Author Topic: MISSION FAILURE: Progress M-27M launch Soyuz-2-1A - April 28, 2015  (Read 336038 times)

Online saliva_sweet

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Since if there is a stage 3 problem it will likely be a control system problem

How do you come to that conclusion? If the debris reports are correct, that doesn't sound like a control system problem to me.

A botched shutdown and separation sequence followed by collision explains everything. Other explanations don't address the high orbit.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

FYI, there is one member on NK (who probably has access to LV telemetry) that reports that they did not see any problem with the rocket attitude or other issues up till S/C separation, except for the slightly high apogee (out of planned range for the Soyuz-2.1a, but within those for the legacy Soyuz-U). Here's an excerpt translated on RussianSpaceWeb:

Quote
However, NORAD data indicated much more severe deviation (120.5 by 316.4 kilometers) or 70 kilometers up and down, which many Russian observers believed to be erroneous. By the time the flow of telemetry from the Progress was interrupted few seconds before the separation of the spacecraft from the rocket, its orbit was around 38 or 39 kilometers off the mark at its apogee, even though the rocket should've been capable of delivering its cargo within five kilometers from a prescribed altitude.

Also I have yet to find a non-Russian source reporting on the 44 debris objects (the quote was attributed to USAF JSpOC's chief Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, but I have been unable to find the source), so take it with a grain of salt until new reports/TLEs come in.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 12:27 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »
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Offline Star One

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Since if there is a stage 3 problem it will likely be a control system problem

How do you come to that conclusion? If the debris reports are correct, that doesn't sound like a control system problem to me.

A botched shutdown and separation sequence followed by collision explains everything. Other explanations don't address the high orbit.

Did the 3rd stage actually shunt into Progress then like one car shoving another along?

Online Galactic Penguin SST

FYI, there is one member on NK (who probably has access to LV telemetry) that reports that they did not see any problem with the rocket attitude or other issues up till S/C separation, except for the slightly high apogee (out of planned range for the Soyuz-2.1a, but within those for the legacy Soyuz-U). Here's an excerpt translated on RussianSpaceWeb:

Quote
However, NORAD data indicated much more severe deviation (120.5 by 316.4 kilometers) or 70 kilometers up and down, which many Russian observers believed to be erroneous. By the time the flow of telemetry from the Progress was interrupted few seconds before the separation of the spacecraft from the rocket, its orbit was around 38 or 39 kilometers off the mark at its apogee, even though the rocket should've been capable of delivering its cargo within five kilometers from a prescribed altitude.

Also I have yet to find a non-Russian source reporting on the 44 debris objects (the quote was attributed to USAF JSpOC's chief Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, but I have been unable to find the source), so take it with a grain of salt until new reports/TLEs come in.

Aha: http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123446527

Joint Space Operations Center tracking Progress anomaly

Posted 4/28/2015   Updated 4/28/2015

JFCC Space Public Affairs


4/28/2015 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Joint Functional Component Command for Space's Joint Space Operations Center made an initial observation of an anomaly with an International Space Station Progress resupply cargo craft at 12:04 a.m. (3:04 a.m. EDT), today.

The JSpOC immediately began tracking the event and initiated the appropriate reporting procedures.

Currently, the JSpOC can confirm that the resupply vehicle is rotating at a rate of 360 degrees every five seconds.

Additionally, the JSpOC has observed 44 pieces of debris in the vicinity of the resupply vehicle and its upper stage rocket body, however, it cannot confirm at this time if the debris is from the rocket body or vehicle itself.

"Human spaceflight safety is our chief concern," said Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, JFCC Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) Commander. "We will continue to monitor the situation and work with our government, international and industry partners to ensure the safety of the astronauts onboard the ISS and provide for the long-term safety, sustainability, security and stability of the space domain."

The JSpOC will continuously track the cargo craft and debris, performing conjunction analysis and warning of any potential collisions in order to ensure spaceflight safety for all.

Questions regarding the ISS should be directed to NASA and questions about the cargo craft and the ongoing attempts to command it should be directed to Russian flight controllers.
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Online speedevil

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Assuming the unlikely case (as it seems) that progress is got under some degree of control, sufficient to get it to near ISS orbit.

There would of course remain concerns about its reliability unless the failure was completely understood to a level that may only be achievable with a teardown on the ground.

In principle, how much manoevering capability does ISS have?

Given - say - a progress parked at 10km from ISS, with the engines off to everyones satisfaction, and not spinning faster than once every several hours say, is it in principle possible for ISS to rendevous over the course of a week or three, grab the craft, and get it docked in some manner?

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There's some interesting discussion on NK right now - apparently the analysis of the craft using up most of the fuel from the camera data (the "R" parameter on the upper-left side) is incorrect - the number actually refers the nominal limit for propellant consumption for the currently planned maneuver, and does not relate to the actual propellant reserve on board.

So, maybe it did not use any fuel at all.
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Online Ben the Space Brit

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I'm wondering if we might have two completely separate failures here - some unknown event that caused the Soyuz-2-1A's third stage engine to not respond to the IU's shut-down command and a wholly separate failure in the prop system pressurisation sequence on Progress-59. Alternately, the possibility that a runaway third stage re-contacted Progress and caused a catastrophic over-pressurisation of the fuel system leading to a tank or line rupture is another viable theory

I guess we'll have to wait and see what Roscosmos and the manufacturers come up with after they've crunched the numbers.

In principle, how much manoevering capability does ISS have?

Very limited to the point of being near-zero. It can rotate around its centre of gravity thanks to the Control Moment Gyros and can probably very slightly alter its altitude thanks to the thrusters on the Russian Segment but not by very much.
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Offline EgorBotts

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I'm wondering if we might have two completely separate failures here - some unknown event that caused the Soyuz-2-1A's third stage engine to not respond to the IU's shut-down command and a wholly separate failure in the prop system pressurisation sequence on Progress-59. Alternately, the possibility that a runaway third stage re-contacted Progress and caused a catastrophic over-pressurisation of the fuel system leading to a tank or line rupture is another viable theory

I guess we'll have to wait and see what Roscosmos and the manufacturers come up with after they've crunched the numbers.

In principle, how much manoevering capability does ISS have?

Very limited to the point of being near-zero. It can rotate around its centre of gravity thanks to the Control Moment Gyros and can probably very slightly alter its altitude thanks to the thrusters on the Russian Segment but not by very much.

Well don't forget there is still one Progress (M-26M) currently docked to ISS. We can safely assume that since this one is only 2 month old  (came late february) there is still a significant portion of fuel to maneuver the station in case of emergency.

Offline Martin FL

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What are the addition risk of an uncontrolled re-entry? No parts will survive regardless? No threat to people if it happens over land?

Offline Beittil

The biggest risk is indeed surviving parts of the spacecraft. In particular stuff like fuel tanks have been known to 'make it through' in previous incidents.

Offline Danderman

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In principle, how much manoevering capability does ISS have?

Given - say - a progress parked at 10km from ISS, with the engines off to everyones satisfaction, and not spinning faster than once every several hours say, is it in principle possible for ISS to rendevous over the course of a week or three, grab the craft, and get it docked in some manner?

Just about any capability by TsUP to change the Progress orbit would also provide the capability of stopping the spinning.

The spinning is a symptom, not the problem, except that the spinning prohibits the spacecraft from receiving a clear signal from TsUP; in any event, the spacecraft should be to resolve the problem itself, if it were operating correctly.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 12:46 PM by Danderman »

Offline Danderman

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Progress M-12M more or less went through re-entry during its aborted launch, and some pieces reportedly hit the ground, but not much.

Much of Progress is made from aluminum/magnesium.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Can someone translate this piece of Russian on NK? Seems to be something about losing telemetry from the Soyuz 3rd stage in the final 3 seconds of ascent?  :o

1. На конец выведения ракетная ТЛМ и ВТИ получены?

пропала за 3 сек до ГК-3

Кто-то здесь из Самары уже говорил, что подтверждение ГК3 было получено. Как оно было получено, если ТМ дала сбой?

Вот, а это уже информация, спасибо.
Предположу, что было АВД на этапе работы 3-й ступени.
Ну там ТМИ по параметрам посмотрят и будет ясно

« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 12:48 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »
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Offline Danderman

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I'm wondering if we might have two completely separate failures here - some unknown event that caused the Soyuz-2-1A's third stage engine to not respond to the IU's shut-down command and a wholly separate failure in the prop system pressurisation sequence on Progress-59. Alternately, the possibility that a runaway third stage re-contacted Progress and caused a catastrophic over-pressurisation of the fuel system leading to a tank or line rupture is another viable theory



Remember that Progress has two distinct prop manifolds and thruster systems; failure in one does not cause failure in the redundant system unless there is an explosive event.

If there an explosive event sufficient to take out both prop systems, it is unlikely that the spacecraft would have transmitted anything to TsUP, since the buffer batteries are back in the PAO, IIRC.




« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 12:50 PM by Danderman »

Online Ben the Space Brit

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Can someone translate this piece of Russian on NK? Seems to be something about losing telemetry from the Soyuz 3rd stage in the final 3 seconds of ascent?  :o

Okay, I'll give it a shot, thanks to Google Translate:

First Quote
"At the end of the missile launch TDM and VTI received?"

Second Quote
"I lost 3 seconds to GK-3"

Third Quote
"Someone here from Samara have already said that the confirmation has been received GK3. As it has been received, if TM has malfunctioned?"

Fourth Quote
from, and this is information, thanks.
I suppose it AED working step 3rd step.
Well, there parameters look at TMI will be clear

I don't know what the jargon means but, yes, it seems that one poster says that telemetry was lost three second prior to S3CO but others are replying that shut-down confirmation was received and that the fault is more likely to have been in Progress.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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I'm pretty sure that the Russian mission controllers are most angry about the loss of telemetry. As Dave S's post above shows, the post-LOV investigation is going to have to rely an awful lot on ambiguous remote sensing results and educated guesswork by people familiar with the engineering of the vehicles in question.

The objective will be, of course, to ensure that probability of this failure is minimised. Unfortunately, that is always made more difficult for space engineers by the fact that there is too often no clear physical evidence to investigate.

FWIW, if Space Command's report is verified, the probability is high that either the Soyuz U/S or the Progress suffered some kind of catastrophic rupture. My guess, based purely on this thread, is that it was probably of the Progress's propellent tanks during pressurisation. The likelihood that the two vehicles would have been inserted into an orbit precisely matching that of a pre-existing debris cloud is so remote as to be nearly-unthinkable.

Gonna go with either a recontact here or an explosive rupture of a pressure vessel on progress. From what I have seen and heard regarding what little telemetry they did get early on, seemed to suggest that at least, early on, no propellant had been used mean unlikely there was a rupture.

However, quite possibly merely as a result of sustained axial loads from that high rate of spin, something may have since come apart or ruptured and there would be no way to tell propellant tank wise given the lack of telemetry.

My guess is that: Either the third stage failed and progress never actually "separated" but instead was thrown free, the third stage re contacted the vehicle, very hard, and ruptured it, or progress failed during or after separation and/or a rupture occurred later on, or as a result of an on-board failure (prop system pressurization leads to failure/explosion?). Likewise a less serious but no less serious wrt LOV failure could have occurred in one of progress's guidance systems right after separation resulting in non-activation of many of the critical systems that were needed for stability (like the propellant system).

The lack of telemetry is really frustrating here, the best alternative might be to have a spy satellite in GTO take pictures of the vehicle as it passes under it and use those to help determine the degree of damage. 

I am still not 100% convinced that this issue was either entirely on the third stage or that it occurred as a result of third stage recontact but the answer on this will have to wait until the investigation. The hope is, at least for me, that the issue can be shown to have been entirely progress. If not, this is going to have serious implications for Soyuz. Manned US crew launch is still at least two years away, so I would really hope that after this incident Congress or the next POTUS seriously considers additional funding to reduce this timeline.

All these repeated incidents with vehicles is proving to me is that we need to get US crew launch back as soon as possible, between that and the geopolitical crises going on it seems paramount now. Also the sooner we can get the new Antares flying the better.
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Heavens above is now providing pass predictions for this vehicle, if anyone would like to go out and see it.  No visible passes in my area for the next two weeks, I'm afraid.

Offline russianhalo117

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Now this is an interesting report, again from Interfax: http://www.interfax.ru/world/439233

I'll post the most interesting bit translated: "Earlier, the US Air Force Space Command based on "Vandenberg" in California gave the 44 fragments in orbit near the cargo ship "Progress M-27M" and the third-stage rocket "Soyuz-2.1a"


Well that's not good. So either a collision resulting in debris, or something going kaboom onboard one of the vehicles and distributing debris. At this point I'd say the fat lady is singing and this Progress is almost certainly a goner.


Now this is an interesting report, again from Interfax: http://www.interfax.ru/world/439233

I'll post the most interesting bit translated: "Earlier, the US Air Force Space Command based on "Vandenberg" in California gave the 44 fragments in orbit near the cargo ship "Progress M-27M" and the third-stage rocket "Soyuz-2.1a"

However, the space center on the basis of "Vandenberg" can not yet confirm whether the fragments belong to the "progress" and the third stage of the rocket."
Well that info leaves three paths to follow:
1) collided with Blok-I because stage burned to depletion and did not perform CCAM
2) Progress Prop system over pressurized and exploded
3) Progress is spinning so fast that the angular momentum shed debris from the SC.

Offline Prober

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Heavens above is now providing pass predictions for this vehicle, if anyone would like to go out and see it.  No visible passes in my area for the next two weeks, I'm afraid.

yes, highly recommend

http://www.n2yo.com/?s=40619
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