???

 http://www.n2yo.com/?s=37872

http://heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=37375&lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=CET

This is a tad more fun.....watch ISS, PG, & OTV2   

http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|37872|37375
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/10/2011 10:02 PM
Does the X-37B have any relay capability?  I know that's classified but just throwing it out there.   They are both pretty much over Australia right now. ???

 http://www.n2yo.com/?s=37872

http://heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=37375&lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=CET

This is a tad more fun.....watch ISS, PG, & OTV2    Intersection shortly.
http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|37872|37375 (http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|37872|37375)
Thanks, I was wondering how to set that up...
(your link is sort of broken... you need to put [url] and  [/url] around the whole thing, though... here's a fixed version:

http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|37872|37375 (http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|37872|37375) )

Do they know the orientation of Phobos-Grunt? Would that information be helpful?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/10/2011 10:03 PM
I have a overhead pass tomorrow PM and a good set of binoculars. Anything I can do?

I have some dawn sighting opportunities in the days ahead
which I intend to work diligently.

Observe for nearby objects leading or trailing.

Observe for light fluctuations, both periodic and occasional.

Observe for indications of propellant leak.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: 93143 on 11/10/2011 10:10 PM
If a 10+ meter dishes on the ground with many kw of transmit power can't do it, it's extremely unlikely that some dinky radio on a spacecraft would do better, even if it were theoretically possible.

I was under the impression that the problem was line-of-sight.  With a clear shot at the antenna, you wouldn't need more power than the ground station, or (most likely) even as much.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2011 10:11 PM
So are we all on side with the reports that we'll know one way or the other over the next few hours?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/10/2011 10:13 PM
I have a overhead pass tomorrow PM and a good set of binoculars. Anything I can do?

I have some dawn sighting opportunities in the days ahead
which I intend to work diligently.

Observe for nearby objects leading or trailing.

Observe for light fluctuations, both periodic and occasional.

Observe for indications of propellant leak.

The lack of tumbling would be very interesting.  If the spacecraft can hold a stable attitude, then that implies the attitude control system must be working and therefore at least the attitude control portion of the data processing system and the power system.  Of course if it were tumbling and powered then communications should be possible (although intermittent) no matter what the orientation of the antennas - eventually the antennas will tumble into view.

Should be an interesting observation, if the weather permits.

Andy

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: just-nick on 11/10/2011 10:13 PM
If a 10+ meter dishes on the ground with many kw of transmit power can't do it, it's extremely unlikely that some dinky radio on a spacecraft would do better, even if it were theoretically possible.

I was under the impression that the problem was line-of-sight.
If the problem is that the line of sight is blocked (e.g. some bit of tank structure is in the way) as opposed to the spacecraft/antenna facing in an unexpected direction, then no amount of trying different angles and positions may be enough to get through.

--N
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/10/2011 10:14 PM
As far as I understand, they are running out of their silver bullets and over the next few hours we will know if they've taken all measures to contact the spacecraft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: joek on 11/10/2011 10:17 PM
A bit OT, but IIRC  Goldstone is capable of pushing >400KW (or was); not sure about other DSN 70-meter sites.  Raw power would thus not appear to be the limiting factor in waking up or talking to Fobos-Grunt (assuming the Russians don't have a similar capability, ask for assist, and systems are compatible?).*

Anyone know what Chinese assist might be engaged or on the table, seeing as they also have a vested interest in the mission?

And again, kudos and appreciation to all who've kept the updates coming, and Chris et. al. who make it possible.


* DSN has some serious reach in both directions.  Goldstone was capable of getting Pioneer's attention through the omni well past the asteroid belt (and that was almost 40 years ago).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: daver on 11/10/2011 10:21 PM
Thanks Hop.   ;)

Thanks Prober. Awesome!  Couldn't figure out how to get more than one on the screen at the same time.  So, just pulled up two different sites.   :)

Thanks Robo(chris) for fixing the link.  ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Satori on 11/10/2011 10:24 PM
So are we all on side with the reports that we'll know one way or the other over the next few hours?

Yes, it looks like...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/10/2011 10:25 PM
DSN has some serious reach in both directions.  Goldstone was capable of getting Pioneer's attention through the omni well past the asteroid belt (and that was almost 40 years ago).

I know someone doing radar studies of Europa with the Goldstone 70-m. So yes, lots of power.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: daver on 11/10/2011 10:28 PM
If a 10+ meter dishes on the ground with many kw of transmit power can't do it, it's extremely unlikely that some dinky radio on a spacecraft would do better, even if it were theoretically possible.

I was under the impression that the problem was line-of-sight.  With a clear shot at the antenna, you wouldn't need more power than the ground station, or (most likely) even as much.

That's what I was thinking.  More of a sniper shot vrs. a bombing run. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 10:36 PM
So are we all on side with the reports that we'll know one way or the other over the next few hours?

Not sure what you mean by "on side." If I were on this project I wouldn't leave the console until the thing either worked or re-entered. Far too much is at stake to simply give up.

Do they know the orientation of Phobos-Grunt? Would that information be helpful?

The last known orientation was facing the Sun with solar panels deployed. But since it's not transmitting telemetry anymore, it's not possible to say definitively what orientation it's in without looking at it.

If it were still facing the Sun, then it's probably still getting power to charge the batteries which means they're not a limiting factor in trying to contact the probe (earlier reports suggested the craft can last for 3 days on battery power). So they could keep trying and know it wouldn't be 100% pointless since there's something on there with power. And the fact that it's able to keep a stable orientation would imply a lot of the systems are in fact working.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/10/2011 10:38 PM
So amateur observations of the probe would be helpful, maybe observations from ISS if there are any more close passes? (There was an observation earlier from ISS.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/10/2011 10:39 PM
I know someone doing radar studies of Europa with the Goldstone 70-m. So yes, lots of power.

Slightly off-thread, but do you have a reference/URL for that?  I like to keep up with long-range radar capabilites.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/10/2011 10:41 PM
If the problem is that the line of sight is blocked (e.g. some bit of tank structure is in the way) as opposed to the spacecraft/antenna facing in an unexpected direction, then no amount of trying different angles and positions may be enough to get through.
Maybe, but even if Fobos Grunt is in a consistent orientation on each pass, ground stations will see it from a pretty wide range of angles.

A spacecraft whizzing by in a different orbit is unlikely to do much better, and it seems pretty implausible that one which wasn't intended for this could be configured to do it on short notice.

Limited com opportunities is a real issue, especially given the reports that only Baikonur can uplink, but a more plausible solution to that would be to use additional ground stations (e.g. DSN, ESA...)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/10/2011 10:52 PM
Goldstone is capable of pushing >400KW (or was)

Combine this insight about Goldstone's capability with Anatoly Zak's comments (repeating "some unofficial reports") that a signal from the ground can command FG to transmit signals "for radio-measurements of its trajectory," and that this command is sent directly to the FG transmitter, "bypassing other systems."

Presumably that command is short and could thus be repeated many times during a single pass over Goldstone, so even a tumbling spacecraft might receive it once.  And it would only need to be successfully received and acted upon once to get back "I'm alive!" confirmation.  It is difficult to believe the Russians would be unwilling to ask for this in the present situation.  So I hope the reports that the Russians might give it up for dead sometime soon are ... inaccurate.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/10/2011 10:53 PM
I dont see it as a choice of power vs. precision, whatever assets you have, try it. In the mean time better have a plan for entry and dont wait too long or let pride get in the way
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/10/2011 10:57 PM
So are we all on side with the reports that we'll know one way or the other over the next few hours?
Know is a bit too strong a term IMO. Real certainty will be when they gain control, stop trying or decay/orbital mechanics dictate that it can't reach Mars. But certainly every pass where they can't establish control lowers the chance of a happy outcome :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/10/2011 11:23 PM
I was looking at Roscosmos's site to see if they had any more info - they've all but removed the words Phobos-Grunt from the main page. But there is a link to a description of the project, which contains a detailed schematic showing antenna positions http://roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=375 (scroll down a bit for the images) Antenna in Russian is Антенна, so look for that.

There's one antenna which is right at the bottom on the lander. It's completely unclear to me whether or not that's the antenna needed to receive the command to activate the transmitter, but it does look like it would be hidden by a fuel tank. Maybe... Perhaps the antenna in question isn't even on the lander but elsewhere in the system.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/10/2011 11:23 PM
I know someone doing radar studies of Europa with the Goldstone 70-m. So yes, lots of power.

Slightly off-thread, but do you have a reference/URL for that?  I like to keep up with long-range radar capabilites.

There was a presentation on this at the OPAG meeting in spring 2011. I cannot find that meeting listed on their website, however. But there is somebody bouncing radar off of Europa looking for evidence of a wobble that is caused by the subsurface ocean.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: joek on 11/10/2011 11:29 PM
So are we all on side with the reports that we'll know one way or the other over the next few hours?
Know is a bit too strong a term IMO. Real certainty will be when they gain control, stop trying or decay/orbital mechanics dictate that it can't reach Mars. But certainly every pass where they can't establish control lowers the chance of a happy outcome :(

Concur, but... let us all remember that there's a team out there and this is their baby.  Many (if not all) of them have poured incalculable blood, sweat and tears into bringing it to life.  Baby is hurt.  Baby needs help.  They're trying.  I expect they won't give up and be working 24x7 until it's stone-cold dead-and-buried.



p.s. Excuse me for excessive anthromorphizing, but been there, done that, and the pain is palpable for those who have invested so much time and energy; seeing some people try to put years of effort into the grave prematurely is... annoying.  Let the team do their job.  They'll tell us when and if the mission is dead.  Until then, best wishes and keep the updates coming.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 12:13 AM
I wanted to offer anther quick thanks for all the diligent coverage, especially from the Russian-speaking members who have been relaying word from knowledgeable sources.

Regarding radio power - the LGA's are theoretically obstructed behind tanks, not enclosed in Faraday cages. It seems to me more power presents the possibility of a weak reflected signal reaching an antenna.

Also, I didn't understand the earlier discussion, so clarification would be appreciated if anybody knows:

Are there just 2 LGA's, or more? It sounded to me like there were two LGA's on the sides of spacecraft, and two more on the cruise stage, and the latter would be the antennae being blocked.

If there's more than two, are they all linked to spacecraft, or is one set for the Fregat stage only?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/11/2011 12:23 AM
Quote
U.S. Strategic Command predicts Phobos-Grunt reentry around November 26. Longshot recover attempts continue

https://twitter.com/#!/tedstryk
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/11/2011 12:35 AM
I wanted to offer anther quick thanks for all the diligent coverage, especially from the Russian-speaking members who have been relaying word from knowledgeable sources.

Regarding radio power - the LGA's are theoretically obstructed behind tanks, not enclosed in Faraday cages. It seems to me more power presents the possibility of a weak reflected signal reaching an antenna.

Also, I didn't understand the earlier discussion, so clarification would be appreciated if anybody knows:

Are there just 2 LGA's, or more? It sounded to me like there were two LGA's on the sides of spacecraft, and two more on the cruise stage, and the latter would be the antennae being blocked.

If there's more than two, are they all linked to spacecraft, or is one set for the Fregat stage only?

From the Russian sources I'm gathering there are 2 high gain transmitter antennas on the sides of the spacecraft (those must be the ones through which they got the initial telemetry after SC separation from the LV) and 2 low gain receivers behind the prop tanks.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SaveMannedSpace on 11/11/2011 12:37 AM
What stuns me is the only uplink is still in Russia two days later; limiting attempts to issue commands to P-G to once per orbit. NASA offered help but got no interest. ESA is volunteering to pass on any data they might receive from P-G, but to take advantage of all opportunities to save their mission, Russia should let NASA send commands when it is out of range of the Russian dish. Roscosmos: We will be happy to help save the mission; please don't let national pride blind you from asking for help.
Here's a good article--which includes a NASA quote about offering assistance: http://planetary.org/blog/article/00003254/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/11/2011 01:04 AM
NASA offered help but got no interest.
Do you have source for this ? NASA confirmed that they offered, but I don't see any confirmation of the "no interest" part. It may be that there are practical obstacles to doing anything useful.
Quote
Russia should let NASA and ESA send commands when it is out of range of the Russian dish.
I suspect (just personal opinion, no inside information) the reality is a lot more complicated than that. They have limited resources and are working against a clock. Getting some outside party to usefully transmit commands would likely take resources away from that effort. Keep in mind that some sources have reported that only Baikonur can uplink, even though they have other ground stations that can listen.

It would have been much better to set up contingency arrangements with other agencies would have been before the launch (to some extent they had with ESA), but until there is an actual emergency, politics and NIH play a bigger role.

If the report of the drop tank blocking the low gain antennas is accurate, it appears that a failure before the first burn wasn't something that got a lot of attention, or wasn't expected to be survivable. OTOH, they did request visual observers watch the burn, so obviously some people were concerned.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 01:11 AM
I'd say be careful about assuming it's national pride. If they've never tested relaying commands through US or European assets, they may be hesitant to do so for technical reasons.

Also, it's not clear to me whether either the ESA or NASA has offered to transmit or merely to relay telemetry. Confirmation from anyone in the know would be great.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Skylab on 11/11/2011 01:27 AM
[snip]
Are there just 2 LGA's, or more? It sounded to me like there were two LGA's on the sides of spacecraft, and two more on the cruise stage, and the latter would be the antennae being blocked.

If there's more than two, are they all linked to spacecraft, or is one set for the Fregat stage only?
I'm going out on a limb here, and would appreciate confirmation. These last few days have been hectic, but I remember reading about 11 antennae total. Of course, some of those would have been on the Chinese probe and the return vehicle. I have no clue if those, if they exist, would be useful for sending any commands at this stage.

As I can't provide the source, please consider this (educated?) speculation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 01:42 AM
The authoritative data on spacecraft propellant is from anatoly Zak
at http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_design.html

and he lists 10,100 kg of prop in the main propulsion unit.

Using the ox/fuel mass ratio of the STS OMS, 1.65 to 1,
I calculate
N2O4     6290  kg [using proper rounding accuracy & significant digits]
Heptyl   3810   kg

The cruise stage carries an additional 1050 kg total prop. The return stage design had 40kg of prop several years ago but has doubled in mass since then, so perhaps it has 80 kg now.

Grand total, about 11160 kg, eleven metric tons of nastiness.

The N2O4 freezes at -11C, which could happen, but the heptyl freezing point looks way, WAY too cold for it to freeze. 


I want to bring this up again, because you're being widely quoted by other journalists about the potential hazard.

This isn't intended as a criticism, because your quotes seem to be reasonably general and have no control over how others excerpt your original statements, but I know from several discussions lots of readers are assuming this is exactly like USA-193. I don't think we can reasonably know yet what will happen to this fuel in 2-3 weeks. USA-193's fuel had 14 months to freeze.

Furthermore, we don't really know what the net heat transfer is in this case. As I'm sure you know, it depends on the insulation of the tanks, the reflectivity of their coatings, the spacecraft orientation, and whether any thermal control systems for the fuel either on the spacecraft or the Fregat stage is functioning. I wouldn't expect thermal control in the drop tank, so perhaps it is the biggest concern, but the tanks used for the Mars orbit insertion, lander, and return vehicle obviously need some way of ensuring the fuel remains liquid...passive design at a minimum.

Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HIPAR on 11/11/2011 01:46 AM
Concerning all this talk about sending commands from the ISS, Goldstone and ESA, do any of these facilities actually have a capability to transmit in the 7 Gigahertz (not 7 MHz) spectrum?

Is there some international agreement to standardize telecommand operations to those frequencies with common modulation and message protocols?

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 02:00 AM
Concerning all this talk about sending commands from the ISS, Goldstone and ESA, do any of these facilities actually have a capability to transmit in the 7 Gigahertz (not 7 MHz) spectrum?

Is there some international agreement to standardize telecommand operations to those frequencies with common modulation and message protocols?

---  CHAS

7 GHz is in the X-band, which is one of several used for satellite communications (and radar, and other purposes). DSN does indeed support X-band.

There are international agreements about the use of these frequencies, but I have no idea about standardizing data formats and commands.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/11/2011 02:19 AM
I want to bring this up again, because you're being widely quoted by other journalists about the potential hazard.... I know from several discussions lots of readers are assuming this is exactly like USA-193. I don't think we can reasonably know yet what will happen to this fuel in 2-3 weeks. USA-193's fuel had 14 months to freeze.

Furthermore, we don't really know what the net heat transfer is in this case. As I'm sure you know, it depends on the insulation of the tanks, the reflectivity of their coatings, the spacecraft orientation, and whether any thermal control systems for the fuel either on the spacecraft or the Fregat stage is functioning. I wouldn't expect thermal control in the drop tank, so perhaps it is the biggest concern, but the tanks used for the Mars orbit insertion, lander, and return vehicle obviously need some way of ensuring the fuel remains liquid...passive design at a minimum.

By all means we need to keep revisiting this, it often seems more magic than 'rocket science'. The degree of chilling is a function of all these things and more, and exactly as you said, the amount of time available, especially in this case, is very important.

Spherical tanks tend to survive entry robustly for several reasons, including fast decel when empty, and high heat-rejection capability when venting heated contents [especially boiled contents, where the thermal input has to purchase the 'heat of vaporization' as well as simple mass warming] while inducing rotational torques on the tank that distribute external heating and help mix contents.

Freezing is just another way to elevate -- WAY elevate -- the heat-sink ability of the internal mass. It's not just a matter of calories per gram per degree now, it also includes the VERY significant plateau at the 'heat of fusion' threshhold, where major heating can't raise the average temperature while the solid is converting back to liquid.

Recall the freeze-up of Salyut-7 in early 1985. All the water froze solid, but I never could find any data on the prop tanks. Can any Russian colleagues help us?

PS, I have no problems with criticism. 8-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 02:39 AM
There's a pass over the Eastern USA coming up:
http://www.n2yo.com/?s=37872
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 03:19 AM
NASA offered help but got no interest.
Do you have source for this ? NASA confirmed that they offered, but I don't see any confirmation of the "no interest" part. It may be that there are practical obstacles to doing anything useful.

I was having a chat with a couple of NASA people (note, I mainly know HSF people) about something else, but brought this up. I'm told that is an unrealistic assumption (the "no interest"). Also was told this is now looking like a lost cause, but we were getting to that stage already.

Still hoping for a late success. Imagine how much of a boost it'll be if they find a way to turn this around! Also refer to CBased's comment, about how everyone's pulling for the same result - which is a nice constant with space flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: spectre9 on 11/11/2011 03:22 AM
Looks like this is over now.

Thanks for all the updates.

 :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/11/2011 03:34 AM
Also was told this is now looking like a lost cause, but we were getting to that stage already.

Yea, I was thinking, even if they somehow manage to magically bounce the signal off something weird and get it through to get the SC to talk, then what? There's no way they'll be able to upload an entire command sequence (or at least I imagine any command to have the spacecraft do something with its engines is going to be longer and more complicated than switching the radio on.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/11/2011 03:35 AM
Looks like this is over now.

Thanks for all the updates.

 :(

A bit premature don't you think? The SC is still up there, they're still trying.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: olasek on 11/11/2011 04:03 AM
Quote from: ntrgc89 link=topic=15610.msg827995#msg827995
A bit premature don't you think? The SC is still up there, they're still trying.
I don't think it is premature, it is over and some key space program Russian officials had already admitted so. But of course they will be trying as they have nothing to lose.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 04:17 AM
Also was told this is now looking like a lost cause, but we were getting to that stage already.

Yea, I was thinking, even if they somehow manage to magically bounce the signal off something weird and get it through to get the SC to talk, then what?

We need a bit of this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAdFzn3VzLA
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/11/2011 04:30 AM
I don't think it is premature, it is over and some key space program Russian officials had already admitted so.
It's *probably* over, but that's not the same thing. How many times was the Hayabusa mission over ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 04:52 AM
Quote from: ntrgc89 link=topic=15610.msg827995#msg827995
A bit premature don't you think? The SC is still up there, they're still trying.
I don't think it is premature, it is over and some key space program Russian officials had already admitted so. But of course they will be trying as they have nothing to lose.

If you're thinking about the same quote I am, it wasn't someone involved in the Phobos mission, or in the hierarchy directly above them and in a position to comment authoritatively.

It's not over until things start burning off the spacecraft on the way down. Even if by the time they sort things it's too far out of plane or too low to make a proper trans-Mars injection, it would still be a functional spacecraft with a lot of delta-V. Who knows...they might be able to raise its orbit and park it for a bit and plan out an alternate mission like visiting a near earth asteroid.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/11/2011 05:07 AM
I remembered a similar software issue that nearly crippled another Mars mission several years ago.

Back in January 2004, just 16 days after the Spirit rover landed on Mars, it suddenly stopped responding to commands from Earth. For more than 2 days there was only one single telemetry downlink from the rover, and the data was garbled. Then just two minutes after signal acquisition, it stopped. Several attempts to communicate with the rover was unsuccessful for more than two days. It was not until more than three days later when it sent enough data to Earth that it can be concluded that the rover triggered a safe mode condition, but the initial attempts to command it to downlink telemetry and shut down the instruments were unsuccessful. Another day would pass before engineers could determine the issue is in the flash memory system: it got corrupted during a routine health check. They then issued commands to bypass the flash memory system and shut it down, and the rover finally achieved full command after five days. (Detailed information can be found here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_rover#Sol_18_.28January_21.2C_2004.29_flash_memory_management_anomaly) and in Steve Squires' book Roving Mars)

I cannot help but to compare the current issue with Phobos-Grunt with this case. In both cases the communication link was suddenly lost; no communication occurred and control was lost for days; only a short signal can be heard from both spacecrafts; there are limited communication windows (though I think it is slightly better in the case of Spirit);  the antennas were not pointing in the optimum place for communication; the hints at both spacecraft went into safe modes due to re-booting of the computers. Of course there are many differences (I believe the situation for Phobos-Grunt is a bit more severe, particularly as it is being in a low Earth orbit, which is a place that is less tolerant for trouble-shooting and attitude control), but as an amateur I would say that it is too early to claim defeat just yet. While I am not sure how many redundancies the Russians have put in the spacecraft's control system software (and hardware), if they have enough hacks in place (just like the MER team did) they might have a chance of salvaging the mission. So fingers crossed!  :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/11/2011 05:11 AM
Also was told this is now looking like a lost cause, but we were getting to that stage already.

Yea, I was thinking, even if they somehow manage to magically bounce the signal off something weird and get it through to get the SC to talk, then what? There's no way they'll be able to upload an entire command sequence (or at least I imagine any command to have the spacecraft do something with its engines is going to be longer and more complicated than switching the radio on.

It's difficult to imagine they could successfully command the two burns required for TMI within the current window of opportunity for the FG orbit.  But can anyone show there is no chance of completing the first burn, and then performing the final TMI burn after the orbital plane has realigned through its natural precession?

Another time constraint is the rate with which the probe's parking orbit is precessing -- about 6-7 degrees per day -- out of the optimal plane for insertion onto the trans-Mars trajectory. Each day means the need for a bigger burn to correct for the growing planar error.

At 6 degrees per day, the orbital plane will complete one revolution in 60 days, yes?  And after the first burn, the spacecraft would experience much less atmospheric drag.  This scheme is certainly a "long shot" with low probability of mission success, but demonstrating that the spacecraft can receive any command would be a first step along the path.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/11/2011 05:18 AM
I remembered a similar software issue that nearly crippled another Mars mission several years ago.

Back in January 2004, just 16 days after the Spirit rover landed on Mars, it suddenly stopped responding to commands from Earth. For more than 2 days there was only one single telemetry downlink from the rover, and the data was garbled. Then just two minutes after signal acquisition, it stopped. Several attempts to communicate with the rover was unsuccessful for more than two days. It was not until more than three days later when it sent enough data to Earth that it can be concluded that the rover triggered a safe mode condition, but the initial attempts to command it to downlink telemetry and shut down the instruments were unsuccessful. Another day would pass before engineers could determine the issue is in the flash memory system: it got corrupted during a routine health check. They then issued commands to bypass the flash memory system and shut it down, and the rover finally achieved full command after five days. (Detailed information can be found here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_rover#Sol_18_.28January_21.2C_2004.29_flash_memory_management_anomaly) and in Steve Squires' book Roving Mars)

I cannot help but to compare the current issue with Phobos-Grunt with this case. In both cases the communication link was suddenly lost; no communication occurred and control was lost for days; only a short signal can be heard from both spacecrafts; there are limited communication windows (though I think it is slightly better in the case of Spirit);  the antennas were not pointing in the optimum place for communication; the hints at both spacecraft went into safe modes due to re-booting of the computers. Of course there are many differences (I believe the situation for Phobos-Grunt is a bit more severe, particularly as it is being in a low Earth orbit, which is a place that is less tolerant for trouble-shooting and attitude control), but as an amateur I would say that it is too early to claim defeat just yet. While I am not sure how many redundancies the Russians have put in the spacecraft's control system software (and hardware), if they have enough hacks in place (just like the MER team did) they might have a chance of salvaging the mission. So fingers crossed!  :)


Very very different.  Your analogy is kind of like saying that all car crashes are the same.

On the MER they had a working spacecraft and already had a theory of what the root cause was of the problem.  As I recall it was a memory card issue.  And they knew exactly how long it would take for the spacecraft to reset.  Also their position on Mars wasn't going to decay in a short amount of time and they didn't need to have an injection burn during a planetary window.  There were also no hacks involved but well thought-out contingency plans.

Fobos-Grunt is the situation where a spacecraft never really showed it was healthy after reaching orbit.  There is no indication of if the spacecraft will reset itself and there is no known root cause.  So, very very different scenario. 

About the only thing that is the same is that both spacecraft had Mars as a destination.

If you really want to compare, this scenario more closely matches that of the Mars 2MV-3 and 2MV-4 spacecraft which never really received formal names since they didn't leave Earth orbit.

Also please note that nobody official has confirmed a software problem.  It's just that software is much easier to change from the ground than to fix hardware, although many people would volunteer to fix the hardware on-orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SaveMannedSpace on 11/11/2011 05:21 AM
Regarding NASA offering help:
http://planetary.org/blog/article/00003254/

"according to Doug McCuistion, who was asked minutes ago at a press briefing about Curiosity if NASA was helping, "We have offered assistance and if they need it we will provide it to the best of our ability. That's a different organization from ours. I am not sure if they have asked for such assistance, but we have offered it."
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: savuporo on 11/11/2011 05:22 AM
Wow, this was quick. Looks like some heads might start to roll

http://interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=216291
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: olasek on 11/11/2011 05:53 AM
Quote from: iamlucky13 link=topic=15610.msg828008#msg828008
  or in the hierarchy directly above them and in a position to comment authoritatively.
yes, it was someone in the position to comment authoritatively because it was a high official from the US equivalent of Russian Space Command, it was a military guy, a general.

Quote
. Even if by the time they sort things it's too far out of plane or too low to make a proper trans-Mars injection, it would still be a functional spacecraft ....alternate mission like visiting a near earth asteroid.
if you believe in stuff like this I have a bridge I could sell you ...  ::)

I also fully agree with alk3997's analysis - there is ZERO analogy between those two events.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/11/2011 07:54 AM
So, basically, this night has passed without additional official comments, quotes or concrete news... I have a sinking feeling about this mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/11/2011 08:38 AM
So, basically, this night has passed without additional official comments, quotes or concrete news... I have a sinking feeling about this mission.

Even though the Soviet era of paranoia and secrecy is gone, many Russian institutions still operate very strongly on a 'cover up embarrassments' policy.  However, failure to report success for a publicly-known mission that is publicly known to be in trouble is highly indicative, IMHO at least.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lucspace on 11/11/2011 09:20 AM
Cited at http://astronautique.actifforum.com/:

http://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fvz.ru%2Fsociety%2F2011%2F11%2F11%2F537775.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Launch Fan on 11/11/2011 09:23 AM
Very sad :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: apace on 11/11/2011 09:28 AM
Very sad :(

Perhaps a chance to get the Russian space science back on track... if China has more tracking capability than the country which was first in space I have my questions...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: plutogno on 11/11/2011 09:46 AM
Perhaps a chance to get the Russian space science back on track...

the Russian space official who said a few months ago that Roskosmos is spending too large a share of its budget in manned spaceflight and too little in application and science was probably right
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nick on 11/11/2011 09:59 AM
Concerning all this talk about sending commands from the ISS, Goldstone and ESA, do any of these facilities actually have a capability to transmit in the 7 Gigahertz (not 7 MHz) spectrum?
Thanks for that correction - I was rather startled by the idea that they were still using HF, but didn't like to argue.

It also goes a long way to explaining why antenna shielding may be such a serious issue if the spacecraft is in an unexpected configuration.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/11/2011 10:26 AM
http://users.livejournal.com/___lin___/178444.html

Updates 6 and 7 are interesting:
(like essentially everything in this thread - take it with a grain of salt)

6: There is information that they send a command to SC (most likely from a comms station located at Baikonur) to turn on the system of "external trajectory measurements" (not sure how to translate "система внешнетраекторных измерений") - essentially an autonomous beeper. This is a command of direct execution, that bypasses all other systems. If it starts beeping - then it's a live, If not - most likely dead.

7: There is no signal from the beeper. They will keep trying but...

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/11/2011 11:09 AM
Even though the Soviet era of paranoia and secrecy is gone, many Russian institutions still operate very strongly on a 'cover up embarrassments' policy.  However, failure to report success for a publicly-known mission that is publicly known to be in trouble is highly indicative, IMHO at least. 

A very perceptive comment. The term I've used in advising my news media clients, for the reaction of space officials and their press liaison teams, is 'panicked despair'. It's as if they are pulling the blanket over their heads and wishing people would just lose interest and move on to some other story. Unprofessional, irresponsible, and in the modern interdependent world of space partnerships, unacceptable -- IMHO.

They have defiantly withheld information on their activities, on what they are attempting, on the true state of the vehicle [ARE the solar arrays really deployed?], on the degree of pre-flight contingency planning as it may apply to this situation, and to the most basic guidelines of any possible delayed trans-Mars insertions [such as -- what is the time limit imposed by the parking orbit's precession?].

The one bright light was the pre-launch request from IKI for South American observers, a request that turned out to be prescient. But culturally, for a long time Russians had not been willing to ask for help from foreigners, it was regarded as a sign of weakness. In the bad old Soviet days, they would rather have died -- and sometimes did -- in sight of foreign help they refused to ask for. One glaring example was a serious fire at their 'Vostok' Antarctic base in 1982 that was covered up in a pretense of normalcy while the men struggled for their lives -- with rescue from other countries only days away, if asked for.

In a spasm of dark humor, I'm reminded of the scene in "The Christmas Story" where Ralphie and his classmates are asked by their teacher where one of their friends (a boy named Flick) is -- who's actually in difficulty due to a prank he was dared into doing. Ralphie's innocent-faced response [voiced by the narrator}: "Flick? Flick who?"

Moscow officials are playing the "Fobos? Fobos who?" game now, in contemptuous disregard of their international partners on this project. And as a result, they are seriously poisoning the trust and expected candor levels that have been grudgingly but inexorably built up over the long, difficult years of joint work with other nations, including the US. They've even annoyed China, never a prudent plan.

And the project failure itself isn't the cause, since we've overcome worse, together. The failure is in the hearts, minds, and souls of the people running the program, who could have chosen differently, but did not so so.

And you may quote me.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: aquanaut99 on 11/11/2011 11:15 AM
A very perceptive comment. The term I've used in advising my news media clients, for the reaction of space officials and their press liaison teams, is 'panicked despair'. It's as if they are pulling the blanket over their heads and wishing people would just lose interest and move on to some other story. Unprofessional, irresponsible, and in the modern interdependent world of space partnerships, unacceptable -- IMHO.


In a spasm of dark humor, I'm reminded of the scene in "The Christmas Story" where Ralphie and his classmates are asked by their teacher where one of their friends (a boy named Flick) is -- who's actually in difficulty due to a prank he was dared into doing. Ralphie's innocent-faced response [voiced by the narrator}: "Flick? Flick who?"

...

Moscow officials are playing the "Fobos? Fobos who?" game now, in contemptuous disregard of their international partners on this project. And as a result, they are seriously poisoning the trust and expected candor levels that have been grudgingly but inexorably built up over the long, difficult years of joint work with other nations, including the US. They've even frakked off China, never a prudent plan.

And the project failure itself isn't the cause, since we've overcome worse, together. The failure is in the hearts, minds, and souls of the people running the program, who could have chosen differently, but did not so so.

And you may quote me.



This is a disaster. Pure and simple.

The disaster is not just the fact that we have lost another expensive and much looked-forward-to unmanned mission. The disaster is the way this is being communicated.

And there is the potential for a much bigger disaster in the making: If Fobos-Grunt comes down in the next few weeks and the Cobalt-57 cells survive reentry, we may have another Kosmos 954 on our hands (depending on where it comes down).

The last thing space exploration needs right now is another "nuclear disaster". Yes, I know, there is very little risk. But just mention the "N" word to the press and watch the reactions...

Especially since there have been a whole series of high-profile uncontrolled re-entries in the past few months...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lbiderman on 11/11/2011 11:26 AM
Even though the Soviet era of paranoia and secrecy is gone, many Russian institutions still operate very strongly on a 'cover up embarrassments' policy.  However, failure to report success for a publicly-known mission that is publicly known to be in trouble is highly indicative, IMHO at least. 

A very perceptive comment. The term I've used in advising my news media clients, for the reaction of space officials and their press liaison teams, is 'panicked despair'. It's as if they are pulling the blanket over their heads and wishing people would just lose interest and move on to some other story. Unprofessional, irresponsible, and in the modern interdependent world of space partnerships, unacceptable -- IMHO.

They have defiantly withheld information on their activities, on what they are attempting, on the true state of the vehicle [ARE the solar arrays really deployed?], on the degree of pre-flight contingency planning as it may apply to this situation, and to the most basic guidelines of any possible delayed trans-Mars insertions [such as -- what is the time limit imposed by the parking orbit's precession?].

The one bright light was the pre-launch request from IKI for South American observers, a request that turned out to be prescient. But culturally, for a long time Russians had not been willing to ask for help from foreigners, it was regarded as a sign of weakness. In the bad old Soviet days, they would rather have died -- and sometimes did -- in sight of foreign help they refused to ask for. One glaring example was a serious fire at their 'Vostok' Antarctic base in 1982 that was covered up in a pretense of normalcy while the men struggled for their lives -- with rescue from other countries only days away, if asked for.

In a spasm of dark humor, I'm reminded of the scene in "The Christmas Story" where Ralphie and his classmates are asked by their teacher where one of their friends (a boy named Flick) is -- who's actually in difficulty due to a prank he was dared into doing. Ralphie's innocent-faced response [voiced by the narrator}: "Flick? Flick who?"

Moscow officials are playing the "Fobos? Fobos who?" game now, in contemptuous disregard of their international partners on this project. And as a result, they are seriously poisoning the trust and expected candor levels that have been grudgingly but inexorably built up over the long, difficult years of joint work with other nations, including the US. They've even annoyed China, never a prudent plan.

And the project failure itself isn't the cause, since we've overcome worse, together. The failure is in the hearts, minds, and souls of the people running the program, who could have chosen differently, but did not so so.

And you may quote me.



I agree with Jim, this is just an example of how money or some personal sacrifice alone can't guarantee success, you need leadership and teamwork, two things missing from this mission. As a regional integration specialist, I'm sick and tired of good projects flawed by local ego. Time to focus more on results and less on the flag sticker.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lbiderman on 11/11/2011 11:27 AM
Even though the Soviet era of paranoia and secrecy is gone, many Russian institutions still operate very strongly on a 'cover up embarrassments' policy.  However, failure to report success for a publicly-known mission that is publicly known to be in trouble is highly indicative, IMHO at least. 

A very perceptive comment. The term I've used in advising my news media clients, for the reaction of space officials and their press liaison teams, is 'panicked despair'. It's as if they are pulling the blanket over their heads and wishing people would just lose interest and move on to some other story. Unprofessional, irresponsible, and in the modern interdependent world of space partnerships, unacceptable -- IMHO.

They have defiantly withheld information on their activities, on what they are attempting, on the true state of the vehicle [ARE the solar arrays really deployed?], on the degree of pre-flight contingency planning as it may apply to this situation, and to the most basic guidelines of any possible delayed trans-Mars insertions [such as -- what is the time limit imposed by the parking orbit's precession?].

The one bright light was the pre-launch request from IKI for South American observers, a request that turned out to be prescient. But culturally, for a long time Russians had not been willing to ask for help from foreigners, it was regarded as a sign of weakness. In the bad old Soviet days, they would rather have died -- and sometimes did -- in sight of foreign help they refused to ask for. One glaring example was a serious fire at their 'Vostok' Antarctic base in 1982 that was covered up in a pretense of normalcy while the men struggled for their lives -- with rescue from other countries only days away, if asked for.

In a spasm of dark humor, I'm reminded of the scene in "The Christmas Story" where Ralphie and his classmates are asked by their teacher where one of their friends (a boy named Flick) is -- who's actually in difficulty due to a prank he was dared into doing. Ralphie's innocent-faced response [voiced by the narrator}: "Flick? Flick who?"

Moscow officials are playing the "Fobos? Fobos who?" game now, in contemptuous disregard of their international partners on this project. And as a result, they are seriously poisoning the trust and expected candor levels that have been grudgingly but inexorably built up over the long, difficult years of joint work with other nations, including the US. They've even annoyed China, never a prudent plan.

And the project failure itself isn't the cause, since we've overcome worse, together. The failure is in the hearts, minds, and souls of the people running the program, who could have chosen differently, but did not so so.

And you may quote me.



I agree with Jim, this is just an example of how money or some personal sacrifice alone can't guarantee success, you need leadership and teamwork, two things missing from this mission. As a regional integration specialist, I'm sick and tired of good projects flawed by local ego. Time to focus more on results and less on the flag sticker.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 11:42 AM
This is a disaster. Pure and simple.

Poppycock.

Nobody died.

Try to keep things in perspective.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/11/2011 11:43 AM
People on Novosti-Kosmonavtiki have scanned the two-volume edition document from IKI-RAN, dedicated to Phobos-Grunt... It's available here:

http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378

There are too many interesting things there. One of these is a special paragraph that states that during the first part of interplanetary injeciton - which includes the entry on preliminary orbit (the current orbit of the spacecraft), the first burn of the MDU - is conducted in automated mode. The paragraph states that two-sided link between Phobos-Grunt and the Earth is practically impossible.

I ask the Russian folks here for help - am I correct about my non-Google-translated translation?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/11/2011 11:50 AM
Lots of technical info (hat tip to Shin from NK forum)
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378

The most frustrating part is this (from the second page from the top):
(I apologise if some of the technical terms are not translated right)

The stage of interplanetary orbit maneuvers.
The goals for this stage are:
- Initialisation of all systems based on the signals from the contacts of separation
- Perform maneuvers to get to the interplanetary orbit
- Turn on Return Module and YH-1 in standby mode

The specifics of interations with the spacecraft while at the "near Earth" stage/leg is that it is practically impossible to establish/support a 2-way communication with the spacecraft (especially while on the base orbit). This means that the first active stage of the Phobos-Grunt flight (the one that achieves transfer from the base orbit to the intermediate orbit) is done automatically.

<skipped - bottom of the page>
While on the base orbit and within the visibility zones of Russian land stations there is a one way flight control (via the telemetry channel) via the transmitter RPT111. Trajectory measurements are perfomed using a device 38G6.

Zones of visibility increase after the intermediate (interim?) orbit is reached. The angular velocity in relation to the land stations decreases, which makes it possible to establish a 2-way communication with the spacecraft using its radio complex.

-------
This is the source of frustration. Since we haven't reached this intermediate orbit (we didn't have the 1st burn) it is very hard to send any commands to the spacecraft. DESPERATELY need Luch (TDRSS equivalents) - such a shame - ideally you really want to launch Luch first and then Phobos-Grunt :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: MP on 11/11/2011 11:53 AM

http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378

There are too many interesting things there. One of these is a special paragraph that states that during the first part of interplanetary injeciton - which includes the entry on preliminary orbit (the current orbit of the spacecraft), the first burn of the MDU - is conducted in automated mode. The paragraph states that two-sided link between Phobos-Grunt and the Earth is practically impossible.

I ask the Russian folks here for help - am I correct about my non-Google-translated translation?

Yes, correct. "... practical impossibility of establishing two-way communication with the spacecraft, first of all while on LEO"
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/11/2011 12:00 PM
http://interfax.ru/politics/txt.asp?id=216325

And another insteresting thing...

Looks like amateur astronomers are able to visually confirm that Phobos-Grunt is in stable configuration and properly oriented to the Sun...

If we have a good spacecraft which is working in LEO, but mission control is unable to communicate with it... it will the saddest loss in interplanetary science ever.. They can see it's alive, but they can nothing to do but watch the loss in real time :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/11/2011 12:05 PM

DESPERATELY need Luch (TDRSS equivalents) - such a shame - ideally you really want to launch Luch first and then Phobos-Grunt :(

Not really useful planetary missions.  NASA doesn't use TDRSS for planetarys.  More ground stations are needed.  They should have worked with NASA and ESA and maybe paid for some use of commercial ones (USN-United Space Network for example)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: aquanaut99 on 11/11/2011 12:08 PM
Poppycock.

Nobody died.

Try to keep things in perspective.

Nobody died due to the financial crisis either. Do people always have to die for something to be a disaster?

It is, at the very least, a disaster for Russian unmanned space exploration, which was already in big trouble. And it is very bad news for all space enthousiasts, everywhere.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Cbased on 11/11/2011 12:13 PM

DESPERATELY need Luch (TDRSS equivalents) - such a shame - ideally you really want to launch Luch first and then Phobos-Grunt :(

Not really useful planetary missions.  NASA doesn't use TDRSS for planetarys.  More ground stations are needed.  They should have worked with NASA and ESA and maybe paid for some use of commercial ones (USN-United Space Network for example)

Agree that more stations are needed.
It would have been nice too to have communication ships (from the Soviet era) deployed somewhere in the Southern Atlantic - this is if you really want to "save face"/pride and not rely on international organisations.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/11/2011 12:21 PM
Ok, there is time to assign blame later Now is what are they going to do about entry and risk to those on the ground?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rdale on 11/11/2011 12:25 PM
Ok, there is time to assign blame later Now is what are they going to do about entry and risk to those on the ground?

When and where is it coming down? What can they do to prevent reentry?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: aquanaut99 on 11/11/2011 12:27 PM
Ok, there is time to assign blame later Now is what are they going to do about entry and risk to those on the ground?

When and where is it coming down? What can they do to prevent reentry?

Nobody knows yet and nothing. And that's the problem. Especially since radioactive and toxic materials are on board.

Maybe the Navy will shoot it down?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rdale on 11/11/2011 12:29 PM
Ok, there is time to assign blame later Now is what are they going to do about entry and risk to those on the ground?

When and where is it coming down? What can they do to prevent reentry?

Nobody knows yet and nothing.

So why are we theorizing without any factual basis?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 12:30 PM
When and where is it coming down? What can they do to prevent reentry?

The only way they can control reentry or keep it from coming down is to regain control. If they can not do that, it will comedown somewhere at some point that can not be predicted this far out.

btw. How mush Cesium was on this probe, and is packaged such that it will survive (not disperse) reentry? Are we talking the equiv. of a smoke detector, or something more sinister?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ngc3314 on 11/11/2011 12:33 PM
Quote from: Svetoslav link=topic=15610.msg828061#msg828061
Looks like amateur astronomers are able to visually confirm that Phobos-Grunt is in stable configuration and properly oriented to the Sun...

In fact, I saw a near-zenith passage less than two hours ago, and the only brightness variations were slow and consistent with phase effects.

Trail picture with Mars and Leo (http://twitpic.com/7d10xb).


Rats. The picture keeps getting gloomier.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 12:36 PM
Maybe the Navy will shoot it down?

1. Why?
2. That will rupture the case surrounding the radio active materials. Which is a safer alternative for the Cesium?
3. Will it fully rupture all the tanks? USA-193 had only one tank, and that was targeted in the intercept. Phobos-Grunt has tanks located in several locations on the spacecraft.
4. Most of the tanks have to stay liquid at Mars, so, can they stay liquid from now til reentry?
5. From a spin standpoint, this is the worse thing the US Navy could do. The headline would be "US destroys Russian Hopes and Mars Program".
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/11/2011 12:40 PM
Are we talking the equiv. of a smoke detector,

That is usually the case for calibration sources
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 12:46 PM
Poppycock.

Nobody died.

Try to keep things in perspective.

Nobody died due to the financial crisis either. Do people always have to die for something to be a disaster?

You're right. Please feel free to panic and scream in fright.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/11/2011 01:06 PM
Ok, there is time to assign blame later Now is what are they going to do about entry and risk to those on the ground?

When and where is it coming down? What can they do to prevent reentry?

I believe that estimates (guesses?) about the parking orbit decaying by the end of next week are doing the rounds.  The spacecraft is, I imagine, in a similar orbital inclination to the ISS, so that means, theoretically, almost the entire inhabited surface of the Earth is a potential crash site. 

It will not be possible to better assess the actual likely descent zone until a few orbits before critical decay.  However, I'm sure that appropriate proceedures are being pulled out for the third time after ROSAT and the other large re-entry in recent weeks.

If anything, I'm a lot more worried about the large amount of propellent in the EDS possibly causing an airburst effect rather than the actual spacecraft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 11/11/2011 01:08 PM
My 2 cents worth:

Since the basic Fregat stage does not have uplink capability, the designers seem to have implemented an uplink channel via the payload (where commands are relayed to the Fregat/MDU via hard wires from the payload). Unfortunately, the payload was not designed for functionality in LEO, so that commands radioed from the ground may be blocked by the Fregat stage; alternatively, the payload may be a "safe" mode, unable to communicate.

The better design approach would have been to implement a separate uplink channel on the Fregat/MDU itself, which would also be useful for LEO missions. Without this separate uplink channel, the mission was effectively killed when the Fregat/MDU failed to make its first burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HIPAR on 11/11/2011 01:28 PM
My 2 cents worth:

...

The better design approach would have been to implement a separate uplink channel on the Fregat/MDU itself, which would also be useful for LEO missions. Without this separate uplink channel, the mission was effectively killed when the Fregat/MDU failed to make its first burn.

I wouldn't have been surprised if the mission had failed landing on Phobos or during the attempt to return the soil sample.  But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

So I'd suppose rocket science will remain just that for the foreseeable future.

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/11/2011 01:32 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

I imagine you do it in a similar manner to the CONTOUR spacecraft, which managed to blow itself apart while trying to leave Earth orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: orbitaldebris on 11/11/2011 01:37 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

I imagine you do it in a similar manner to the CONTOUR spacecraft, which managed to blow itself apart while trying to leave Earth orbit.
But the remaining pieces DID leave earth orbit. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: MarekCyzio on 11/11/2011 01:42 PM
So do all Phobos fuel tanks have heaters to keep fuel liquid?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/11/2011 01:46 PM
Poppycock.

Nobody died.

Try to keep things in perspective.

Nobody died due to the financial crisis either. Do people always have to die for something to be a disaster?

You're right. Please feel free to panic and scream in fright.
Seriously, let's man-up a little.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/11/2011 01:47 PM
Ted Molczan conjecture on Ph-G recent mean motion slight decrease
http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html (http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 01:54 PM
Ted Molczan conjecture on Ph-G recent mean motion slight decrease
http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html (http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html)
Interesting, he mentioned reading NSF for updates in the post. I am sure Chris is now blushing ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: LEGO Space on 11/11/2011 01:56 PM
Is it realistic to hope for the construction of a Phobos-Grunt 2 with patches to the known PG 1 bugs? Given that the entire Phobos-Grunt project cost 120 million $ so far, how high would you estmate the additional costs to be?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mr. mark on 11/11/2011 01:58 PM
Reflecting on things, this is going to look even worse if the Mars Curiosity launch gets off to a good start. It's damaging to the image of the Russian scientific community. Maybe some heads do need to roll, so to speak, to get things moving in the right direction again. But, all programs suffer losses. If this is a loss, let's hope that it's a blip on the road to a successful unmanned program.   
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: avitek on 11/11/2011 02:02 PM
I saw elsewhere a chart of departure velocities vs. launch date and Mars arrival date for 2011 launch window, but I am unable to find it now. Pls. help me with URL.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/11/2011 02:08 PM
Ted Molczan conjecture on Ph-G recent mean motion slight decrease
http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html (http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html)

I'm wondering if residuals of 3-axis control thruster firings are sufficient to account for this modest altitude increase or if we're talking about a propellant leak.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/11/2011 02:13 PM
One semi-crazy idea that's being discussed by posters at the NK forum (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=833748#833748) is that given the burn sequence should be triggered by energy-independent onboard clock device which was set to work in Moscow Standard Time (like all Russian spacecrafts), the time mark might come one hour late because the clock moved itself off the daylight saving hour, while it shouldn't have. If an industry standard imported RTC chip were used, this scenario may not be out of question...

This is the first year which Russia abandons DST transitions and Moscow stays permanently in UTC+4...

P.S. If this is the problem that doomed Phobos-Grunt, it wouldn't be the first time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_419) unit conversions doomed a Mars mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter)...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/11/2011 02:19 PM
Oh and BTW, it looks like the ground stations at Baikonur did not have the ability to send commands to Phobos-Grunt via X-band... (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=833427#833427)  :o

Quote
I'm disappointed after I'm said today that the only Kub-Kontur station at Baikonur that could transmit commands to Phobos-Grunt, had been pillaged as early as in 2007. I also held a hope for IP-5 "Saturn" which they promised to outfit with Spektr-X device, but they are saying it can only serve as downlink.
It turns out, Baikonur is really unable to send any commands to the probe, and only can sweep the sky with "Daisy" antenna at IP-1.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/11/2011 02:27 PM
Ted Molczan conjecture on Ph-G recent mean motion slight decrease
http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html (http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html)

I'm wondering if residuals of 3-axis control thruster firings are sufficient to account for this modest altitude increase or if we're talking about a propellant leak.
The altitude was slightly decreasing (mean motion increasing) until November 10 between 1831UTC and 2301UTC, it then started to slightly increase (mean motion decreasing). So, a propellant leak seems more likely.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/11/2011 02:27 PM

btw. How mush Cesium was on this probe, and is packaged such that it will survive (not disperse) reentry? Are we talking the equiv. of a smoke detector, or something more sinister?

Looking around, the MIMOS II Mossbauer spectrometer appears to have 300 ci of Co-57, which, if I've got the right specific activity, corresponds to 0.037 micrograms of Co-57, or a cube 0.016 mm on a side.  I don't think we're talking about a major radiological catastrophe here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 03:19 PM

Quote
. Even if by the time they sort things it's too far out of plane or too low to make a proper trans-Mars injection, it would still be a functional spacecraft ....alternate mission like visiting a near earth asteroid.
if you believe in stuff like this I have a bridge I could sell you ...  ::)

I readily point out my post reflected the extreme end of optimism, but if you want to mock me, at least explain why, if they are perhaps able to recover the spacecraft but not in time to reach Mars it wouldn't be possible to even consider other missions.


btw. How mush Cesium was on this probe, and is packaged such that it will survive (not disperse) reentry? Are we talking the equiv. of a smoke detector, or something more sinister?

Looking around, the MIMOS II Mossbauer spectrometer appears to have 300 ci of Co-57, which, if I've got the right specific activity, corresponds to 0.037 micrograms of Co-57, or a cube 0.016 mm on a side.  I don't think we're talking about a major radiological catastrophe here.

MSL carries somewhere on the order of 50,000 Ci (170 million times that much)

A smoke detector holds about 1 uCi. You can also buy calibration sources of about that amount over the internet with nothing more than a credit card.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Antares on 11/11/2011 03:20 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

Because rockets are still built by humans.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jongoff on 11/11/2011 03:24 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

Because rockets are still built by humans.

Well, they're built by humans, launched, and then you have no way to fix them after they leave the ground.  It's the whole "this system has to work flawlessly the first time with no hope of mechanical repair and only slight hope of programming repair, oh and it was made by humans" thing that hurts.

~Jon
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/11/2011 03:28 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

Because rockets are still built by humans.

Well, they're built by humans, launched, and then you have no way to fix them after they leave the ground.  It's the whole "this system has to work flawlessly the first time with no hope of mechanical repair and only slight hope of programming repair, oh and it was made by humans" thing that hurts.

~Jon
I understand there's really no way this would ever happen in today's environment (fiscal, safety, technology, etc), but out of curiosity, what is the delta-v between this probe and ISS? They are, after all, in pretty close to the same inclination and both in LEO (though different altitudes).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 03:30 PM

Well, they're built by humans, launched, and then you have no way to fix them after they leave the ground.  It's the whole "this system has to work flawlessly the first time with no hope of mechanical repair and only slight hope of programming repair, oh and it was made by humans" thing that hurts.

~Jon

Are you suggesting humans should also ride to Mars and make sure everything works ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/11/2011 03:34 PM
I know someone doing radar studies of Europa with the Goldstone 70-m. So yes, lots of power.
Slightly off-thread, but do you have a reference/URL for that?  I like to keep up with long-range radar capabilites.

Google (Scholar) is your friend: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=radar+europa+goldstone
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Art LeBrun on 11/11/2011 03:39 PM
Did I read the following:

s/c deployed solar panels prior to separation?
solar panels ie the whole assembly now aligned to the sun?

If so - can a burn on the escape stage now be programmed back to the proper trajectory? s/c controls all escape stage functions?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/11/2011 03:47 PM
If so - can a burn on the escape stage now be programmed back to the proper trajectory? s/c controls all escape stage functions?

The modified Fregat controls such things, and its uplink antenna is blocked by the drop tank...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/11/2011 03:53 PM
Not sure if this is true, but... (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=833904#833904)  ::)

Quote
During ground tests the onboard computer worked for no more than 6 hours before hanging. Last patch was applied at Baikonur. My question is, why had we to launch an inoperable spacecraft?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: agman25 on 11/11/2011 03:53 PM
Why is the antenna positioned at that location?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SiberianTiger on 11/11/2011 03:54 PM
If so - can a burn on the escape stage now be programmed back to the proper trajectory? s/c controls all escape stage functions?

The modified Fregat controls such things, and its uplink antenna is blocked by the drop tank...

No, actually the cruise module controls such things and its X-band low-gain antenna wasn't supposed to be deployed in the parking orbit (and it wasn't).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SiberianTiger on 11/11/2011 03:55 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

Because rockets are still built by humans.

Problems begin when rockets are built by humans earning $7800 a year.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Art LeBrun on 11/11/2011 04:05 PM
So after solar panel deployment did the s/c command alignment on the sun? Wouldn't modified Fregat try to counteract a cruise mode command?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/11/2011 04:18 PM
So after solar panel deployment did the s/c command alignment on the sun? Wouldn't modified Fregat try to counteract a cruise mode command?

I have to say that I'm still puzzled about this.  It was my understanding that spacecraft like this are in passive mode until s/c sep and it is the IAU on the upper stage/EDS in the driving seat.  So, why should PG be doing anything? It should be in a stand-by mode until it detaches from the EDS.

If I'm right, then this is the cause of the problem.  After 'waking up' early, PG tried to go over to cruise mode and align itself appropriately.  Now, IIRC, there is no hardware connection between S/C and EDS guidence computers, so you basically have the S/C and EDS fighting over alignment without any dialogue between them.  One was pushing in one direction and the other pushing back until either the RCS prop is exhausted or (as appears to be the case) the un-programmed contingency caused an unrecoverable crash of both vehicles' guidence systems.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: SiberianTiger on 11/11/2011 04:22 PM
So after solar panel deployment did the s/c command alignment on the sun? Wouldn't modified Fregat try to counteract a cruise mode command?

From forum discussion, I've got an impression that there's only one command node in this spacecraft to be used until the return module takes off from Phobos, and it is located withing the cruise module. The "modified Fregat" is left brainless, so to speak. But it needs better confirmation than my opinion.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/11/2011 04:24 PM
I understand there's really no way this would ever happen in today's environment (fiscal, safety, technology, etc), but out of curiosity, what is the delta-v between this probe and ISS? They are, after all, in pretty close to the same inclination and both in LEO (though different altitudes).

It has nothing to do with the "environment".  Orbital mechanics and lack of control prevent it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/11/2011 04:27 PM
Now, IIRC, there is no hardware connection between S/C and EDS guidence computers, so you basically have the S/C and EDS fighting over alignment without any dialogue between them.  One was pushing in one direction and the other pushing back until either the RCS prop is exhausted or (as appears to be the case) the un-programmed contingency caused an unrecoverable crash of both vehicles' guidence systems.

There is no separate"EDS".  The spacecraft has its own large propulsion system derived from the Fregat.  The spacecraft guidance system controls the whole stack.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HIPAR on 11/11/2011 04:34 PM
Not sure if this is true, but... (http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=833904#833904)  ::)

Quote
During ground tests the onboard computer worked for no more than 6 hours before hanging. Last patch was applied at Baikonur. My question is, why had we to launch an inoperable spacecraft?



Had to get it off during the launch window or wait until the planets return to proper alignment?

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 04:40 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

I imagine you do it in a similar manner to the CONTOUR spacecraft, which managed to blow itself apart while trying to leave Earth orbit.

I'd have to go back and look again (although Bob Farquhar's new book does have info on CONTOUR), but I think they suffered from the extremes of "faster, better, cheaper," meaning insufficient ground testing.

When something like this happens--and here I'm specifically referring to Phobos-Grunt--the obvious explanation is poor quality control. Obviously something went wrong that should have gone right, and the answer is why nobody caught that thing. Beyond that was probably also a design flaw that prevented a workaround when something went wrong.

In all accidents there is a chain of mistakes, etc. It's not simply one.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 04:46 PM
Reflecting on things, this is going to look even worse if the Mars Curiosity launch gets off to a good start. It's damaging to the image of the Russian scientific community.

I sure hope that the Russians don't think that way. Maybe some of them might hope that an American failure would take attention away from them. But fundamentally, this is not a zero-sum game where one group loses and the other gains. Success helps everybody, and failure hurts everybody.

It is in the Russians' best interest if Curiosity is wildly successful, because they will reap the benefits. They will get access to data. And they will learn about Mars, which will hopefully help them when they design their own next Mars mission.

That's something that I tried to emphasize in my article:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1965/1

It was important for NASA that Phobos-Grunt succeed, because we could use the data, and we could benefit from having another potential partner in space science (especially one that could provide hardware for future missions). It's no secret that people within NASA were referring to Phobos-Grunt as "Phobos Sample Return" to emphasize this point.

Maybe some heads do need to roll, so to speak, to get things moving in the right direction again. But, all programs suffer losses. If this is a loss, let's hope that it's a blip on the road to a successful unmanned program.   

I sure hope that heads do not roll. That's not the way to improve the organization. The next time the Russians build a planetary mission, it would help if they actually have some people who learned from their mistakes and are paranoid about not repeating them. This is a learning experience, but only if the students don't get expelled.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/11/2011 04:50 PM
I understand there's really no way this would ever happen in today's environment (fiscal, safety, technology, etc), but out of curiosity, what is the delta-v between this probe and ISS? They are, after all, in pretty close to the same inclination and both in LEO (though different altitudes).

It has nothing to do with the "environment".  Orbital mechanics and lack of control prevent it.
I guess no level of prefacing will stop snide remarks. I understand that going from ISS to Phobos-Grunt is simply not an option at all and wouldn't be attempted (because of lack of control, lack of safety) even if it were somehow possible. But I am interested in how far ISS and Phobos-Grunt are in delta-v terms (i.e. orbital mechanics).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: notsorandom on 11/11/2011 04:52 PM
I understand there's really no way this would ever happen in today's environment (fiscal, safety, technology, etc), but out of curiosity, what is the delta-v between this probe and ISS? They are, after all, in pretty close to the same inclination and both in LEO (though different altitudes).
The inclinations are very close but there ISS and FG are not in the same orbital plane. The longitude of the ascending node for each is different. Changing that would take quite a bit of delta V. If I remeber right a Soyuz has a bit less then 400m/s total. The ones docked to the ISS have already used some of that during their missions thus far and will need some of it for the reentry burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/11/2011 04:52 PM
But after 60 years of advanced rocket science, how does one get stuck in low earth orbit?

I imagine you do it in a similar manner to the CONTOUR spacecraft, which managed to blow itself apart while trying to leave Earth orbit.

I'd have to go back and look again (although Bob Farquhar's new book does have info on CONTOUR), but I think they suffered from the extremes of "faster, better, cheaper," meaning insufficient ground testing.

I was under the impression (although I didn't do much serious reading on the topic) that it could have been due to a unique way of building a spacecraft around a solid kick stage, in a sense modifying a propulsion system that used to work at other times but in a different configuration. If true, then the similarity between CONTOUR and Phobos-Grunt and its modified Fregat stage is obvious. FBC indeed, lack of better testing and analysis.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/11/2011 04:54 PM
I understand there's really no way this would ever happen in today's environment (fiscal, safety, technology, etc), but out of curiosity, what is the delta-v between this probe and ISS? They are, after all, in pretty close to the same inclination and both in LEO (though different altitudes).

It has nothing to do with the "environment".  Orbital mechanics and lack of control prevent it.
I understand that it is simply not an option at all. But I am interested in how far ISS and Phobos-Grunt are in delta-v terms (i.e. orbital mechanics).

Calculate it yourself, since the inclination and orbital velocity can be assumed to be the same in a rough approximation, with a little trigonometry the velocity vector difference should be available from the ascending node angle difference alone.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: butters on 11/11/2011 04:56 PM
I don't understand the purpose of the low-gain antennas on the MDU. Were they intended to play a role in the cruise phase of the mission, or were the high-gain antennas on the lander supposed to deploy and take over communications? If the LGAs were primarily intended for communications before the deployment of the HGAs, then how could they rationalize the placement of the LGAs where they would be blocked by the auxiliary propellant tank?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Danderman on 11/11/2011 05:03 PM
I don't understand the purpose of the low-gain antennas on the MDU. Were they intended to play a role in the cruise phase of the mission, or were the high-gain antennas on the lander supposed to deploy and take over communications? If the LGAs were primarily intended for communications before the deployment of the HGAs, then how could they rationalize the placement of the LGAs where they would be blocked by the auxiliary propellant tank?

My opinion here:

Lack of systems engineering. The stack is a kludge, thrown together to save money. No one set out requirements for dealing with a situation where the Fregat/MDU did not perform the first two burns.

In particular, the novel configuration of the Fregat being controlled by the payload was not fully examined.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/11/2011 05:05 PM
I sure hope that the Russians don't think that way. Maybe some of them might hope that an American failure would take attention away from them. But fundamentally, this is not a zero-sum game where one group loses and the other gains. Success helps everybody, and failure hurts everybody.
I think the the actual science community, this is very clear. Nobody want's to see someone else mission fail. Plus they have an instrument on Curiosity.... (http://msl-scicorner.jpl.nasa.gov/Instruments/DAN/)

Quote
I sure hope that heads do not roll. That's not the way to improve the organization. The next time the Russians build a planetary mission, it would help if they actually have some people who learned from their mistakes and are paranoid about not repeating them. This is a learning experience, but only if the students don't get expelled.
Agreed, the Russians have shown over and over that this kind of punitive bloodletting is not particularly effective in solving systemic problems. Conversely, NASA has taken the opposite approach with great effect.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 05:22 PM
Quote
I sure hope that heads do not roll. That's not the way to improve the organization. The next time the Russians build a planetary mission, it would help if they actually have some people who learned from their mistakes and are paranoid about not repeating them. This is a learning experience, but only if the students don't get expelled.
Agreed, the Russians have shown over and over that this kind of punitive bloodletting is not particularly effective in solving systemic problems. Conversely, NASA has taken the opposite approach with great effect.

I will probably at some point in the future quote you on this. I see the, "I hope someone is getting fired for this failure" comment all the time, in many different scenarios.

Sometimes people do screw up in ways that aren't excusable, but in space exploration, there's a million subtle ways to get bitten that turn into valuable learning experiences.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 05:26 PM

My opinion here:

Lack of systems engineering. The stack is a kludge, thrown together to save money.

Prove it... More than likely this is a one off to meet the unique mission requirements that was not fully debugged. Depending on what the failure was, it may, or may not be related to the stack. The stack may be, and most likely is perfectly fine. It may be a failure due to something as simple as the flight computer not handling daylight savings time in the manor they expected. That is what is so frustrating about a failure like this when you can not drag it back to the lab and dissect.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HammerD on 11/11/2011 05:41 PM
I know this is not possible now but for situations like these it would have been nice to have the Shuttle to go up and grab it and bring it back home, or to fix it in-place.

Sure the cost doesn't make sense with the Phobos Grunt mission but in principle that functionality was nice to have (eg. Fix Hubble).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: robertross on 11/11/2011 05:44 PM
I know this is not possible now but for situations like these it would have been nice to have the Shuttle to go up and grab it and bring it back home, or to fix it in-place.

Sure the cost doesn't make sense with the Phobos Grunt mission but in principle that functionality was nice to have (eg. Fix Hubble).

Not possible, especially in regards to limited timeframe. Even in a LON configuration, the crews wouldn't be trained for such tasks. Plus, you really don't want to bring back fully fueled spacecraft if you could help it. What would happen if it started back up again during ops?

Non-starter.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rdale on 11/11/2011 05:45 PM
I know this is not possible now but for situations like these it would have been nice to have the Shuttle to go up and grab it and bring it back home, or to fix it in-place.

It never was possible, even if the shuttle was around.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/11/2011 05:45 PM
Difficult finding any news on Russian sites... Blackout? I have this...
http://rt.com/news/phobos-probe-space-mars-037/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/11/2011 05:50 PM
No point in sending a shuttle, the entire probe costs in the region of 160 million dollars including R&D. Making one more should not exceed 50-100 million+launch costs, while a single shuttle flight will cost a lot more.

By the way, extremely interesting article about the probe's control and communication system, however it is in Russian and does not describe the final configuration.
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: olasek on 11/11/2011 06:07 PM
Quote from: iamlucky13 link=topic=15610.msg828128#msg828128
my post reflected the extreme end of optimism,....... if they are perhaps able to recover the spacecraft but not in time to reach Mars it wouldn't be possible to even consider other missions.
because your first IF in itself borders on miracle, I separate 'miracle' from optimism, I would never for example say I am optimistic that I could win a lottery ticket where odds are 1:10000000 because IMHO such a statement would sound nonsensical. As to your second assertion spacecrafts are built for a concrete missions, they are highly specialized, and it is mpossible to think how such Phobos- Grunt could be reused in Earth orbit (or any orbit outside of Mars) earthly satellites are considered often a 'total loss' if their orbits are slightly off (insurance covers total amount) and PG would still be a junk even if you managed to turn on it's cameras or instruments, I am running out of breath....
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Trouquel on 11/11/2011 06:08 PM
No point in sending a shuttle, the entire probe costs in the region of 160 million dollars including R&D. Making one more should not exceed 50-100 million+launch costs, while a single shuttle flight will cost a lot more.

By the way, extremely interesting article about the probe's control and communication system, however it is in Russian and does not describe the final configuration.
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378

Well, it differs in the number of orbit corrections.
But I hope it is similar in part of communications on LEO at least before the 1st engine burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kaptein80 on 11/11/2011 06:09 PM
No point in sending a shuttle, the entire probe costs in the region of 160 million dollars including R&D. Making one more should not exceed 50-100 million+launch costs, while a single shuttle flight will cost a lot more.

some numbers from wikipedia:

shuttle cost: approximately $1.5 billion per launch over the life of the program

Curiosity:  US$2.3 billion

Phobos Grunt: $163 million

NASA/ESA joint Mars sample return mission is expected to cost around $8.5 billion
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 06:16 PM
some numbers from wikipedia:

shuttle cost: approximately $1.5 billion per launch over the life of the program

Curiosity:  US$2.3 billion

Phobos Grunt: $163 million

NASA/ESA joint Mars sample return mission is expected to cost around $8.5 billion


Such comparisons are essentially meaningless. The economies are not equivalent. Plus, that shuttle cost is an amortized cost, not a single mission marginal cost.

Finally, what good is a cheap mission if it fails?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yamato on 11/11/2011 06:23 PM
Quote from: iamlucky13 link=topic=15610.msg828128#msg828128
my post reflected the extreme end of optimism,....... if they are perhaps able to recover the spacecraft but not in time to reach Mars it wouldn't be possible to even consider other missions.
because your first IF in itself borders on miracle, I separate 'miracle' from optimism, I would never for example say I am optimistic that I could win a lottery ticket where odds are 1:10000000 because IMHO such a statement would sound nonsensical. As to your second assertion spacecrafts are built for a concrete missions, they are highly specialized, and it is mpossible to think how such Phobos- Grunt could be reused in Earth orbit (or any orbit outside of Mars) earthly satellites are considered often a 'total loss' if their orbits are slightly off (insurance covers total amount) and PG would still be a junk even if you managed to turn on it's cameras or instruments, I am running out of breath....

not really, some probes were recycled, like the Stardust, Change was sent to lunar L point after completion of its primary mission...

It depends on the probe construction. Phobos-Grunt has much of dV in its tanks, it would surely get to moon, maybe some asteroid, and its spectrometers would surely provide some valuable results. If they had contact... but they dont  :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/11/2011 06:27 PM
Plus, you really don't want to bring back fully fueled spacecraft if you could help it. What would happen if it started back up again during ops?

Non-starter.

Not necessarily. First of all, you would not have to bring the spacecraft back. Simply find a way to charge the battery or bring up more.  Then you could load a patch right at the spacecraft.  Very similar to the Intelsat/STS-49 mission where the kick stage did not fire, so it was replaced.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 06:40 PM
Plus, you really don't want to bring back fully fueled spacecraft if you could help it. What would happen if it started back up again during ops?

Non-starter.

Not necessarily. First of all, you would not have to bring the spacecraft back. Simply find a way to charge the battery or bring up more.  Then you could load a patch right at the spacecraft.  Very similar to the Intelsat/STS-49 mission where the kick stage did not fire, so it was replaced.

May I remind you of what happened to Arabsat-4M Briz-M. For that reason alone placing lives near a fully loaded upper stage like that is a non-starter! You can not bring the risk to zero!

Correct me if I am wrong but the Intelsat  on STS-49 was a mono-prop system with a solid upper stage. Apples and oranges.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 06:42 PM
I wonder if we could provide some small summary of where we are, as I really need to get a new article on (as opposed to what is the launch day article currently on site). So I'm going to write a shortish state of play summary and give it a bit of a fresh look by adding NASA's interest in Phobos.

I just need to check what we appear to have as facts - and no more, the thread is for NK comments, speculation, etc:

We had nominal Zenit-2 first and second stage performance.
First - and obviously the second - burn on the Fregat-derived stage did not occur, because the flight computer went into safe mode (reason unknown).
Recovery of the computer has been unsuccessful - partly because of antenna issues (I'm not clear on this element) - during all passes thus far.
They do have more than the three days as the solar panels are extended and sun-facing.
However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month if this is a Loss of Mission scenario due to decaying orbit.

Much appreciated if anyone can tick some boxes/correct me - I'd be a fool to not ask and end up making a basic mistake in an article.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/11/2011 06:43 PM
May I remind you of what happened to Arabsat-4M Briz-M. For that reason alone placing lives near a fully loaded upper stage like that is a non-starter! You can not bring the risk to zero!

Correct me if I am wrong but the Intelsat  on STS-49 was a mono-prop system with a solid upper stage. Apples and oranges.

Shuttle was going to launch with a Centaur hydrolox in the payload bay, which would have been much riskier. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: olasek on 11/11/2011 06:48 PM
Shuttle was going to launch with a Centaur hydrolox in the payload bay, which would have been much riskier. 
But ultimately exactly because it was deemed too risky the plan was scrapped.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/11/2011 06:53 PM
Now that the subject of explosions has come up, let me ask this: if F-G remains stuck in its decaying orbit and at least one tank is already venting, what is the likelihood of more leaks leading to a hypergolic mix that triggers a chain reaction of larger and larger explosions?

How much more/less likely is an orbital debris impact that triggers likewise?

If it happens, does the secret US death ray laser get blamed? Or the Chinese one?

If it happens, how energetic could some of the fragments be ejected forward?

That is, could they reach ISS altitude and add to the already pesky Chinese ASAT debris threat?

Is an on-orbit explosion a 'happy ending'?



Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Art LeBrun on 11/11/2011 06:53 PM
Solar panels on s/c: they wouldn't be recharging "Fregat" batteries ??? Unless s/c batteries could interlink with escape stage batteries?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 06:53 PM
I wonder if we could provide some small summary of where we are, as I really need to get a new article on (as opposed to what is the launch day article currently on site). So I'm going to write a shortish state of play summary and give it a bit of a fresh look by adding NASA's interest in Phobos.

I just need to check what we appear to have as facts - and no more, the thread is for NK comments, speculation, etc:

We had nominal Zenit-2 first and second stage performance.
First - and obviously the second - burn on the Fregat-derived stage did not occur, because the flight computer went into safe mode (reason unknown).
Recovery of the computer has been unsuccessful - partly because of antenna issues (I'm not clear on this element) - during all passes thus far.
They do have more than the three days as the solar panels are extended and sun-facing.
However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month if this is a Loss of Mission scenario due to decaying orbit.

Much appreciated if anyone can tick some boxes/correct me - I'd be a fool to not ask and end up making a basic mistake in an article.

Chris to play devils advocate here, since there was no telemetry during the critical events do we know that?

Do we know that the first burn not occurring was due to the computer being in safe mode? Is it possible something else caused the burn to abort and that triggered safemode?
Do we know that the solar panels are extended and sun facing? Based on amateur observers we know the vehicle is stable and not tumbling.
Also did you read Ted Molczan's post ( http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0116.html ) that oddly the two TLE's may point to a Delta V of ~1.3   while over Baikonur?

Anywho looking forward to the article.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 06:58 PM
Jim O, any potential explosion would be in a low orbit and even though it would be energetic and boost some debris apogees, the perigees of the debris would still be the low point it occurred at and just like Phobos-Grunt not have a long orbital lifetime.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/11/2011 07:01 PM
According to a guy on NK they have the launch window until the 20 November (not considering the possibility that they might expend too much propellant trying to get out of the lower orbit by then).

ESA is using its ground stations and is attempting to send/receive signals according to rumours at least today and tomorrow.

By the way, the lower part of the craft has nothing in common with Fregat as far as control systems and electronics go.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/11/2011 07:03 PM
I wonder if we could provide some small summary of where we are, as I really need to get a new article on (as opposed to what is the launch day article currently on site). So I'm going to write a shortish state of play summary and give it a bit of a fresh look by adding NASA's interest in Phobos.

I just need to check what we appear to have as facts - and no more, the thread is for NK comments, speculation, etc:

We had nominal Zenit-2 first and second stage performance.
First - and obviously the second - burn on the Fregat-derived stage did not occur, because the flight computer went into safe mode (reason unknown).
Recovery of the computer has been unsuccessful - partly because of antenna issues (I'm not clear on this element) - during all passes thus far.
They do have more than the three days as the solar panels are extended and sun-facing.
However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month if this is a Loss of Mission scenario due to decaying orbit.

Much appreciated if anyone can tick some boxes/correct me - I'd be a fool to not ask and end up making a basic mistake in an article.

was under the impression the solar panels would not deploy until the burns were done.  None of the info is "solid"
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 07:04 PM
I wonder if we could provide some small summary of where we are, as I really need to get a new article on (as opposed to what is the launch day article currently on site). So I'm going to write a shortish state of play summary and give it a bit of a fresh look by adding NASA's interest in Phobos.

I just need to check what we appear to have as facts - and no more, the thread is for NK comments, speculation, etc:

We had nominal Zenit-2 first and second stage performance.
First - and obviously the second - burn on the Fregat-derived stage did not occur, because the flight computer went into safe mode (reason unknown).
Recovery of the computer has been unsuccessful - partly because of antenna issues (I'm not clear on this element) - during all passes thus far.
They do have more than the three days as the solar panels are extended and sun-facing.
However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month if this is a Loss of Mission scenario due to decaying orbit.

Much appreciated if anyone can tick some boxes/correct me - I'd be a fool to not ask and end up making a basic mistake in an article.

Chris to play devils advocate here, since there was no telemetry during the critical events do we know that?

Do we know that the first burn not occurring was due to the computer being in safe mode? Is it possible something else caused the burn to abort and that triggered safemode?
Do we know that the solar panels are extended and sun facing? Based on amateur observers we know the vehicle is stable and not tumbling.
Also did you read Ted Molczan's post ( http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0116.html ) that oddly the two TLE's may point to a Delta V of ~1.3   while over Baikonur?

Anywho looking forward to the article.

Thanks. Although I can only go on official news for this, as much as I'll be careful not to go making claims of certainty.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 07:07 PM
I wonder if we could provide some small summary of where we are, as I really need to get a new article on (as opposed to what is the launch day article currently on site). So I'm going to write a shortish state of play summary and give it a bit of a fresh look by adding NASA's interest in Phobos.

I just need to check what we appear to have as facts - and no more, the thread is for NK comments, speculation, etc:

We had nominal Zenit-2 first and second stage performance.
First - and obviously the second - burn on the Fregat-derived stage did not occur, because the flight computer went into safe mode (reason unknown).
Recovery of the computer has been unsuccessful - partly because of antenna issues (I'm not clear on this element) - during all passes thus far.
They do have more than the three days as the solar panels are extended and sun-facing.
However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month if this is a Loss of Mission scenario due to decaying orbit.

Much appreciated if anyone can tick some boxes/correct me - I'd be a fool to not ask and end up making a basic mistake in an article.

That mostly sounds right to me.

The belief that the solar panels are deployed is based on the reports that they had one successful telemetry pass (downstream only). I think the single telemetry pass is worth mentioning, even if you consider the belief the drop tank is blocking further signals to be speculative.

I don't know if it's certain the spacecraft is in safe mode. Don't most safe mode's involve the spacecraft broadcasting a diagnostic tone?

I've seen quite a few estimates over re-entry timing, ranging from two weeks out to mid-December. Not having dug into it too much, I tend towards believing the later estimates since this is a very dense spacecraft at the moment.

Aside from RussianSpaceWeb, Emily Lakdawalla seems to have done a decent job sorting down all of the current info into a semi-coherent state. A decent chunk of her article is based on the discussion here, so it might save you some digging back through these 50+ pages.

http://planetary.org/blog/article/00003254/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JWag on 11/11/2011 07:12 PM
With American probes it seems to be common practice to build a flight vehicle and at least one backup vehicle.  The backup vehicle is kept up-to-date and configured identically to the flight vehicle, assisting in troubleshooting and analysis.  Is this a Russian practice as well?

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: LegendCJS on 11/11/2011 07:16 PM
Quote from: iamlucky13 link=topic=15610.msg828128#msg828128
my post reflected the extreme end of optimism,....... if they are perhaps able to recover the spacecraft but not in time to reach Mars it wouldn't be possible to even consider other missions.
because your first IF in itself borders on miracle, I separate 'miracle' from optimism, I would never for example say I am optimistic that I could win a lottery ticket where odds are 1:10000000 because IMHO such a statement would sound nonsensical. As to your second assertion spacecrafts are built for a concrete missions, they are highly specialized, and it is mpossible to think how such Phobos- Grunt could be reused in Earth orbit (or any orbit outside of Mars) earthly satellites are considered often a 'total loss' if their orbits are slightly off (insurance covers total amount) and PG would still be a junk even if you managed to turn on it's cameras or instruments, I am running out of breath....

Exploration probes have been known to be re-tasked to do extended mission stuff, think Deep Impact being used to infrared astronomy iirc, and stardust being re-tasked to go look at the deep impact crater a few months later. 

P-G has on-board a number of instruments that can still gain valuable knowledge provided it were close enough to an interesting target, and it has a whole lot of fuel to make that happen.

But even if the Fregat derived propulsion system can never be restarted, a portion of P-G is designed to return to earth and it holds the Planetary Society Phobos LIFE experiment, which while not having exited the van-allen belts or having been in space for the initially planned amount of time, might still be worth recovering in one piece to see how the organisms did.  And if they can get some partial firing of the Fregat stage they can take the LIFE canister on a inner solar system cruse then back to earth for a more "too spec" exposure profile.

Plus don't forget about Yinghuo-1, it was designed to be a free flying satellite.  Perhaps  enough P-G control abilities remain or can be recovered to release Yinghuo-1 for earth observation at the very least.

I think the above is ample background information to make the belief rational that there is a whole spectrum of science possibilities and partial mission successes that are still possible, provided they can finally get talking to the dang thing.  And some of these possibilities might involve just doping the booster tank straight out before using up that fuel- which would open up the communication pathways according to some of the theories presented on this site (assuming they could just get that one command though in the first place.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 07:30 PM
Now that the subject of explosions has come up, let me ask this: if F-G remains stuck in its decaying orbit and at least one tank is already venting, what is the likelihood of more leaks leading to a hypergolic mix that triggers a chain reaction of larger and larger explosions?

How much more/less likely is an orbital debris impact that triggers likewise?

If it happens, does the secret US death ray laser get blamed? Or the Chinese one?

If it happens, how energetic could some of the fragments be ejected forward?

That is, could they reach ISS altitude and add to the already pesky Chinese ASAT debris threat?

Is an on-orbit explosion a 'happy ending'


Sorry if I missed anything - is a venting tank speculation or based on a credible rumor?

A major explosion does not seem out of the question, but my gut says the likelihood is low. The reaction would be occurring outside the tanks. This doesn't directly increase pressure inside the tanks, but I suppose it could increase heating such that relief valves couldn't keep up with the pressure rise. Likewise, a relief valve could simply fail to operate and cause an explosion even in the absence of reacting fuel.

Conceivably, an exploding tank could put some degree at ISS altitude, but as kevin-rf pointed out, it would have a low perigee and decay quickly. I don't have numbers to offer.

Based on the PR diagram, I counted 23 visible tanks on this probe of various sizes and contents. One could be sitting in direct sunlight and explode, while others in shadow freeze, survive the explosion, and re-enter.

It will either be the US death ray laser or HAARP.

And on-orbit explosion is a less sad ending than intact re-entry over a populated area, but the only really happy endings involve recovery and useful research being accomplished.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/11/2011 07:33 PM
Jim O, any potential explosion would be in a low orbit and even though it would be energetic and boost some debris apogees, the perigees of the debris would still be the low point it occurred at and just like Phobos-Grunt not have a long orbital lifetime.

Sure, the pieces would have very short lifetimes. And it's a big sky.

But since we don't know the configuration that the propulsion system was left in by the command failure [i.e., tank pressures, valve configuration, etc], I'd speculate that the odds of cascading prop-related problems is higher than from an inert, safed, or exhausted system.

A lot higher, even if probably not high enough to happen in its remaining lifetime.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/11/2011 07:34 PM

Sorry if I missed anything - is a venting tank speculation or based on a credible rumor?


Source: http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html

"Phobos-Grunt: latest two TLEs suggest manoeuvring or venting"


Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/11/2011 07:47 PM
I just need to check what we appear to have as facts - and no more, the thread is for NK comments, speculation, etc:
Relying only on official sources, we have very little...
Quote
We had nominal Zenit-2 first and second stage performance.
First - and obviously the second - burn on the Fregat-derived stage did not occur,
I think we can call this 100% confirmed, since the the spacecraft and Zenit stage were found together in the expected pre-burn parking orbit.
Quote
because the flight computer went into safe mode (reason unknown).
The sequence of events and current state of the spacecraft isn't clear to me. The have been contradictory reports of how much has been received since the confirmation of successful separation. Do we know for sure if there has been any telemetry since then ?
Quote
Recovery of the computer has been unsuccessful - partly because of antenna issues (I'm not clear on this element) - during all passes thus far.
I'm not sure there has been any mention of the "antenna issue" in official sources, but the consensus (based on http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_launch.html#11_9 which is relying on unofficial sources but likely well informed) appears to be the the spacecraft was never designed to be commanded prior to the first 2 burns, so among other things the drop tank blocks the low gain antennas.
Quote
They do have more than the three days as the solar panels are extended and sun-facing.
Today's (edit: Just realized that was actually not from today, sorry for the confusion) terse and uninformative statement from roscosmos http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18227 says (machine translation)
Quote
Adjusted analysis of the orbital parameters and energy supply on board showed that these commands must be issued within 2 weeks.
Which suggests that is correct, or at least the official line. In addition, visual observations suggest Phobos-Grunt is not tumbling ( http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0111.html http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0115.html ) , which supports the idea that it could still be maintaining active control.
Quote
However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month if this is a Loss of Mission scenario due to decaying orbit.
I've seen estimates from the end of this month to the end of next month. As we know, these things are uncertain and depend on the configuration of the spacecraft and variability in the atmosphere. Presumably LOM would occur before that, since they wouldn't be able to reach Mars. AFAIK the original launch window only extended to Nov 25th, even before you count the cost of drag, orbital precession etc.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/11/2011 07:57 PM

However, it is expected to re-enter at the end of the month ...

Edit: According to the last 2 elsets (sharply decreasing decay parameter measured in rev/day), re-entry date has been pushed forward back, ie it will occur later(using SatEvo)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 08:06 PM
Quote from: iamlucky13 link=topic=15610.msg828128#msg828128
my post reflected the extreme end of optimism,....... if they are perhaps able to recover the spacecraft but not in time to reach Mars it wouldn't be possible to even consider other missions.
because your first IF in itself borders on miracle, I separate 'miracle' from optimism, I would never for example say I am optimistic that I could win a lottery ticket where odds are 1:10000000 because IMHO such a statement would sound nonsensical. As to your second assertion spacecrafts are built for a concrete missions, they are highly specialized, and it is mpossible to think how such Phobos- Grunt could be reused in Earth orbit (or any orbit outside of Mars) earthly satellites are considered often a 'total loss' if their orbits are slightly off (insurance covers total amount) and PG would still be a junk even if you managed to turn on it's cameras or instruments, I am running out of breath....

I repeat, look at the history of the Hayabusa mission before you call recovery dependent on a miracle. Mission control losing contact for several days during a critical time period was one of the least remarkable of the things that went wrong during this successful mission.

http://planetary.org/blog/article/00002530/

And if you have a satellite intended for a geostationary orbit that ends up high, low, or at a non-zero inclination and unable to move to the proper orbit, it is probably useless. Ground equipment designed to send/receive to a fixed point in space generally can't track wandering spacecraft. You're comparing repurposing a spacecraft that can't even move to one that, for purposes of a hypothetical recovery, can.

There are many NEO's that take much less delta-V to reach than Phobos. It has the basic capability to approach such an object and land.

I'm less clear if sample return is possible. The low downforce on Phobos against which to react digging loads due to a gravity of less than 0.01% that of earth's was already a concern. There was discussion about techniques like using screw anchors or downfiring thrusters during digging, but I've not seen authoritative confirmation any such technique was implemented. A smaller NEO could make digging even more difficult.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 08:07 PM
Thanks guys. What a mess this all is! I miss the days of shuttle, because if one of the orbiter's sneezed, you'd have 15 PRCB presentations and by the second IPR coverage to play with :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 08:12 PM
There are many NEO's that take much less delta-V to reach than Phobos. It has the basic capability to approach such an object and land.

Forget about it. There are very few windows for NEOs even at low delta-v.

That's one of the dirty little secrets in all the talk about human missions to NEOs. Right now the target set is bad. Really small. Gotta do a better survey and find more targets.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/11/2011 08:14 PM
With American probes it seems to be common practice to build a flight vehicle and at least one backup vehicle.  The backup vehicle is kept up-to-date and configured identically to the flight vehicle, assisting in troubleshooting and analysis.  Is this a Russian practice as well?

No, it's not common practice for American missions. There are often flight instrument spares, but there's no backup vehicles. That practice was abandoned in the 1970s. No backup for Cassini, Galileo, Magellan, the MERs, Curiosity, CONTOUR, New Horizons, MRO...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jimvela on 11/11/2011 08:16 PM
With American probes it seems to be common practice to build a flight vehicle and at least one backup vehicle.  The backup vehicle is kept up-to-date and configured identically to the flight vehicle, assisting in troubleshooting and analysis.  Is this a Russian practice as well?

While it is still common practice to build engineering models of subsystems (for example, an EM avionics box might be integrated into a software test bed), it is NOT a common US practice to build a backup vehicle any longer.

There are exceptions (Two MER, for example)

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: jimvela on 11/11/2011 08:18 PM
No backup for Cassini, Galileo, Magellan, the MERs, Curiosity, CONTOUR, New Horizons, MRO...

No backup for Deep Impact, Kepler, WISE, NPP, JWST, SiRTF,......

The only close thing today is cancelled missions that have a bus recycled for a future mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 08:27 PM
Thanks guys. What a mess this all is! I miss the days of shuttle, because if one of the orbiter's sneezed, you'd have 15 PRCB presentations and by the second IPR coverage to play with :)

It almost seems like we had clearer information on the X-37.  ;D

There are many NEO's that take much less delta-V to reach than Phobos. It has the basic capability to approach such an object and land.

Forget about it. There are very few windows for NEOs even at low delta-v.

That's one of the dirty little secrets in all the talk about human missions to NEOs. Right now the target set is bad. Really small. Gotta do a better survey and find more targets.

Are you saying it is definitely not be possible to park the spacecraft in earth-orbit to await a window? I'm having to rely on other's numbers here, but if reaching Phobos takes 7.6 km/s (source (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=20178.msg821920#msg821920)) and some NEO's take only 3-4 km/s, that suggests a lot of potential planning flexibility.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Sparky on 11/11/2011 08:49 PM
I have an admittedly dumb question/idea.

YH1. What sort of maneuvering capability does it have? Could it be turned on inside the truss, and if so, used to slowly reorient, or conceivably adjust the orbit of FG? I realize that this is like using an electric scooter to move a dump truck, but I thought I'd ask.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/11/2011 08:57 PM
YH1. What sort of maneuvering capability does it have? Could it be turned on inside the truss, and if so, used to slowly reorient, or conceivably adjust the orbit of FG? I realize that this is like using an electric scooter to move a dump truck, but I thought I'd ask.
Regardless of maneuvering capability, I would expect any activation of YH1 to require commanding FG first.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/11/2011 09:11 PM

Edit: According to the last 2 elsets (sharply decreasing decay parameter measured in rev/day), re-entry date has been pushed forward back, ie it will occur later(using SatEvo)

I just checked using the latest two TLEs, and SatEvo is showing Jan 3 or 4.  Not too much should be made of that, but it's probably indicative of "end of the year" rather than "end of the month."
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/11/2011 09:23 PM
Source: http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html

"Phobos-Grunt: latest two TLEs suggest manoeuvring or venting"

Or, simply the orbit is being better constrained by more observations. IMHO that's more likely...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: olasek on 11/11/2011 10:26 PM
I repeat, look at the history of the Hayabusa mission before you call recovery dependent on a
This is a complete joke to draw any parallels with that mission. That spacecraft was not DEAD to begin with, that was a very well functioning probe for months. That was also a Japanese technology to begin with, far too more advanced in terms of electronics and overall mission preparation and attention to detail. I repeat it is an utter joke to dream that PG could turn into Hayabusa, even Russian officials acknowledged this problem is not some sort of a software 'glitch' but most likely a serious hardware flaw.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/11/2011 10:48 PM
Source: http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html (http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html)

"Phobos-Grunt: latest two TLEs suggest manoeuvring or venting"

Or, simply the orbit is being better constrained by more observations. IMHO that's more likely...

Don't know that much about orbits ......but looks like this one has changed since yesterday.......she just hit over two hundered miles up over Indoensia,and 216 over auz, then drops like 60 miles.  Hit Alt of 142 over Peru
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 10:51 PM
The new article for Fobos-Grunt, to be specific on the problem and link better to this update thread than the launch article:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/11/russian-engineers-stricken-fobos-grunt-spacecraft/

Took some of William's article on the hardware, summarized where things stand and made it a bit more interesting by noting the NASA interest in crewed missions to Phobos as it tied in nicely.

As pre previous request, if anyone sees something where I've been too liberal with the facts, let me know on here or via PM (to save me the shame ;))
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 10:59 PM
I repeat, look at the history of the Hayabusa mission before you call recovery dependent on a
This is a complete joke to draw any parallels with that mission. That spacecraft was not DEAD to begin with. That was a Japanese technology to begin with, far too more advanced in terms of electronics and overall mission preparation. I repeat it is an utter joke to dream that PG could turn into Hayabusa.


There has been no indications that F-G is dead.

Look, every person on this forum recognizes the odds of Fobos-Grunt being recovered are slim. For all we know, it may in fact be dead.

However, no one on this forum, yourself included, or probably in Russia for that matter, based on their ongoing attempts to contact it, are privy to any information that whatever is wrong with it is irrecoverable or that it is in fact dead.

Regardless, let's get a clear statement of your position so as to avoid going around in circles - do you advocate giving up the probe entirely at this point?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/11/2011 11:05 PM
That spacecraft was not DEAD to begin with.
There's no confirmation that PG is dead either. Hayabusa was out of control and out of communication several times, so there is some parallel. The chances are very slim IMO, but available information doesn't appear to justify declaring PG dead yet.

Speaking of Japanese mission, Nozomi might be another example to consider if control is reestablished without the ability to proceed on the nominal trajectory. An extended cruise + earth flyby like that is probably more viable than trying to go to a NEO.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/11/2011 11:10 PM
As pre previous request, if anyone sees something where I've been too liberal with the facts, let me know on here or via PM (to save me the shame ;))

It looks good to me. I'm in no better position than you, following what other sources have written, but it seems consistent with the discussion so far.

The flexible path tie-in was worked in nicely.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2011 11:14 PM
Nice one! Thanks! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/12/2011 12:22 AM
Article 3 hours old
http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20111112/168621275.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/12/2011 12:26 AM
Can anyone computer expert here judges the possibility of the DST problem? Something like this?

http://datasheets.maxim-ic.com/en/ds/DS12885-DS12C887A.pdf
 (http://datasheets.maxim-ic.com/en/ds/DS12885-DS12C887A.pdf)

Quote
Bit 0: Daylight Saving Enable (DSE). This bit is a
read / write bit that enables two daylight saving adjustments
when DSE is set to 1. On the first Sunday in
April, the time increments from 1:59:59 AM to 3:00:00
AM. On the last Sunday in October when the time first
reaches 1:59:59 AM, it changes to 1:00:00 AM. When
DSE is enabled, the internal logic test for the first / last
Sunday condition at midnight. If the DSE bit is not set
when the test occurs, the daylight saving function does
not operate correctly. These adjustments do not occur
when the DSE bit is 0. This bit is not affected by internal
functions or RESET.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: CitabriaFlyer on 11/12/2011 12:52 AM
Had this mission launched a few years ago (prior to STS-125 after which the shuttle lost 39B and the ability to put two shuttles on pads simultaneously) how difficult would it have been to have mounted a rescue?

Seems like it would be difficult to plan a mission and fly it before this launch window expires.

Seems more likely the spacecraft could have been retrieved, returned to Earth, and flow for the next launch window.

Maybe not a practical topic for discussion on this forum, but fun to think about nonetheless.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 11/12/2011 12:53 AM
Can anyone computer expert here judges the possibility of the DST problem? Something like this?

http://datasheets.maxim-ic.com/en/ds/DS12885-DS12C887A.pdf
 (http://datasheets.maxim-ic.com/en/ds/DS12885-DS12C887A.pdf)

Quote
Bit 0: Daylight Saving Enable (DSE). This bit is a
read / write bit that enables two daylight saving adjustments
when DSE is set to 1. On the first Sunday in
April, the time increments from 1:59:59 AM to 3:00:00
AM. On the last Sunday in October when the time first
reaches 1:59:59 AM, it changes to 1:00:00 AM. When
DSE is enabled, the internal logic test for the first / last
Sunday condition at midnight. If the DSE bit is not set
when the test occurs, the daylight saving function does
not operate correctly. These adjustments do not occur
when the DSE bit is 0. This bit is not affected by internal
functions or RESET.

The change over date was in October so most systems should have sorted themselves out by now.  I suppose there may be a subsystem that is applying a 1 hour correction and say looking for the stars in the wrong place - to prevent this sort of problem the military use GMT through out the year.

If this is sister to the Millennium Bug similar hacks can be used to get round it.  In one organisation the operators told their computers that it was 1998.  The equivalent would be to tell the probe that this month is August.  (Check the effect of the wrong date on the guidance system.)  The date could stay wrong or be corrected on its way to Mars.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 12:54 AM
Can anyone computer expert here judges the possibility of the DST problem? Something like this?
I rate that as zero. There would be no reason to use onboard clocks with any DST adjustment, and sequence development would also be done against some fixed standard like GMT. I guess it's theoretically possible that some higher level confusion could ultimately lead to an incorrect sequence, but there's no evidence to suggest that is the case, and certainly no reason to suspect that over a million other possible errors.

I did see a rumor or joke floating around somewhere (from one of the Russian forums maybe ?) somehow tying this to the fact the Russians decided to stop using DST (they didn't "fall back" this year), but I don't see any reason to give it any credence.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 12:55 AM
The change over date was in October
Not in Russia or the US.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/12/2011 01:46 AM
Had this mission launched a few years ago (prior to STS-125 after which the shuttle lost 39B and the ability to put two shuttles on pads simultaneously) how difficult would it have been to have mounted a rescue?

Seems like it would be difficult to plan a mission and fly it before this launch window expires.

Seems more likely the spacecraft could have been retrieved, returned to Earth, and flow for the next launch window.

Maybe not a practical topic for discussion on this forum, but fun to think about nonetheless.

Let me see if I can help with your question.  Under normal circumstances it took about 2 years to design a Shuttle mission.  This was if everything went well.  We didn't just drop some SRBs on the mobile crawler, slap a tank between then and then run the orbiter up the side.  It took lots of planning, analysis and checking to make sure everything would work right (or at least had a reasonable chance of everything working right).

Don't forget there is crew training.  Not just the learning to fly but the parts about what to do once you got to the objective.

In the case of this supposed "rescue" mission.  What was the objective?  To bring up a new upper stage or to magically fix the spacecraft?  If it is the former, someone would have to make the new upper stage and a cradle for the cargo bay as well as the design safe and arm circuitry - among a whole slew of things.  If it is the latter objective, then how do you fix the spacecraft?  Kind of hard to train for a spacecraft rescue when no one knows what went wrong.  If you're just up there to take a look, that doesn't buy you anything since you would probably not have the right equipment to fix the problem.

I believe if we were repeating a mission with the same orbiter (each orbiter had unique parameters), we could have done it in 2-3 months (see STS-94) but something new and untried - I'd guess about 2 years.

I might argue the supposed cost of a Shuttle flight from a few pages back (the real number depends upon who gets charged and how much of the cargo bay was used), but it isn't relevent because this rescue mission during the same launch window couldn't be done, no matter how much money was available.

So you would have as much chance as the President of the United States and the four Beatles performing the rescue mission themselves as you would being able to launch this so-called rescue mission during the current launch window.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/12/2011 01:47 AM
Had this mission launched a few years ago (prior to STS-125 after which the shuttle lost 39B and the ability to put two shuttles on pads simultaneously) how difficult would it have been to have mounted a rescue?

Seems like it would be difficult to plan a mission and fly it before this launch window expires.

Seems more likely the spacecraft could have been retrieved, returned to Earth, and flow for the next launch window.

Maybe not a practical topic for discussion on this forum, but fun to think about nonetheless.

Read back a few pages. The idea is completely uneconomical. Maybe it would be economical if PG cost twenty times what it did.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/12/2011 02:08 AM
Source: http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html (http://satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0110.html)

"Phobos-Grunt: latest two TLEs suggest manoeuvring or venting"
Or, simply the orbit is being better constrained by more observations. IMHO that's more likely...
Don't know that much about orbits ......but looks like this one has changed since yesterday.......she just hit over two hundered miles up over Indoensia,and 216 over auz, then drops like 60 miles.  Hit Alt of 142 over Peru

The USSTRATCOM TLE orbits referenced above talk about a difference of ~350 m. The mean radius of the Earth is 6371 km, so a change of 0.006% of the semimajor axis (mean distance from Earth's center of mass). That's well within the error for one-day radar-only tracking orbital estimate. So again, that amount of change would be expected from an improvement with more data points in the array they use to fit the orbit with. That doesn't mean that it isn't changing, but it's too early to actually tell.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Lee Jay on 11/12/2011 02:45 AM
A couple things I don't understand.

All the observations from individuals seem to indicate it isn't tumbling.  If that's the case, then it's got to be actively maintaining attitude control.  How could it do that if the control system is in safe mode?

If it is actively controlling itself, do we know if the thruster configuration is such that doing so wouldn't have any net propulsive action?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 11/12/2011 02:48 AM
The change over date was in October
Not in Russia or the US.

The time clock chip may have its own views on that.
"... On the last Sunday in October when the time first reaches 1:59:59 AM, it changes to 1:00:00 AM."

I agree that it is an unlikely cause.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 03:06 AM
All the observations from individuals seem to indicate it isn't tumbling.  If that's the case, then it's got to be actively maintaining attitude control.  How could it do that if the control system is in safe mode?
Safe mode would presumably include basic attitude control to keep the solar panels pointed at the sun, otherwise you'd have very little time to do anything about it.

Alternately, it might be in a relatively stable attitude by chance.
Quote
If it is actively controlling itself, do we know if the thruster configuration is such that doing so wouldn't have any net propulsive action?
I don't think anyone could know this without detailed modeling, and maybe not even then, since the forces acting on the vehicle are not well constrained. "no net propulsive action" is also not certain, ACS activity could explain the apparent altitude gain.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: just-nick on 11/12/2011 03:19 AM
All the observations from individuals seem to indicate it isn't tumbling.  If that's the case, then it's got to be actively maintaining attitude control.  How could it do that if the control system is in safe mode?
Safe mode would presumably include basic attitude control to keep the solar panels pointed at the sun, otherwise you'd have very little time to do anything about it.

Alternately, it might be in a relatively stable attitude by chance.
If indeed it is "dead" and not actively maintaining orientation mightn't it have settled into a gravity gradient configuration, oriented long-axis perpendicular to the surface of the earth?

I usually associate gravity gradient with really long skinny things but didn't the original Explorers unexpected assume this pose (though they were pretty long and skinny!).

--N
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Sparky on 11/12/2011 03:27 AM
YH1. What sort of maneuvering capability does it have? Could it be turned on inside the truss, and if so, used to slowly reorient, or conceivably adjust the orbit of FG? I realize that this is like using an electric scooter to move a dump truck, but I thought I'd ask.
Regardless of maneuvering capability, I would expect any activation of YH1 to require commanding FG first.

Do we know that for sure? (not that we know anything for sure at this point.)

If it could be activated, telemetry from it might give some useful information. Assuming it's batteries are charged, it should be able to stay active for a few hours. (Wiki says a Mars night pass of up to 8.8 hours was expected.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HIPAR on 11/12/2011 03:35 AM
The change over date was in October
Not in Russia or the US.

The time clock chip may have its own views on that.
"... On the last Sunday in October when the time first reaches 1:59:59 AM, it changes to 1:00:00 AM."

I agree that it is an unlikely cause.

I'd be surprised if the spacecraft clock is referenced to any timezone.  Mission elapsed time starting at liftoff would make more sense for synchronizing events.

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Nickolai on 11/12/2011 04:03 AM
YH1. What sort of maneuvering capability does it have? Could it be turned on inside the truss, and if so, used to slowly reorient, or conceivably adjust the orbit of FG? I realize that this is like using an electric scooter to move a dump truck, but I thought I'd ask.
Regardless of maneuvering capability, I would expect any activation of YH1 to require commanding FG first.

Do we know that for sure? (not that we know anything for sure at this point.)

This document: http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378 (posted earlier) states that the return capsule and the Chinese probe are turned on in a standby state AFTER the propulsion system sends the stack onto an interplanetary trajectory. (middle of the second page)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: olasek on 11/12/2011 06:46 AM
So you would have as much chance as the President of the United States and the four Beatles performing the rescue mission themselves as you would being able to launch this so-called rescue mission during the current launch window.
Well said. And NASA would never agree to take cargo as dangerous as PG with 7 tons of toxic propellants, cargo of dubious value, possibly leaking, where no human life is at stake, you would really have to be super naive to think they would even spend a minute considering such a mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: geza on 11/12/2011 07:25 AM
If this mission is lost (I still hope it isn't...) then it must be repeated and try again - after the cause of mishap has been found and corrected. Well, they may want to take a second look on all other steps this s/c are supposed to make...

Assume success. Then, why don't consider a derivative of PG as an element of an international Mars Sample Return? Current planning for MSR calls for three independently launched elements: (1) a rover collecting the sample, (2) Mars Ascent Vehicle delivering the sample to Mars orbit, (3) Earth Return Vehicle that fetches the sample from the ascent element and delivering to Earth. PG would be an excellent starting point for ERV.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jorge on 11/12/2011 07:37 AM
So you would have as much chance as the President of the United States and the four Beatles performing the rescue mission themselves as you would being able to launch this so-called rescue mission during the current launch window.
Well said. And NASA would never agree to take cargo as dangerous as PG with 7 tons of toxic propellants, cargo of dubious value, possibly leaking, where no human life is at stake, you would really have to be super naive to think they would even spend a minute considering such a mission.

Right. They wouldn't agree to do EVA servicing on it, either, since the spacecraft wasn't designed to be safe for it (sharp edges, lack of handholds, would need a training-fidelity NBL mockup, etc). Even postulating a what-if scenario where the shuttle was still flying and Phobos-Grunt were somehow stabilized in an orbit that wouldn't decay for the two years required to plan a shuttle mission, there is no way NASA would do it. It simply wouldn't happen.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/12/2011 07:48 AM
http://www.interfax.ru/society/news.asp?id=216504

Interfax reports that the latest attempts to contact the spacecraft (the attempts made during the night between Friday and Saturday) have failed.

The European communication base will try to contact the spacecraft today. Does this mean that they won't send the commands from Baykonur, or the European base will be just listening... I don't know...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/12/2011 07:49 AM
From the last two elsets (epoch Nov11 19:59:48 and Nov 12 01:59:22), Ph-G's mean motion has started increasing again (ie the orbit semi major axis is decreasing again)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/12/2011 07:57 AM
http://ria.ru/science/20111112/486873708.html

RIA Novosti confirms the story of Interfax.

A source from the space industry also says that the "American colleagues" have confirmed that the spacecraft is currently in Solar orientation and if they find a way to communicate with it... they will be able to reprogram it and send it on the way to Mars...

They are just trying to "break through" the controls of the spacecraft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yamato on 11/12/2011 09:55 AM
As I understand it, the probe is OK, it just can't receive and transceive signals.
Would it help if the probe changed its orientation? Maybe they could use some laser to create artificial sun, on which the probe would reorient (99% its a stupid idea, but I had to ask :))
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/12/2011 11:33 AM
A couple of minutes old...

Difference in opinion in our friend JimO and Russian officials

The spacecraft weighs 14.6 tons, and most of that weight (about 12 tons) is a highly toxic mix of nitrogen teroxide and hydrazine fuel.

The Russians are hoping the fuel will stay liquid when the probe comes down, harmlessly exploding about 50 miles above ground.
But experts like James Oberg, a NASA veteran who now works as a space consultant, think the fuel could freeze, surviving the fiery re-entry and causing an environmental disaster on impact.

He said the probe would become 'the most toxic falling satellite ever', adding: 'What was billed as the heaviest interplanetary probe ever may become one of the heaviest space derelicts to ever fall back to Earth out of control, an unenviable record


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2060443/Phobos-Grunt-Mars-probe-Russias-dream-ends-toxic-nightmare-begins.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/12/2011 11:55 AM
As I understand it, the probe is OK, it just can't receive and transceive signals.
Would it help if the probe changed its orientation? Maybe they could use some laser to create artificial sun, on which the probe would reorient (99% its a stupid idea, but I had to ask :))
It is not correct to say the probe is OK. She suffered some unknown failure between her second pass and the scheduled first burn time. We know she is not talking since, visual observations suggest she's steady and orbital elements show some evolution, most probably from control system trying to do something.
It is not known if she can hear and understand us. Commanding was obviously not planned for such orbit. Attempts are being made nevertheless.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/12/2011 12:35 PM
As I understand it, the probe is OK, it just can't receive and transceive signals.
Would it help if the probe changed its orientation? Maybe they could use some laser to create artificial sun, on which the probe would reorient (99% its a stupid idea, but I had to ask :))

Let's use our automobile analogy again...It's equivalent to saying that the steering wheel is apparently working and the front tires move but the engine is dead, the radio and horn don't seem to work, we don't know if the A/C is good and there are some other unknown problems that keep the car from starting.  I don't think I would describe this automobile as "OK".

It appears there is now data that says the automatic orientation system is working because of the lack of flashing detected by ground observers.  That would then indicate that there is power onboard (at least partial power), the spacecraft can sense its attitude, the attitude control function of the computer systems is working, the propellant system is operational and the attitude control jets are operational.  However, you still don't have any way to tell the spacecraft what to do and its automatic mode isn't going to cause the spacecraft to get any closer to Mars than it already is.  You're also rapidly approaching a point where orbital mechanics will prevent the spacecraft from being able to reach Mars even with a miraculous recovery of all spacecraft functions, diagnosing what happened with the original burn attempt (remember there is still no fix for the original problem that prevented the burn) and then re-program the spacecraft (assuming that the problem can be bypassed) to send it in the right direction with the exact newly calculated change in velocity needed to reach Mars (which is now different from the velocity change needed at the time of the launch).  That's a lot to ask of a spacecraft that has no communications capabilities at the present time.

One thing for sure is that without communications, the spacecraft is going nowhere except back to the Earth.  I wonder if the Fobos-Grunt return capsule will survive re-entry?  Guess it depends on the return capsule's attitude as it comes off the spacecraft body during the re-entry.

Andy
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/12/2011 12:58 PM
Perhaps Russia can use their technology to take dawn their own ailing bird

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1865/1
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space101 on 11/12/2011 01:00 PM
A couple of minutes old...

That's the Daily Mail. One of the most disliked papers in the UK, and tabloid! Please don't link crap like that on this excellent thread.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/12/2011 01:11 PM
A couple of minutes old...

That's the Daily Mail. One of the most disliked papers in the UK, and tabloid! Please don't link crap like that on this excellent thread.
I will take your word on that. I really was only interested in the difference on opinion...

Robert
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/12/2011 01:16 PM
Entry time predictions differ

If Phobos-Grunt can't be revived, its orbit will steadily decay until it plunges back through the atmosphere and crashes. Some reports suggested that the re-entry could come as soon as Nov. 26 but Nicholas Johnson, the head of NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office, favored a later time frame.

"NASA predicts that under current conditions, the re-entry of Phobos-Grunt will likely not occur until next month," he told msnbc.com in an email. "This is dependent upon both the level of solar activity and the attitude/stability of Phobos-Grunt. As the re-entry date nears, the uncertainty will be reduced."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45263287/ns/technology_and_science-space/
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/12/2011 01:22 PM

Let's use our automobile analogy again...It's equivalent to saying that the steering wheel is apparently working and the front tires move but the engine is dead, the radio and horn don't seem to work, we don't know if the A/C is good and there are some other unknown problems that keep the car from starting.  I don't think I would describe this automobile as "OK".


How about a runaway train with an incapacitated engineer and the dead man switch isn't working.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: geza on 11/12/2011 01:58 PM
Assume that they will regain control over the s/c before reentry, but too late for trans-Mars injection. Would it be feasible to put the bird to a higher parking orbit and wait there for the next Mars window two years from now?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: i2000s on 11/12/2011 02:16 PM
Good idea. But you cannot prevent venting of gas and losing of battery life.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Spacenick on 11/12/2011 02:18 PM
Ok, so if continuing the mission successfully even if control could be regained wouldn't it still makes sense to try to get some control?
I mean what kind of control would be needed to at least get the spacecraft from polluting the environment and specifically if the only thing one could do is fire it's engines how dangerous would that be?
I mean if you could fire them till all it's tanks are empty it would surely go in some solar orbit right?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/12/2011 02:20 PM
Difference in opinion in our friend JimO and Russian officials

That about summarizes it, except to add the nuance that we need more information about structural elements to calculate with any reliability the rtemperature evolution of each of the >24 tanks on the vehicle.

Also, I should point out the LAST time my assessment differed from official Russian assessments of a failed Mars probe, in 1996.

The Russians, and the Clinton White House on FEMA advice, advertised that the Mars-96 probe and its hazardous plutonium batteries had fallen safely into the deep Pacific and no further safety measures were needed.

My own orbital analysis suggested an entry significantly east of that point, over the Chile-Bolivia border. This was subsequently supported by eyewitness accounts from Chile, including one from an employee of the Cerro Tololo observatory, of a fireball swarm crossing the coast at precisely the time of the probe's overflight. NORAD checked its IR trackers and released a  statement describing entry along a strip that straddled the coastline [the press release came out at 5 PM on the friday after Thanksgiving -- ever wonder why?]. A NORAD spokesman later agreed that the eyewitness accounts "probably" were of the probe headed inland.

But from Moscow, no warnings to locals, no searches for debris, nothing. And Russian official websites still list the 'safe splash in Pacific' story. Although Lavochkin's site apparently has been scrubbed of ALL reference to the probe that they built.

So yes, on occasion, my views do differ from those of Russian space officials.



Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/12/2011 02:54 PM
Difference in opinion in our friend JimO and Russian officials

That about summarizes it, except to add the nuance that we need more information about structural elements to calculate with any reliability the rtemperature evolution of each of the >24 tanks on the vehicle.

Also, I should point out the LAST time my assessment differed from official Russian assessments of a failed Mars probe, in 1996.

The Russians, and the Clinton White House on FEMA advice, advertised that the Mars-96 probe and its hazardous plutonium batteries had fallen safely into the deep Pacific and no further safety measures were needed.

My own orbital analysis suggested an entry significantly east of that point, over the Chile-Bolivia border. This was subsequently supported by eyewitness accounts from Chile, including one from an employee of the Cerro Tololo observatory, of a fireball swarm crossing the coast at precisely the time of the probe's overflight. NORAD checked its IR trackers and released a  statement describing entry along a strip that straddled the coastline [the press release came out at 5 PM on the friday after Thanksgiving -- ever wonder why?]. A NORAD spokesman later agreed that the eyewitness accounts "probably" were of the probe headed inland.

But from Moscow, no warnings to locals, no searches for debris, nothing. And Russian official websites still list the 'safe splash in Pacific' story. Although Lavochkin's site apparently has been scrubbed of ALL reference to the probe that they built.

So yes, on occasion, my views do differ from those of Russian space officials.




Thanks Jim over the years I have learned to trust your expertise and judgment.  Russias approach seems to be cavalier and the lack of information and concern just reinforces my perception

Regards
Robert
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: InvalidAttitude on 11/12/2011 03:14 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HIPAR on 11/12/2011 03:25 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

Hey, why not?  They do this kind of thing all the time on the Syfy channel.    ;D

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/12/2011 03:51 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

It can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: apace on 11/12/2011 03:53 PM
Why not using the secret X-37B ;-) with the secret remote manipulator to toggle the on/off switch of the rocket engine... Haha...

After 58 Pages no real new facts...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: apace on 11/12/2011 04:04 PM
Report on german technology magazine C't:
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Experte-Russischer-Raumfahrt-fehlen-die-Programmierer-1378106.html

Content: The russians have not enough experienced programmers.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: HIPAR on 11/12/2011 04:06 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

It can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.

But Jim, we just need to bring in Dr. Superchick, who is smarter than Einstein and prettier than Miss Universe, to contrive a 'lashup' that saves the mission  ;)

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: rsnellenberger on 11/12/2011 04:21 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

It's about time that the Chinese stepped up and *did* something with that prototype space station of theirs!  Quit expecting the Russians to take care of every little thing!  Talk about slackers...

/not serious
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: StarGeezer on 11/12/2011 04:29 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

It can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.

So sending an observer is too dangerous then? If we are not developing facilities to respond to 'unexpected' unexpected rescue missions in space, now and in the future, then maybe we should just pack our bags and go home.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/12/2011 04:32 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

Let me give you a serious answer to your not-so-serious question.  While inclination and altitude are important for rendezvous, so are orbital planes.  If you think about it, the Shuttle had and Progress/Soyuz have a very specific launch windows.  They could launch anytime into the right inclination and altitude but the plane (and desired length of rendezvous days) dictate the launch window for ISS.

I'll bet Fobos-Grunt was specifically not launched into an ISS plane since the launch window was dictated by Mars and not ISS.  So not only would the Progress have to undock but it would have to make orbital correction burns to get it to the right orbital plane for subsequent rendezvous and docking.

Also keep in mind that the Progress has hopefully use all of its "optional" propellant to reboost ISS.  The remaining propellant is for a controlled re-entry over the Pacific.  I, for one, would prefer not creating a second problem by now having an uncontrolled Progress coming down as well as an uncontrolled Fobos-Grunt.

Of course, the real answer (as had been stated previously) is that Progress would be no more useful close-in as it was far-away.  It's not a relay system and one form of communications gear does not work for every spacecraft (believe it or not).

Now some other questions which I am shocked (just shocked!) that no one has dared to ask...

1) What if we invented a warp drive and flew it to Fobos-Grunt.  Would the spacecraft then be able to reach Mars?

Answer: No, the force of the warp drive would rip the solar arrays and other appendeges apart.  Also one hydrogen atom would tunnel right through the structure at warp speed.

2) Could we contact a space-faring alien species who could then rescue Fobos-Grunt?

Answer: No, if this hypothetical alien species was contacted and agreed to fly to Earth (why would they?) they would also be smart enough to stay far away from that much hydrazine in an unknown state.

Andy
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/12/2011 04:35 PM
To throw in some weird sci-fi idea, the Progress M-13M should be undocked from the ISS, positioned the same orbit and used as observer/relay craft to PG.

It can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.

So sending an observer is too dangerous then? If we are not developing facilities to respond to 'unexpected' unexpected rescue missions in space, now and in the future, then maybe we should just pack our bags and go home.

First of all we are home (at least I'm assuming that you're on the surface of the Earth somewhere). 

Secondly, provide the money.  With enough funding yes you could have a rescue Soyuz standing-by with all the parts you need.  We could fly both up on an Energiya rocket which would provide plenty of lifting capability.  But, we, as a society have decided that type of funding is not a priority in the space business.  So, those resources are not available.

Of course we would also have to lower our astronaut safety standards or invent a manipulator system that would work with Fobos-Grunt.  But with an infinite amount of funding, this is also do-able.

Of course, a much cheaper alterative would be to properly test the spacecraft and have a second backup craft available.  But no resources for that either.

Andy
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: TJL on 11/12/2011 04:41 PM
With another upper stage booster failure, are there any new concerns regarding tomorrows manned launch?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Andy USA on 11/12/2011 04:41 PM
Keep this long thread on track. Has to be worth posting to post it. No mumbling, as Chris would say :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/12/2011 04:43 PM
With another upper stage booster failure, are there any new concerns regarding tomorrows manned launch?

1. It's not an upperstage, certainly not a stock upperstage.
2. Who says it's a booster failure?
3. It's got absolutely nothing to do with Soyuz and its flight profile.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/12/2011 04:48 PM
With another upper stage booster failure, are there any new concerns regarding tomorrows manned launch?

No, different launch vehicle and upper stage.  Using the automobile analogy again (and my appologies to Toyota), just because Toyota had a steering wheel recall due to a defective part, doesn't mean that all other cars made by GM/Fords/Jaguars/Hondas have that same defect.  Not even all Toyotas have the same defect.

Every launch vehicle and upper stage is unique unless they share a similar heritage.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/12/2011 05:01 PM
New results and analysis from Ted Molczan. Something definitely seems to be going on with the orbit.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0131.html

Summary:
Quote
USSTRATCOM has issued three new TLEs since my comments yesterday on the payload's rate of decay. They confirm that the apparent small increase in orbital altitude is real, and apparently it is continuing.

Prior to the onset of this effect, which became evident in the TLEs issued after epoch day 11314.76789777, the rates of decay of the payload and its rocket body were roughly proportionate to their respective area to mass ratios, as would be expected for bodies encountering nearly identical atmospheric density, due to their nearly identical orbits.

Much interesting analysis snipped, but is recommended reading.

Edit: Fix line lengths
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: renclod on 11/12/2011 05:28 PM

It [Progress] can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.

Even so... if a -generic- agile spacraft could be quickly moved to station keeping with F-G, is there any way it could -in theory- help ?

1/ by obstructing the Sun from the F-G sensor; could force the flight computer to do something new ?

2/ by acting as a (*) reflector/amplifier for radio waves originating from ground ?

edit: (*) passive
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/12/2011 05:46 PM

So sending an observer is too dangerous then? If we are not developing facilities to respond to 'unexpected' unexpected rescue missions in space, now and in the future, then maybe we should just pack our bags and go home.

What observer?  Why?  To waste more money?  No, it is not worth the cost to develop such facilities.  The ROI is not worth it
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Vladi on 11/12/2011 05:57 PM
According to some people in NK (ones that have to do with space, including some Lavochkin guys) the other problem is that the spacecraft uses X band and from all the ground antennas available configured to woek with the craft, the smallest one is 64m wide. This means that it could not possibly track a spacecraft so close and hitting the spacecraft with the beam (it is very narrow from that antenna) is quite difficult and requires precise knowledge of the orbit and a lot of luck. Even if you hit FG with the beam, it will pass out of it quickly, so you cannot get telemetry down or commands up. S band receiver/transmitter would have been a nice addition. Although after so many attempts people are beginning to think that at least once the craft should have got the commands from the ground, so possibly something physically went wrong with the craft and that caused some damage to the comms system.
I have no idea if that makes any sense.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: alk3997 on 11/12/2011 05:58 PM

It [Progress] can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.

Even so... if a -generic- agile spacraft could be quickly moved to station keeping with F-G, is there any way it could -in theory- help ?

1/ by obstructing the Sun from the F-G sensor; could force the flight computer to do something new ?

2/ by acting as a reflector/amplifier for radio waves originating from ground ?



This isn't Star Trek where you can just blindly maneuver to every orbital position.  What propellant are you going to use to get there?  How are you going to maintain your relative position?  How are you going to command a spacecraft whose receiver may be dead (not just antennas obstructed).  Who's going to pay the cost of doing all this work?

Please re-read your append and figure out what each step would buy you.  None of this results in a reasonable chance of a spacecraft going to Mars.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Sparky on 11/12/2011 06:03 PM
New results and analysis from Ted Molczan. Something definitely seems to be going on with the orbit.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2011/0131.html

Summary:
Quote
USSTRATCOM has issued three new TLEs since my comments yesterday on the payload's rate of decay. They confirm that the apparent small increase in orbital altitude is real, and apparently it is continuing.

Prior to the onset of this effect, which became evident in the TLEs issued after epoch day 11314.76789777, the rates of decay of the payload and its rocket body were roughly proportionate to their respective area to mass ratios, as would be expected for bodies encountering nearly identical atmospheric density, due to their nearly identical orbits.


So it seems that this might be some good news, since if it is climbing, this will allow longer windows for comm attempts, and of course, delay it's inevitable entry.

One thing that occurs to me is that Fobos-Grunt is not a particularly symmetrical. If it were venting from anywhere other than near the main engine, wouldn't this cause spinning?

Another is that if this is venting, would it not likely be from the torus-shaped drop tank that was not intended to last more than a few hours?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/12/2011 06:05 PM

It [Progress] can't do the relay task any better unattached from the ISS than attached.  Zero and zero ability.

Even so... if a -generic- agile spacraft could be quickly moved to station keeping with F-G, is there any way it could -in theory- help ?

1/ by obstructing the Sun from the F-G sensor; could force the flight computer to do something new ?

2/ by acting as a reflector/amplifier for radio waves originating from ground ?



What agile vehicle?  And how many of those have X-band relays?  Actually, there is no such capability that exist

US Mars orbiters have an UHF relay for landers.  TDRSS has S and KU.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Jim on 11/12/2011 06:08 PM

1/ by obstructing the Sun from the F-G sensor; could force the flight computer to do something new ?


To make it just aimlessly search for the sun and expend propellant
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/12/2011 06:10 PM
So it seems that this might be some good news, since if it is climbing, this will allow longer windows for comm attempts, and of course, delay it's inevitable entry.

It's gonna be a long while before this modest (if real) altitude increase leads to better comm windows. By that time the Mars launch period will be long over.

One thing that occurs to me is that Fobos-Grunt is not a particularly symmetrical. If it were venting from anywhere other than near the main engine, wouldn't this cause spinning?

Another is that if this is venting, would it not likely be from the torus-shaped drop tank that was not intended to last more than a few hours?

It's not out of the question that it's both slowly venting, but maintaining three axis control (meaning it's alive).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Sparky on 11/12/2011 06:25 PM
It's not out of the question that it's both slowly venting, but maintaining three axis control (meaning it's alive).

So at least it is nearly certain that the vehicle is still alive in some capacity, and not merely retaining it's attitude by chance, as some have suggested.

Since the spacecraft was intended for a long cruise to Mars anyway, is waiting until the next launch window out of the question? Another 18 months *might* allow for the launch of a tug (possibly Progress derived) to push FG into TMI (to make up for propellant losses during that time).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: yamato on 11/12/2011 06:30 PM
maybe some satellite observers could try to make some images, to bring some new light

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Wp-CuJksk

Sparky - developing such a tug would cost more than brand new phobos-grunt
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ugordan on 11/12/2011 06:31 PM
Since the spacecraft was intended for a long cruise to Mars anyway, is waiting until the next launch window out of the question?

Hard to say without knowing how some components (such as the drop tank) would hold up for such an extended period of time. Also, delta-V requirements for the next Mars launch opportunity probably won't be the same.

Quote
Another 18 months *might* allow for the launch of a tug (possibly Progress derived) to push FG into TMI (to make up for propellant losses during that time).

Highly unrealistic.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/12/2011 06:33 PM
So it seems that this might be some good news, since if it is climbing, this will allow longer windows for comm attempts, and of course, delay it's inevitable entry.
According to today's elsets, it's not really "climbing", it is at best maintaining its average altitude, with a steady period of 89.96 minutes
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/12/2011 06:36 PM
I wonder if it means raising the orbit on purpose
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 06:52 PM
According to some people in NK (ones that have to do with space, including some Lavochkin guys) the other problem is that the spacecraft uses X band and from all the ground antennas available configured to woek with the craft, the smallest one is 64m wide.
If this is true, it seems like a case where US or other outside parties could possibly help. NASA, ESA, and JAXA all have X band grounds stations AFAIK.

I wonder if it means raising the orbit on purpose
Seems unlikely something it would decide to do on it's own in safe mode, but possibly a side effect of maintaining attitude.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space Pete on 11/12/2011 06:55 PM
Latest article from AFP:

Quote
"All attempts to obtain telemetric information from the Phobos-Grunt probe and activate its command system have failed. The probe must be considered lost," Interfax quoted a source in the Russian space sector as saying.

The source said Russia's space agency would announce the failure of the mission in the next few days.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gMW4kePeuEcETL4ubT0UUDyRBoww?docId=CNG.cbc3ed79698bb9cab8ad6a92169ceb0c.01
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 06:59 PM
Since the spacecraft was intended for a long cruise to Mars anyway, is waiting until the next launch window out of the question?
A far more likely scenario would be to attempt an earth flyby trajectory like Nozomi. IMO, this should be a real possibility if they regained control, although of course it would require much longer operation in deep space than the original plan.
Quote
Another 18 months *might* allow for the launch of a tug (possibly Progress derived) to push FG into TMI (to make up for propellant losses during that time).
This is absurd. There's no docking mechanism on FG for starters. By most accounts, FGs major fault is insufficient time for testing and analysis, and that's after many years of development including a two year delay. Now you are proposing designing and building an entirely new, unique spacecraft in only two years. It would be nice if people would stop and think for a few minutes before posting their wild ideas...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/12/2011 07:34 PM
The high-speed, 34 m antenna at Goldstone, (the "HSB" antenna) has the fastest tracking and slew rates of any DSN antenna.  Its slew rates (in deg/s) are 3.0 (AZ) 2.0 (EL).  I haven't done the math, but the attached graph seems to imply tracking FG on at least some passes would be within its capabilities.  (Info and graphic from: http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsndocs/810-005/302/302B.pdf.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: iamlucky13 on 11/12/2011 07:47 PM
According to some people in NK (ones that have to do with space, including some Lavochkin guys) the other problem is that the spacecraft uses X band and from all the ground antennas available configured to woek with the craft, the smallest one is 64m wide.
If this is true, it seems like a case where US or other outside parties could possibly help. NASA, ESA, and JAXA all have X band grounds stations AFAIK.

I'm sure there's lots of parties with X-band transmitters that could potentially help. However, there's no detail about what "configured to work with" F-G means.

Also, by "the smallest one is 64m wide," can we assume that means the one and only? How many antennas bigger than 64 meters are there around the world? I know of the DSN 70m dishes. I'm not familiar with whatever antennas are run by the Russians or ESA.

I wonder if it means raising the orbit on purpose
Seems unlikely something it would decide to do on it's own in safe mode, but possibly a side effect of maintaining attitude.

That was my thought, too - net translational components in the attitude control. Or As suggested by the satobs poster who originally pointed out the apparent rise, it could be a leak/venting.

That could be an additional mission concern if the spacecraft is recovered. I presume for an 11-month cruise it is either spin or reaction-wheel stabilized, so there probably was not much fuel budgeted for attitude control. An extended period of fixed attitude control could further reduce the fuel margin.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: joek on 11/12/2011 07:54 PM
According to some people in NK (ones that have to do with space, including some Lavochkin guys) the other problem is that the spacecraft uses X band and from all the ground antennas available configured to woek with the craft, the smallest one is 64m wide. This means that it could not possibly track a spacecraft so close and hitting the spacecraft with the beam (it is very narrow from that antenna) is quite difficult and requires precise knowledge of the orbit and a lot of luck. Even if you hit FG with the beam, it will pass out of it quickly, so you cannot get telemetry down or commands up. S band receiver/transmitter would have been a nice addition. Although after so many attempts people are beginning to think that at least once the craft should have got the commands from the ground, so possibly something physically went wrong with the craft and that caused some damage to the comms system.
I have no idea if that makes any sense.

Thanks; that makes sense and helps explain some of the delay and silence.  The big deep space antennas aren't generally designed to track fast low-flying SC such as FG.  Instead of actively tracking to maintain an extended comm window, it would be more like pointing the dish at where you think the SC will be, wait for it to intersect, and try to get as much up/down during a few seconds as possible (which may not be enough time).

Understandably that takes precise knowledge of the SC orbit and a bit of luck.  Given enough shots you might expect one to get through, but apparently none have.  I wonder how many they've tried?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/12/2011 08:17 PM

Seems unlikely something it would decide to do on it's own in safe mode, but possibly a side effect of maintaining attitude.


I agree. The small orbital changes (which also are giving rise to weird SatEvo decay predictions) are likely to be an unintended effect of something else. I think that the speculations that "something else" is likely to be attitude thrusters or venting are probably correct.  All in all, they don't really provide any reason for optimism about recovering the mission -- though I hope that, somehow, it does rise from the near-dead.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Blackstar on 11/12/2011 08:29 PM

Let's use our automobile analogy again...It's equivalent to saying that the steering wheel is apparently working and the front tires move but the engine is dead, the radio and horn don't seem to work, we don't know if the A/C is good and there are some other unknown problems that keep the car from starting.  I don't think I would describe this automobile as "OK".


How about a runaway train with an incapacitated engineer and the dead man switch isn't working.

How about a runaway train run by a... zombie!

(This is fun!)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: mike-shevchenko on 11/12/2011 08:57 PM
My 5 cents to fantastic rescue scenarios: maybe it is still feasible to give some appropriate portable antenna/codec to the upcoming Soyuz crew to be launched on Monday? The ISS has got plenty of kilowatts, and maybe could reach FG.

About Russian programmers (as being one of them): there are lots of strong ones; the majority of us just can't _afford_ to work for the space industry (being all governmental) for about 1/3 of a commercial job market salary, though many of us have always dreamt of. Give us competitive compensation, and I will be the first one to apply.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 09:14 PM
My 5 cents to fantastic rescue scenarios: maybe it is still feasible to give some appropriate portable antenna/codec to the upcoming Soyuz crew to be launched on Monday? The ISS has got plenty of kilowatts, and maybe could reach FG.
Sigh. No chance.
1) design + build + test the equipment in a weekend. It needs to be installed on the outside of the station, so there's no way it's off the shelf.
2) Plan and carry out an EVA to install it.

Once that's done, ISS is at very similar inclination to FG but a different plane, so you still have quick encounters like a ground station.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: manboy on 11/12/2011 10:55 PM
Latest article from AFP:

Quote
"All attempts to obtain telemetric information from the Phobos-Grunt probe and activate its command system have failed. The probe must be considered lost," Interfax quoted a source in the Russian space sector as saying.

The source said Russia's space agency would announce the failure of the mission in the next few days.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gMW4kePeuEcETL4ubT0UUDyRBoww?docId=CNG.cbc3ed79698bb9cab8ad6a92169ceb0c.01
I was really looking forward to this mission. Here's hoping re-entry doesn't occur over any populated areas.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/12/2011 11:05 PM
Quote
"All attempts to obtain telemetric information from the Phobos-Grunt probe and activate its command system have failed. The probe must be considered lost," Interfax quoted a source in the Russian space sector as saying.

The source said Russia's space agency would announce the failure of the mission in the next few days.

Fortunately this is not correct. The attempts continue, the hope is still with operators and designers of FG, but the situation is difficult.

They use one or two 12-meters X-band antennae located at Baikonur and Medvezhyi Ozera (aka Bear Lakes). In theory, these cannot follow FG due to slow slew rate. But there could be passes and modes when commanding is possible.

Small orbital changes are probably the side effect of PM engines firings to keep the attitude. At least it's the current thinking.

Once more I advise you to discard all agencies reports unless they have a signed quote, or extraordinary level of details, or being the final official report.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/12/2011 11:17 PM
By the way, extremely interesting article about the probe's control and communication system, however it is in Russian and does not describe the final configuration.
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12378

Well, it differs in the number of orbit corrections.
But I hope it is similar in part of communications on LEO at least before the 1st engine burn.
Word is that the final choice of two-burn departure vs. three-burn is the only error in it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: sdsds on 11/12/2011 11:20 PM
They use one or two 12-meters X-band antennae located at Baikonur and Medvezhyi Ozera (aka Bear Lakes). In theory, these cannot follow FG due to slow slew rate. But there could be passes and modes when commanding is possible.

It would be informative to compare the capabilities of these antennae with those used by the DSN.  It appears the DSS 24 BWG antenna has a mode which provides 18.2 kW of power for X-band uplink, though that antenna is also hampered by a slow slew rate.  (I can't find evidence of the DSS 27 HSB high speed antenna supporting X-band.  Sigh.)

These are 34-meter diameter antennae.  How do their transmit power compare with the antennae at Baikonur and Medvezhyi Ozera?

FWIW http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsndocs/810-005/104/104F.pdf provides what looks to be an up to date description of 34-m BWG Stations Telecommunications Interfaces.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: klausd on 11/12/2011 11:21 PM

Did we have that one? watch 3min and 1 sec... failed burn?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HELyuzhNrgg
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 11:28 PM
They use one or two 12-meters X-band antennae located at Baikonur and Medvezhyi Ozera (aka Bear Lakes). In theory, these cannot follow FG due to slow slew rate. But there could be passes and modes when commanding is possible.
Thanks for this. Do you know if they receive any transmission or telemetry in these passes ? I would expect safe mode should broadcast something ?

Quote
Once more I advise you to discard all agencies reports unless they have a signed quote, or extraordinary level of details, or being the final official report.
Very sound advice!
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: i2000s on 11/12/2011 11:33 PM

Did we have that one? watch 3min and 1 sec... failed burn?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HELyuzhNrgg
Do you believe it?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: klausd on 11/12/2011 11:40 PM

Look @ the upload time. It could be true. A Fake, just to baffle you, would have been uploaded later. The title of a youtube video can be changed any time.

And i know of a guy in Rio who had linked a livestream on http://www.satview.org to watch for fobos-grunt.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Liss on 11/12/2011 11:43 PM
I would expect safe mode should broadcast something ?

We would expect too. Life would be much better if FG did. Listening resulted in nothing (as of Nov 12, 16:00 UTC). Commanding is being made to try to switch transmitters on.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/12/2011 11:50 PM

Look @ the upload time. It could be true. A Fake, just to baffle you, would have been uploaded later. The title of a youtube video can be changed any time.

And i know of a guy in Rio who had linked a livestream on http://www.satview.org to watch for fobos-grunt.

All I am seeing at 3:01 is is going behind a telephone pole ... Can someone better explain?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: klausd on 11/12/2011 11:53 PM

Hm, you are right.   :-\
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/12/2011 11:58 PM

Look @ the upload time. It could be true. A Fake, just to baffle you, would have been uploaded later. The title of a youtube video can be changed any time.

And i know of a guy in Rio who had linked a livestream on http://www.satview.org to watch for fobos-grunt.
Let's say it's real, what does it show ? I see a point of light going in and out of focus, and then fades out around 3:00, which would be consistent with no burn taking place, and PG eventually going into eclipse. Or being eclipsed by something local such as a telephone pole, but to me it fades out a bit slow for that. He picks something up at the end but that looks like a light to me.

Looking at the maps here: http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=312&L=2 this appears consistent with expectation for an observer in Sao Palo, although of course without any reference points, we can't say.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/13/2011 01:04 AM

Hm, you are right.   :-\

For anything more than an aborted engine start I think we would be seeing more in the two TLE's. I was hoping for a flash, or sudden brightening in the video, I think this video actually was posted several pages back the night of the launch (or soon there-after).
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Guy on 11/13/2011 01:31 AM
That is quite obviously an object in the foreground that it goes behind, being that you can see it in the video.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: i2000s on 11/13/2011 01:38 AM

Look @ the upload time. It could be true. A Fake, just to baffle you, would have been uploaded later. The title of a youtube video can be changed any time.

And i know of a guy in Rio who had linked a livestream on http://www.satview.org to watch for fobos-grunt.
Let's say it's real, what does it show ? I see a point of light going in and out of focus, and then fades out around 3:00, which would be consistent with no burn taking place, and PG eventually going into eclipse. Or being eclipsed by something local such as a telephone pole, but to me it fades out a bit slow for that. He picks something up at the end but that looks like a light to me.

Looking at the maps here: http://phobos.cosmos.ru/index.php?id=312&L=2 this appears consistent with expectation for an observer in Sao Palo, although of course without any reference points, we can't say.
I though it is this: before 3:01, the engine is burning; after 3:01, the engine is turned off?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: hop on 11/13/2011 02:13 AM
I though it is this: before 3:01, the engine is burning; after 3:01, the engine is turned off?
If it had burned for several minutes, it wouldn't have stayed in the same orbit as the Zenit stage.

That is quite obviously an object in the foreground that it goes behind, being that you can see it in the video.
You're right, cranking the brightness up on my monitor it's quite obvious.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Andy USA on 11/13/2011 04:07 AM
Just so everyone is aware, as much as it's obvious. Any posts which are not worthy of this thread should be reported. Anyone who posts a complaint that some posts are not up to the usual quality standards of NSF is creating twice the problem.

Chris will be starting a new thread specific to the continued troubleshooting on Sunday, which will also allow for the new thread to condense and copy over the  key information which will take is forward, without people having to look through 62 pages on this thread, which will only be locked, it will still be readable.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Prober on 11/13/2011 04:50 AM
Difference in opinion in our friend JimO and Russian officials

That about summarizes it, except to add the nuance that we need more information about structural elements to calculate with any reliability the rtemperature evolution of each of the >24 tanks on the vehicle.

Also, I should point out the LAST time my assessment differed from official Russian assessments of a failed Mars probe, in 1996.

The Russians, and the Clinton White House on FEMA advice, advertised that the Mars-96 probe and its hazardous plutonium batteries had fallen safely into the deep Pacific and no further safety measures were needed.

My own orbital analysis suggested an entry significantly east of that point, over the Chile-Bolivia border. This was subsequently supported by eyewitness accounts from Chile, including one from an employee of the Cerro Tololo observatory, of a fireball swarm crossing the coast at precisely the time of the probe's overflight. NORAD checked its IR trackers and released a  statement describing entry along a strip that straddled the coastline [the press release came out at 5 PM on the friday after Thanksgiving -- ever wonder why?]. A NORAD spokesman later agreed that the eyewitness accounts "probably" were of the probe headed inland.

But from Moscow, no warnings to locals, no searches for debris, nothing. And Russian official websites still list the 'safe splash in Pacific' story. Although Lavochkin's site apparently has been scrubbed of ALL reference to the probe that they built.

So yes, on occasion, my views do differ from those of Russian space officials.




Thanks Jim over the years I have learned to trust your expertise and judgment.  Russias approach seems to be cavalier and the lack of information and concern just reinforces my perception

Regards
Robert


Jim is gaining new respect with alot of readers.  Just don't stop the truth.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/13/2011 07:30 AM
Novosti-Kosmonavtiki (forum) reports that the apogee of the orbit has been raised from 311 to 349 kms... This leads some people think that the spacecraft is actually being commanded, and it's not a side-effect like venting
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: geza on 11/13/2011 07:40 AM
Do you mean intentionally commanded from Earth? Or just that the computer of unknown state does command some maneuver by unknown reason?
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/13/2011 07:40 AM
No. Nothing mentioned.. Just pure speculation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/13/2011 08:11 AM
Novosti-Kosmonavtiki (forum) reports that the apogee of the orbit has been raised from 311 to 349 kms... This leads some people think that the spacecraft is actually being commanded, and it's not a side-effect like venting
Well, sticking to the elsets epochs, I don't see any apogee raise:

epoch                      apogee (km)    perigee (km)
13/11/2011 01:57        335.3        207.8
13/11/2011 00:27        335.7        207.5
12/11/2011 19:58        336.3        207.7
12/11/2011 09:28        337.5        207.1
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/13/2011 12:51 PM
Or are they comparing the apogees (okay what is the correct plural here) of the spent second stage and Phobos-Grunt?

Since the spent stage is empty and less dense, it's apogee is dropping much faster than the fully loaded, dense, venting Phobos-Grunt.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/13/2011 02:07 PM
Apogee/perigee chart with latest data at this time
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: JimO on 11/13/2011 02:12 PM
The question I want answered by interplanetary navigators isn't when the generic window to Mars closes -- we already know that -- but when the inexorably planar shift [~6 degrees per day] of the Phobos-Grunt parking orbit takes the vehicle too far out of plane to reach the required departure asymptote for the trans-Mars insertion burn, even with a plane change maneuver wrapped into the escape velocity maneuvers.

If that time hasn't already passed, and the Russian Space Agency just isn't telling us.

The deliberate Roskosmos policy of silence on all of these issues is very bad preparation for them expecting to be trusted during future assertions about the hazards of the craft's random fall back to Earth, assuming any recovery -- or deliberate deorbit, which may be the last remaining hope -- becomes possible.

Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/13/2011 02:32 PM
the inexorably planar shift [~6 degrees per day] of the Phobos-Grunt parking orbit
Indeed, it has already veered 24 degrees since early Nov 9...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: swervin on 11/13/2011 02:43 PM
Novosti-Kosmonavtiki (forum) reports that the apogee of the orbit has been raised from 311 to 349 kms... This leads some people think that the spacecraft is actually being commanded, and it's not a side-effect like venting

Svetoslav, keep us posted with what the Russian language news services are saying!! Thanks man.

Nick
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/13/2011 02:53 PM
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/content/news.shtml

The Russian interplanetary probe Phobos-Grunt is able to correct its orbit using its own engines, says Igor Lisov, an editor of Novosti Kosmonavtika.

A source from the space industry has informed RIA Novosti that during the last three days the height of the apogei has been lowered to 6.5 kilometers, while the height of the perigee (which had to lower too), had risen to a kilometer due to unknown reason.

The observed data is best explained bu the fact the probe keeps its own orientation due to periodic activation of the engine. This is not something that's commanded from Earth - Phobos-Grunt lives its own life. But it cannot talk.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: DFSL on 11/13/2011 03:14 PM
I just registered to say I respectfully disagree with the view that Mr. Oberg is a truthful and unbiased "analyst". The articles I read from him online (Certainly not in this forum) are redacted in a way that makes me think there is a small amount of bad faith going on about the soviet and later russian programs in his conclusions. I'm talking about weasel words and hawkish recommendations on how to deal with the dissolute russians, that probably reflects more than their than evident problems. They are not neutral and I suspect a ideological bias rooted in the Cold War era, tainting MR. Oberg's analysis.

Cheers from Argentina, people. I'm sure this post will get "moderated" (Erased, redacted) in no time, but let me say you all are my prime source about space projects and particularly launch vehicles. Keep the good work.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: lbiderman on 11/13/2011 03:45 PM
I just registered to say I respectfully disagree with the view that Mr. Oberg is a truthful and unbiased "analyst". The articles I read from him online (Certainly not in this forum) are redacted in a way that makes me think there is a small amount of bad faith going on about the soviet and later russian programs in his conclusions. I'm talking about weasel words and hawkish recommendations on how to deal with the dissolute russians, that probably reflects more than their than evident problems. They are not neutral and I suspect a ideological bias rooted in the Cold War era, tainting MR. Oberg's analysis.

Cheers from Argentina, people. I'm sure this post will get "moderated" (Erased, redacted) in no time, but let me say you all are my prime source about space projects and particularly launch vehicles. Keep the good work.

Hello compatriot! I'll write this in English since is the language here. Let me say I don't see the bias you mention. But even if there was any, Roskosmos isn't doing anything to prove him wrong. The amount of organizational failures involve in this situation is unbelievable. I don't expect a live tweet from mission control, but at least something official. The command and control for this mission was disastrous, and the fact that the probe isn't prepared to talk to mission control in this phase (of course, this from rumors presented in this thread) is almost hilarious. It is not about money, let me stress that: both the CONAE and INVAP, which I imagine know very well, function with a very thigh budget, but every mission they plan has a excellent project. It might fail, no one is immune to that, but they take their time to try to cover all the bases. Here it seems that Roskosmos simply depended on a lucky break, and is very difficult to get one of those in this business if you leave to many things to chance.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/13/2011 03:49 PM
DFSL, I suggest you read back a few pages about Mars '96. The Russians then covered the landing point to avoid any liability for damage (to your fellow South Americans). Phobos-Grunt is potentially a much more damaging spacecraft, and its orbit crosses just about every population center on the planet. It is therefore in the interest of everybody, worldwide, to know exactly what the probably is that this thing will strike Earth and where. JimO can be a bit hyperbolic (most dangerous satellite EVAR!!!1!!!), if it raises awareness, it's worth it.

There are still Cold War mindsets out there, but in this case (IMHO) they are chiefly coming from Russian space official desperate to cover up any failure. Were it not for the Internet (and therefore Russians talking unofficially), would we even know that there'd been a failure? (In the bad old days, Russia would have just given the spacecraft a Kosmos number and claim it was supposed to be a LEO mission all along.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: input~2 on 11/13/2011 04:23 PM
Using the 3 elsets published thus far for to-day and SatEvo with a 10.7cm mean solar radio flux of 160 (taken from NWRA forecast (http://www.nwra.com/spawx/27do.html)), re-entry could occur between 3 and 13 January 2012
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/13/2011 04:26 PM

A source from the space industry has informed RIA Novosti that during the last three days the height of the apogei has been lowered to 6.5 kilometers, while the height of the perigee (which had to lower too), had risen to a kilometer due to unknown reason.


Simone Corbellini has plotted the apogee and perigee heights at http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/Phobos.html?q=phobos (about a third of the way down the page).  I assume the data comes from Space Track, i.e., the US space surveillance system.

Edit: On the apogee, Corbellini's plot shows only minor fluctuations about the time the perigee increased. So I'd say the apogee has mostly decreased due to drag.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/13/2011 05:29 PM

To add another graph to the mix, I've plotted Phobos-Grunt's "mean altitude", which is the semimajor axis minus a conventional value for the radius of the earth (6371 km). This has the advantage that it is an indicator of the total energy in the orbit and allows drag effects to be seen fairly directly. What it shows is that between about UTC days 314.75 and 316.50 of 2011 something was acting against the normal drag that affected the satellite before and after that interval.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: simonbp on 11/13/2011 06:26 PM
Ah, thanks Chile! I had thought of doing that myself, but you saved me the effort!

I don't know if I believe that there's really a turnaround at that kink. All you need to do is remove a single point, and the story changes to "high-drag, low-drag, high drag". This would make sense if the spacecraft has lost attitude control and is just very slowly tumbling (and thus oscillating between high and low drag states). Considering that one little increase is of the same size as the scatter of the clear deceasing points, I think that's statistically safe assumption.

So again, I'm not convinced the spacecraft has ever made a thruster burn. It's likely just stuck in the same software loop it was right after insertion, waiting for some sensor input that will never come...
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: John Santos on 11/13/2011 06:47 PM
the inexorably planar shift [~6 degrees per day] of the Phobos-Grunt parking orbit
Indeed, it has already veered 24 degrees since early Nov 9...

From the original ground track, it appears the plan was to perform the two  Fregat burns while approaching the equator from the south, that is on an ascending node.  Is it possible that there would be a "descending node" opportunity when the orbital plane has shifted 180 degrees (i.e. on or about Dec 4?)  Of course, this assumes that control is recovered, PB is still alive, so much energy hasn't been lost to atmospheric drag by that time that it can no longer reach Mars, and that the planar shift continues at 6 degrees per day.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Space Pete on 11/13/2011 07:34 PM
Very interesting!

From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 13/11/2011.

Phobos-Grunt Visibility:
The ISS crew was notified of viewing/photographing opportunities for the stranded Phobos-Grunt Mars probe from the DC-1 VL-1 and MRM-2 windows as it crossed the ISS trajectory this morning at 4:06:16 AM GMT and 4:52 AM GMT.
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/13/2011 07:43 PM
Very interesting!

From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 13/11/2011.

Phobos-Grunt Visibility:
The ISS crew was notified of viewing/photographing opportunities for the stranded Phobos-Grunt Mars probe from the DC-1 VL-1 and MRM-2 windows as it crossed the ISS trajectory this morning at 4:06:16 AM GMT and 4:52 AM GMT.
Thanks Pete,
It would be nice to see some pics

Robert
Title: Re: LIVE: Zenit-2SB launch with Phobos-Grunt - November 8, 2011
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/13/2011 08:14 PM
New master thread for updates:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27289.0