Author Topic: MISSION FAILURE: Progress M-27M launch Soyuz-2-1A - April 28, 2015  (Read 335373 times)

Offline Danderman

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Let me suggest a bright spot here  - in the event that contact is re-established with Progress, and it has not blown through all of its prop, the docking could be accomplished, even if it takes a week for recovery. The vehicle could be commanded to fly higher than the ISS orbit, and then dwell for several weeks in that higher orbit to "catch up" to ISS, This may require using all prop designated for transfer to ISS, but at least the docking with ISS could be accomplished.

However, it now appears that the Progress motion control system has failed, so recovery may not be possible.

If this failure occurred on Soyuz, the crew could command the recovery.

For those thinking this is a Gemini type situation, ie a stuck thruster, Progress has redundant manifolds and thrusters, so it would just be a matter of switching thruster systems - a crew could accomplish that, but a Progress with a failed motion control system could not.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 02:51 AM by Danderman »

Offline CosmicDebris

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If enough is known about the orbital data, perhaps someone with more knowledge than myself could run the numbers through an orbital prediction program, to find out  the times and locations that the spacecraft would be visible. I would love to see it fly over after sunset or before sunrise,  before it takes a swan dive into oblivion. Cameras at the ready! CosmicDebris.

It is visible from latitudes around 10 deg North in the evening and 30 deg South in the morning.

I was thinking more in terms of Keplerian element numbers. The folks over at www.satobs.org are already predicting initiation of orbital decay sometime tomorrow, so I might have to skip watching a flyover. It would have been interesting to see if the spinning produced visible changes in brightness, like some of the other satellites display. I hope someone will post the estimated re-entry time and coordinates; all that re-entry mass should put on a good show, but since the de-orbit will probably be uncontrolled, lets hope it does not impact on a populated area. 

Offline martin_nv

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Can the propellant that is allocated for transfer to the ISS be used for Progress maneuvers?

The lack of communications on the most recent comm pass has me concerned though, it does not look hopeful.

Offline RotoSequence

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If Russian Ground Control isn't able to establish control of Progress 59, when is the spacecraft projected to re-enter?
« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 04:15 AM by RotoSequence »

Offline ChrisC

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Quote
The folks over at www.satobs.org are already predicting initiation of orbital decay sometime tomorrow

not true anymore
NASA TV in HD:  history, FAQ and latest status

Offline ChrisWilson68

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I haven't seen anything so far indicating how the craft is 'spinning'. From my geometry days we have x axis (front to back) y axis (left right) and z axis(up down). From edkyle's gif it appears rotating around z axis. How hard is it to correct rotation in one, two or all three axes?
Well, you should not read too much into Ed's gif as it's a very simple 2D animation. Based on the video downlinked, it is in a multi-axis spin, so it would require a 3D visualization.

Unless different forces are acting on different parts of an object, it always rotates around a single axis.  The question is just where that axis is.  It might not be close to the x, y, or z axes of the spacecraft.

Not true; in torque-free rigid body motion, the angular velocity vector is not stationary in the body (vehicle) axes.

Conservation of angular momentum says the angular momentum is conserved in a torque-free system, and if the body is rigid, you can only have the same angular momentum if you have the same angular velocity.

Precession comes from small torques.  It also comes from relativistic effects of warped space, but that's more a property of the frame itself precessing -- the inertial frame itself precesses, and in that frame the angular velocity is conserved.

There are various small torques that will affect Progress, including atmospheric drag differential drag, and magnet effects.  Those torques could cause some slow precession, but the scale should be small compared to its current angular velocity.

Offline JimO

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If Russian Ground Control isn't able to establish control of the spacecraft, when is Progress 59 projected to re-enter?

Can't be specific yet, but think of where Soyuz third stage boosters usually reenter after two or three days of decay -- usually near the perigee point which is near the northern sweep of the ground track. WHICH perigee pass? Can't even guess.

Offline JimO

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Does the "P" number indicate the amount of propellant remaining?

That's the letter 'R', and I'd like to know what it represents also.

For OMS/RCS on shuttle [my console for STS-1 and -2, we tracked Q for quantity in percent, and also tank pressure and temperature so we could use Boyle's law to compute volume of pressurant gas, and hence volume of fluid. 

I'm not familiar with the units for Soyuz/Progress tank capacity.

Offline Danderman

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Can the propellant that is allocated for transfer to the ISS be used for Progress maneuvers?


Yes, but only by the RCS, not the main engine. The RCS can maintain or raise orbital altitude even without the main engine.

The other issue is power supply.  It is difficult to estimate power consumption when we don't know what systems are operational. If all required systems were activated after separation, it is likely that the batteries have been depleted by now.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 04:11 AM by Danderman »

Offline Danderman

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I'm not familiar with the units for Soyuz/Progress tank capacity.

The usual quote is in kilograms.

100 kg to achieve ISS orbital altitude

275 kg for docking, including reserves for 3 total attempts.

100 kg for de-orbit

250 kg from Progress prop tanks for ISS.

Another varying amount from the prop tanks as cargo.

There is plenty of prop for Progress to achieve docking, even after several days, if Progress is not dead, and it responds to commands from TsUP.


Offline ChrisWilson68

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That's clearly not the point that was made. If there's a problem with the next Dragon, then Dragon is stood down. That's the problem....not the vehicle failing to arrive, but the vehicle being stuck on the ground for a lengthy period of time before being able to launch again.

Exactly - the crew is fine now, and would be for a good few months even in the event of a Dragon failure, but if Dragon/F9 failed and had to be stood down for a number of months, and Cygnus RTF got delayed (which I suspect it will - since when does anything go to schedule in this business), then that will leave only one HTV to resupply ISS for rest of year. Even with Progress flying, that would make things tight.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that ISS is now zero fault tolerant to another resupply craft failure - with ATV gone, Cygnus' failure last year, today's Progress failure, and only one HTV this year, a Dragon failure would essentially cut ISS' regular supply line to Earth. If they couldn't get it back quickly, that would be the issue.
A case perhaps for Dream Chaser Cargo...?

I think this worry is overblown.  Lets say Dragon does fail.  No big deal, just keep flying Dragon and/or Progress anyway, while the investigation is continuing.  You wouldn't want to do that with crew, but they're carrying bulk supplies to ISS, so even before you've found and fixed the root cause of the failure, just keep flying.  There will be a higher risk, but that's OK.  Both Dragon and Progress have successfully completed a number of missions, so they don't have some fundamental design flaw that makes them very likely to fail.  The failures might have been one-off things, or some design flaw that gives a low chance of failure on each flight.  No problem.  The less likely case is there was some recent change that makes all subsequent flights fail.  Keep flying both Dragon and Progress and it's unlikely both will have a string of failures.  And if they do, just figure out what changed recently and revert that change.  That's much faster than having to be very certain of a root cause, as one would have to do before flying a crew again after a failure.

Online guckyfan

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I think this worry is overblown.  Lets say Dragon does fail.  No big deal, just keep flying Dragon and/or Progress anyway, while the investigation is continuing.  You wouldn't want to do that with crew, but they're carrying bulk supplies to ISS, so even before you've found and fixed the root cause of the failure, just keep flying.  There will be a higher risk, but that's OK.  Both Dragon and Progress have successfully completed a number of missions, so they don't have some fundamental design flaw that makes them very likely to fail.  The failures might have been one-off things, or some design flaw that gives a low chance of failure on each flight.  No problem.  The less likely case is there was some recent change that makes all subsequent flights fail.  Keep flying both Dragon and Progress and it's unlikely both will have a string of failures.  And if they do, just figure out what changed recently and revert that change.  That's much faster than having to be very certain of a root cause, as one would have to do before flying a crew again after a failure.

Seems the way to go for me too. But I am waiting, what others may have to say about it.

Offline Danderman

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Concerning the speculation on when a replacement Progress would be flown, consider this: just as spacecraft have flight rules which are not changed simply because something bad happens, programs also have the equivalent. It was not unexpected that Progress would be lost, and the mission rules dictate a reflight in 45 days. You can imagine that Progress M-28M will have all of its cabling double checked and the flight computer tested thoroughly, but it should be ready to go in mid-June.




Offline iamlucky13

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Let me suggest a bright spot here  - in the event that contact is re-established with Progress, and it has not blown through all of its prop, the docking could be accomplished, even if it takes a week for recovery. The vehicle could be commanded to fly higher than the ISS orbit, and then dwell for several weeks in that higher orbit to "catch up" to ISS, This may require using all prop designated for transfer to ISS, but at least the docking with ISS could be accomplished.

However, it now appears that the Progress motion control system has failed, so recovery may not be possible.

If it is recovered, but concerns about the control system remain, it seems to me a rendezvous might be ruled out to ensure a repeat of the Progress M-34 collision with Mir doesn't recur.

And if they do, just figure out what changed recently and revert that change.

I agree with your conclusion that the likelihood of systematic problems with both Progress and Dragon is remote, but keep in mind that neither of them can support the station long term alone. It's an undesirable position to be in.

Furthermore, reverting a change assumes there was an intentional documented change, not a loss of process control or other difficult to identify systematic issue.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Let me suggest a bright spot here  - in the event that contact is re-established with Progress, and it has not blown through all of its prop, the docking could be accomplished, even if it takes a week for recovery. The vehicle could be commanded to fly higher than the ISS orbit, and then dwell for several weeks in that higher orbit to "catch up" to ISS, This may require using all prop designated for transfer to ISS, but at least the docking with ISS could be accomplished.

However, it now appears that the Progress motion control system has failed, so recovery may not be possible.

If it is recovered, but concerns about the control system remain, it seems to me a rendezvous might be ruled out to ensure a repeat of the Progress M-34 collision with Mir doesn't recur.

And if they do, just figure out what changed recently and revert that change.

I agree with your conclusion that the likelihood of systematic problems with both Progress and Dragon is remote, but keep in mind that neither of them can support the station long term alone. It's an undesirable position to be in.

Furthermore, reverting a change assumes there was an intentional documented change, not a loss of process control or other difficult to identify systematic issue.

I completely agree with all your points.  There could be some unintentional change, or a change by a sub-contractor that wasn't communicated.  It just seems less likely, and if it did happen it would still be something that might be found and changed back in less time than it would take to complete a full investigation and be certain the unintended change was really the root cause.

Online chewi

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TsUP may decide to de-orbit (today?) Progress if they fail to take control of the cargoship.
http://www.interfax.ru/russia/439173

Offline ChrisWilson68

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TsUP may decide to de-orbit (today?) Progress if they fail to take control of the cargoship.
http://www.interfax.ru/russia/439173

How can they de-orbit if they can't get its attitude under control?

Online chewi

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TsUP may decide to de-orbit (today?) Progress if they fail to take control of the cargoship.
http://www.interfax.ru/russia/439173

How can they de-orbit if they can't get its attitude under control?
Good question. At least they can try.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 06:04 AM by chewi »

Offline NovaSilisko

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Maybe they mean just give up and allow it to decay? I don't see how either.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Apparently another contact attempt has already gone by without hearing anything. Still it's early days....

In the meantime, the Trampoline Man (TM) has spoken:

Dmitry Rogozin ‏@DRogozin
Dmitry Rogozin retweeted Интерфакс
We're all worrying about our cargo spacecraft.Despite my talks in China I'm in permanent contact w/ Roscosmos's head
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

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