Author Topic: Proton-M Failure Reaction and Discussion Thread - July 2, 2013  (Read 141026 times)

Offline R7

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Is the brown venting in the captures "normal" for Proton? Appears to originate from between two boosters. Easier to spot if you look the Russian news video when the LV starts to roll. The leak moved from one side to the other from image 1 to image 2 because of the rolling. It stops briefly between images 2 and 3.

The last image morbidly reminded quote from xkcd strip:

If it [nozzles] start pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today.


Glad no one got hurt!
« Last Edit: 07/02/2013 10:11 AM by R7 »
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline spectre9

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How about watching other nominal launches of Proton to see the oxidizer dump?

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Okay, let's talk about the DM06 upper stage and the payload.  We see it break loose from the booster in the last few seconds of flight and tumble off to one side.  Whilst the PLF breaks up, the U/S does not explode or break up.  I can see at least one cylindrical structure that retains its shape until it is out of shot.

Do we know for sure if the upper stage broke up on the way down? In either case, what would have happened to its propellent, which had not ignited and thus must be considered to be in its toxic stored form?
« Last Edit: 07/02/2013 10:37 AM by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline owais.usmani

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Medvedev has instructed to form a list of people responsible. The head-rolling about to start:

http://ria.ru/society/20130702/947065666.html

http://ria.ru/science/20130702/947048816.html

Offline owais.usmani

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Do we know for sure if the upper stage broke up on the way down? In either case, what would have happened to its propellent, which had not ignited and thus must be considered to be in its toxic stored form?

Doesn't the Block-D uses Kerosene/LOX as fuel, instead of hydrazine?

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Medvedev has instructed to form a list of people responsible. The head-rolling about to start:

Back in the bad old days, 'responsibility' would be decided on the basis of who was most loudly denounced as incompetent/a foreign agent by the largest number of their colleagues.  Fortunately, Russia no longer works like that.  That said, there is (rightfully) still a very low tolerance for those who may have caused the country a public embarrassment, especially in relation a valuable commercial resource and foreign currency earner like Proton-M.
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Offline douglas100

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That was indeed a spectacular failure. I'm glad there appear to be no casualties.

Agree with what Woods said. There was quite a lot of over reaction earlier. The immediate ground concern is cleanup and whether the second Proton complex was damaged.

@ Ben: I don't think the blok DM is a problem in the general context of this accident. It doesn't seem credible that it had anything to do with causing the failure as reported by RIA Novosti. As far as contamination is concerned from the blok DM, a few tons of unburned kerosene is of little concern when they have to deal with the aftermath of hundreds of tons of toxic propellants which ignited on contact as soon as the tanks ruptured.
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Offline Moskit

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Medvedev has instructed to form a list of people responsible.

Once again the first article is journalist sensationalism - title (sentence you wrote) is from RIA, not what Medvedev said.

Medvedev instructed vice-premier Rogozin to form a comittee that will establish failure reasons and propose list of corrections to avoid similar problems. He also asked to show results of inspection in all involved parties.

Eventually this will probably end in some measures, whether dismisals or other remains to be seen.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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RIA Novosti reported the location of impact: it is 1.5 south-east km from the launch site (#81).
The impact /explosion was quite close to the LC #200 which is used for commercial launches of Proton.

From the map on the Live thread (follow the quote link), it looks like the vehicle came down within a few hundred meters of pad 200, tops.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ouch.
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Offline patchfree

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In my opinion (not a specialist) the issue arised from a fault either in the attitude control system or in the motors gimbal system (or from the motors themselves: but video seems to show normal motors working).
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Offline Halidon

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Wow, what a mess. Very very glad nobody was hurt, including the spectators in that video who all need fresh underwear now.

Offline clongton

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Don’t be so quick to call for the retirement of the Proton. It has had 2 launch vehicle failures in 119 flights, which is not too terribly different than 2 launch vehicle failures in 135 flights for Shuttle.  And don’t say anything like “but they are 2 entirely different kinds of vehicles” because when the launch sequencer reaches zero on any vehicle, it is the entire launch system that is igniting. Proton is not “just” a rocket, it is a launch system that has a very respectable mission history, including Zarya, the 1st module of the ISS. You may not like what it uses for propellants but there is no denying that it works, and works well.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2013 12:22 PM by clongton »
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Offline kevin-rf

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@ Ben: I don't think the blok DM is a problem in the general context of this accident. It doesn't seem credible that it had anything to do with causing the failure as reported by RIA Novosti. As far as contamination is concerned from the blok DM, a few tons of unburned kerosene is of little concern when they have to deal with the aftermath of hundreds of tons of toxic propellants which ignited on contact as soon as the tanks ruptured.

Are you sure it is unburned, when they zoom out in the video after the failure there is a second smaller smoking crater. Is that from the BM or one of the tanks that tore off when the vehicle came apart just before impact?

A mess to clean up either way.
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Offline chewi

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Another amateur video from a remote location


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Wow, you can really see the severe gimballing in this video!

Offline douglas100

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Are you sure it is unburned, when they zoom out in the video after the failure there is a second smaller smoking crater...

I don't know if it burned or not. I was replying to Ben's comment that the DM seemed intact. But my point was that the toxicity of kerosene (which is used in the DM, as opposed to the hypergols in the lower stages) is pretty small.

And yes, it is a mess.
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Offline Oli

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Quote from: chewi
Another amateur video from a remote location

LOL, awesome video. I can't help it, failing rockets make me laugh.

Offline kevin-rf

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And I take back the second smoking crater comment, the new amateur video clearly shows it as the pad after launch.
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Offline JimO

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Quote from: kevin-rf Are you sure it is [b
unburned[/b], when they zoom out in the video after the failure there is a second smaller smoking crater. Is that from the BM or one of the tanks that tore off when the vehicle came apart just before impact?

Kevin, I think that second cloud is at the original launch pad.

Offline wolfpack

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If that failure happened on a Soyuz it should be fully survivable - LES would be activated as soon as the anomalous pitch event occurred. Loss of mission, but the crew should survive.

With broken ribs, arms and possibly legs. The one time a Soyuz LAS fired it beat the heck out of the crew. Would ground the program no different than a LOCV event.

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