Author Topic: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.  (Read 100006 times)

Offline John44

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3812
  • Netherlands
    • space-multimedia
  • Liked: 151
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #200 on: 02/24/2009 12:43 PM »
 Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Anomaly Press Briefing
http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4694

backup link

space-multimedia.6x.to
« Last Edit: 02/25/2009 08:02 AM by John44 »

Offline cabbage

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #201 on: 02/24/2009 12:50 PM »
Vehicle would have gained some delta V with a nominal loss of the fairing. Thus could not get into orbit.

I got the impression from the briefing that the mass of the fairing was a quite significant proportion of the mass of the combined vehicle at theat point, so the remaining thrust would have had to accelerate significantly more mass than intended, resulting in a significantly lower (suborbital as we now know) velocity at cutoff.

Offline elmarko

  • I am very curious about THIS little conundrum
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1295
  • Preston, UK
    • ElMarko.org
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #202 on: 02/24/2009 12:53 PM »
Vehicle would have gained some delta V with a nominal loss of the fairing. Thus could not get into orbit.

I got the impression from the briefing that the mass of the fairing was a quite significant proportion of the mass of the combined vehicle at theat point, so the remaining thrust would have had to accelerate significantly more mass than intended, resulting in a significantly lower (suborbital as we now know) velocity at cutoff.

Forgive me, but isn't that essentially what Chris was saying anyway?

Offline cabbage

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #203 on: 02/24/2009 12:57 PM »
I was trying to amplify that "some delta V" might actually be a large part of the required delta V - in other words it wouldn't be close to reaching orbit.

Offline Launch Fan

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1193
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #204 on: 02/24/2009 01:01 PM »
I was trying to amplify that "some delta V" might actually be a large part of the required delta V - in other words it wouldn't be close to reaching orbit.

Yes, Chris mentioned that already.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22307
  • Liked: 581
  • Likes Given: 239
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #205 on: 02/24/2009 01:39 PM »
Fairing sizes from Taurus XL fact sheet.  Lets just fix the issue so that we can fly Glory successfully later:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Taurus_fact.pdf

"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6633
  • Liked: 899
  • Likes Given: 136
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #206 on: 02/24/2009 01:50 PM »
Not the nicest news to wake up to, but thanks for the excellent coverage.

At this very early stage, it doesn't sound like the easiest failure to diagnose.  With all signals sent through three redundant paths, it may not be all that simple figure out what went wrong with the (now splashed) hardware.  Best of luck to the investigation team!

Offline Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22307
  • Liked: 581
  • Likes Given: 239
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #207 on: 02/24/2009 01:53 PM »
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline Ford Mustang

  • Live Coverage Editor
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12192
  • Virginia
    • Astro95Media
  • Liked: 68
  • Likes Given: 28
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #208 on: 02/24/2009 01:57 PM »
RELEASE: 09-039

NASA'S LAUNCH OF CARBON-SEEKING SATELLITE IS UNSUCCESSFUL

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to
reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff Tuesday from California's
Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch
vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that
encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

A Mishap Investigation Board will be immediately convened to determine
the cause of the launch failure.

For more information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

Offline Nick L.

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3860
  • A unique little aerospace company
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #209 on: 02/24/2009 02:00 PM »
Aww man! :( Well at least it seems like it's pretty clear what happened, not like some of the other failures where we're all left in the dark.

When was the last time a fairing failed to sep like this?

 
"Now you may leave here for four days in space, but when you return it's the same old place..."

Offline ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7334
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1501
  • Likes Given: 320
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #210 on: 02/24/2009 02:06 PM »
Well at least it seems like it's pretty clear what happened, not like some of the other failures where we're all left in the dark.

Yes, it's pretty clear what happened, but it's not so clear why it happened. As Lee Jay points out, this might not be so trivial to troubleshoot.

Offline antonioe

  • PONTIFEX MAXIMVS
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1077
  • Virginia is for (space) lovers
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #211 on: 02/24/2009 02:15 PM »
First failure under the watch of NASA LSP
Feel sorry for Antonio.

Well, don't.  This comes with the terrritory.  You work hard to prevent days like today, but you have to be ready to accept them, and, most importantly, recover from and learn from every failure.

That said, it is a time to remember how hard this business is, how humble one has to be, and how vigilant one has to be.  There is no room in this business for complacency.
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Antares

  • ABO^2
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5191
  • Done arguing with amateurs
  • Liked: 342
  • Likes Given: 211
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #212 on: 02/24/2009 02:16 PM »
This is the type of thing that you solve inductively.  You eliminate branches (fault tree) and bones (fishbone) and end up with certain ones that you don't have the evidence to eliminate.  This will be the path unless there's a smoking gun in telemetry, which is typically known pretty quickly.

The spaceflight ordnance world has been a bogeyman for a few years now.  Too much consolidation, too much turnover, not enough business to keep the good guys around.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline marsavian

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3216
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #213 on: 02/24/2009 02:37 PM »
First failure under the watch of NASA LSP
Feel sorry for Antonio.

Well, don't.  This comes with the terrritory.  You work hard to prevent days like today, but you have to be ready to accept them, and, most importantly, recover from and learn from every failure.

That said, it is a time to remember how hard this business is, how humble one has to be, and how vigilant one has to be.  There is no room in this business for complacency.

Trying to see a crumb of comfort here but will a successful analysis of the problem just make Taurus II a bit more reliable from the start, i.e. is it to use the same separation technique ?

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6633
  • Liked: 899
  • Likes Given: 136
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #214 on: 02/24/2009 02:39 PM »
This is the type of thing that you solve inductively.  You eliminate branches (fault tree) and bones (fishbone) and end up with certain ones that you don't have the evidence to eliminate.  This will be the path unless there's a smoking gun in telemetry, which is typically known pretty quickly.

The spaceflight ordnance world has been a bogeyman for a few years now.  Too much consolidation, too much turnover, not enough business to keep the good guys around.

I'm not going to argue with that, but we should acknowledge that we have no way to know if the ordinance itself was the problem here or not.

Offline antonioe

  • PONTIFEX MAXIMVS
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1077
  • Virginia is for (space) lovers
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #215 on: 02/24/2009 02:44 PM »
Trying to see a crumb of comfort here but will a successful analysis of the problem just make Taurus II a bit more reliable from the start, i.e. is it to use the same separation technique ?
ANYTHING you learn will make the next flight and the next rocket more reliable.  I'm not sure we know that the problem was in the separation technique, or in something a lot more mundane, such as a connector or (less mundane) a Safe&Arm.

As somebody said earlier, still a lot of bones in the herringbone.
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Antares

  • ABO^2
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5191
  • Done arguing with amateurs
  • Liked: 342
  • Likes Given: 211
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #216 on: 02/24/2009 02:44 PM »
I'm not going to argue with that, but we should acknowledge that we have no way to know if the ordinance itself was the problem here or not.

No doubt.  PS, ordnance explodes.  Ordinance is what sends you to jail if you make something explode.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6633
  • Liked: 899
  • Likes Given: 136
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #217 on: 02/24/2009 02:45 PM »
I'm not going to argue with that, but we should acknowledge that we have no way to know if the ordinance itself was the problem here or not.

No doubt.  PS, ordnance explodes.  Ordinance is what sends you to jail if you make something explode.

Sorry.   ;)

Offline nomadd22

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 170
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #218 on: 02/24/2009 02:48 PM »
 You're always pushing the edge trying to keep pounds and dollars to a minimum. It's hard to hit the perfect point every time. It's part of development. Maybe the fairing sep mechanism will wind up a few pounds or few dollars more, but it will work perfectly next time if they do it right. And, I'm betting Orbital nails it.
 Another rocket whose name I can't remember weighs a few pounds more because aluminum was replaced by stainless and baffles were added.
 Not everybody has the luxury of a 10 billion dollar development budget, and experience is the only way they'll find some things.

Offline JSC Phil

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 209
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #219 on: 02/24/2009 03:19 PM »

Well, don't.  This comes with the terrritory.  You work hard to prevent days like today, but you have to be ready to accept them, and, most importantly, recover from and learn from every failure.

That said, it is a time to remember how hard this business is, how humble one has to be, and how vigilant one has to be.  There is no room in this business for complacency.



ANYTHING you learn will make the next flight and the next rocket more reliable. 

Wise words, take note people.

Tags: