Author Topic: MISSION FAILURE: Progress M-27M launch Soyuz-2-1A - April 28, 2015  (Read 336169 times)

Online DaveS

  • Shuttle program observer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7758
  • Sweden
  • Liked: 287
  • Likes Given: 12
Maybe someone has asked this: If this Progress was a crew launch of Soyuz (same upstage?), and same thing happened, what could the crew do differently to save themselves?
That may be crucial to determine whether the crew launch should be delayed.
Considering that it seems like based on the recent reports that all the propellant is gone, there is nothing they could have done as you need propellant to operate the thrusters and arrest the spin. Another factor is the actual rate of the spin. I believe it's high enough to induce G-LOC even in the best fit and trained fighter pilots.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2015 03:50 PM by DaveS »
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2105
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 988
  • Likes Given: 761
Maybe someone has asked this: If this Progress was a crew launch of Soyuz (same upstage?), and same thing happened, what could the crew do differently to save themselves?
That may be crucial to determine whether the crew launch should be delayed.
Considering that it seems like based on the recent reports that all the propellant is gone, there is nothing they could have done as you need propellant to operate the thrusters and arrest the spin. Another factor is the actual rate of the spin. I believe it's high enough to induce G-LOC even in the best fit and trained fighter pilots.

Gemini 8 spun up to one revolution per second and Armstrong was still able to regain control of the ship. At that rotation the crew was in danger of losing consciousness. Progress is not spinning that fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_8#Emergency

Gemini had two sets of thrusters with separate fuel supplies. Does Soyuz have a backup system?

Online DaveS

  • Shuttle program observer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7758
  • Sweden
  • Liked: 287
  • Likes Given: 12
Maybe someone has asked this: If this Progress was a crew launch of Soyuz (same upstage?), and same thing happened, what could the crew do differently to save themselves?
That may be crucial to determine whether the crew launch should be delayed.
Considering that it seems like based on the recent reports that all the propellant is gone, there is nothing they could have done as you need propellant to operate the thrusters and arrest the spin. Another factor is the actual rate of the spin. I believe it's high enough to induce G-LOC even in the best fit and trained fighter pilots.

Gemini 8 spun up to one revolution per second and Armstrong was still able to regain control of the ship. At that rotation the crew was in danger of losing consciousness. Progress is not spinning that fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_8#Emergency

Gemini had two sets of thrusters with separate fuel supplies. Does Soyuz have a backup system?

Other than the rather weak and limited orientation thrusters on the Descent Module, no.
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline fgonella

  • Member
  • Posts: 35
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
If it were a manned Soyuz, could there have been a LON of sorts (one Soyuz with one pilot) to dock with the damaged craft and rescue the crew? Maybe, if no Soyuz were ready to launch, to send one of those docked at the ISS?

Offline TR1

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
What is the separation mechanism between the Soyuz 3rd stage and Progress?


Online Galactic Penguin SST

I wonder if a structural failure of the upper kerosene tank of the rocket's 3rd stage have enough power to damage both the spacecraft and the 3rd stage itself, as well as causing the slightly higher orbit (12 m/s overspeed as calculated by others) and the debris field? It would explain all the known facts so far if such a blast is powerful enough, as various members on the NK forum pointed out today.

Keep in mind that the upper kerosene tank on the Soyuz-2's block I (both the 1a and 1b variants) was redesigned from a spherical shape to a tapered cone for more propellant, and it only flew less than 50 times - who knows if this design is prone to metal fatigue. There's of course also the possibility of bad welds and stringer problems.....
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline ellindsey

  • Member
  • Posts: 43
  • New Jersey
  • Liked: 29
  • Likes Given: 0
If it were a manned Soyuz, could there have been a LON of sorts (one Soyuz with one pilot) to dock with the damaged craft and rescue the crew? Maybe, if no Soyuz were ready to launch, to send one of those docked at the ISS?

The docking port on the Soyuz isn't androgynous.  Soyuz and Progress have probe-type ports, and the ISS has the drogue side.  You can't dock two unmodified Soyuz to each other, and modifying a Soyuz to have a drogue port wouldn't be quick.

Maybe you could bring one near the other and then have the stranded crew spacewalk across, similar to the shuttle rescue idea that was developed after Columbia was lost.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9565
  • Liked: 345
  • Likes Given: 453
The Soyuz spacecraft has redundant prop manifolds, same as Progress.

In the event that both manifolds fail after separation, the spacecraft would normally decay after two or three days. However, if the third stage over-performs and the Soyuz manifolds both fail at separation, that would be a problem.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7436
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1434
  • Likes Given: 4475
The Soyuz spacecraft has redundant prop manifolds, same as Progress.

In the event that both manifolds fail after separation, the spacecraft would normally decay after two or three days. However, if the third stage over-performs and the Soyuz manifolds both fail at separation, that would be a problem.
On the other hand, humans could do try a few things. Can they separate the orbital module? That should take quite a bit of momentum. Or separate the return capsule, which must have some RCS by itself, right?

Online Nicolas PILLET

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2200
  • Gien, France
    • Kosmonavtika
  • Liked: 352
  • Likes Given: 35
Or separate the return capsule, which must have some RCS by itself, right?

Only for orientation control during reentry. The Descent Compartment, if alone, couldn't reenter before natural decay.
Nicolas PILLET
Kosmonavtika : The French site on Russian Space

Online Nicolas PILLET

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2200
  • Gien, France
    • Kosmonavtika
  • Liked: 352
  • Likes Given: 35
Let's remember that RD-01110 has 1,692 missions under its belt. The 2.1a avionics just 22.

RD-0110 flew 280 times on Molnia-M, 31 times on Soyuz, 3 times on Soyuz-L, 8 times on Soyuz-M, 782 times on Soyuz-U, 71 times on Soyuz-U2, 51 times on Soyuz-FG, 19 times on Soyuz-2.1a, and 3 times on Soyuz-ST-A.

Total number of flights (including Progress M-27M) : 1248.

EDIT : 51 flight for Soyuz-FG, not 50 ! Thank you baldusi.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2015 09:04 PM by Nicolas PILLET »
Nicolas PILLET
Kosmonavtika : The French site on Russian Space

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6960
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 535
  • Likes Given: 611
If it were a manned Soyuz, could there have been a LON of sorts (one Soyuz with one pilot) to dock with the damaged craft and rescue the crew? Maybe, if no Soyuz were ready to launch, to send one of those docked at the ISS?

No. The Soyuz (assuming one with a 'female' docking interface was available) can only carry three crew. It is too small to squeeze in one more, unlike Apollo that could, at an extreme, carry five.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Online Nicolas PILLET

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2200
  • Gien, France
    • Kosmonavtika
  • Liked: 352
  • Likes Given: 35
If it were a manned Soyuz, could there have been a LON of sorts (one Soyuz with one pilot) to dock with the damaged craft and rescue the crew? Maybe, if no Soyuz were ready to launch, to send one of those docked at the ISS?

No. The Soyuz (assuming one with a 'female' docking interface was available) can only carry three crew. It is too small to squeeze in one more, unlike Apollo that could, at an extreme, carry five.

And it would need a female docking port, PLUS a passive Kurs rendez-vous system. And even with all of this, docking would be possible only with a more or less stable Soyuz, which would be impossible in case of total propellant depletion. And I think it would take several weeks to Energya's teams to refit an existing Soyuz TMA-M with the female hardwares, even on a 24/7 shift.
Nicolas PILLET
Kosmonavtika : The French site on Russian Space

Offline Stan Black

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2762
  • Liked: 106
  • Likes Given: 102
Maybe someone has asked this: If this Progress was a crew launch of Soyuz (same upstage?), and same thing happened, what could the crew do differently to save themselves?
That may be crucial to determine whether the crew launch should be delayed.
Considering that it seems like based on the recent reports that all the propellant is gone, there is nothing they could have done as you need propellant to operate the thrusters and arrest the spin. Another factor is the actual rate of the spin. I believe it's high enough to induce G-LOC even in the best fit and trained fighter pilots.
Would a crewed launch have gone that far? At what point would it abort?

Offline kch

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1731
  • Liked: 466
  • Likes Given: 8321
Maybe someone has asked this: If this Progress was a crew launch of Soyuz (same upstage?), and same thing happened, what could the crew do differently to save themselves?
That may be crucial to determine whether the crew launch should be delayed.

Considering that it seems like based on the recent reports that all the propellant is gone, there is nothing they could have done as you need propellant to operate the thrusters and arrest the spin. Another factor is the actual rate of the spin. I believe it's high enough to induce G-LOC even in the best fit and trained fighter pilots.

Would a crewed launch have gone that far? At what point would it abort?

If I'm not mistaken, everything looked fine until upper stage shutdown.  If the same thing happened on a crewed launch, why would it abort?

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9565
  • Liked: 345
  • Likes Given: 453
Probe and Cone is androgynous, in the sense that the male and female adapters are easy to switch out. There is generally an extra female adapter hanging around ISS, so mounting it on a Soyuz would be easy. Of course, once that Soyuz leaves ISS, it's not going to be able to dock with ISS or any other vehicle again.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2015 09:40 PM by Danderman »

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9565
  • Liked: 345
  • Likes Given: 453
Can they separate the orbital module? That should take quite a bit of momentum. Or separate the return capsule, which must have some RCS by itself, right?

Separating the orbital module might generate a fraction of a meter per second, if performed perfectly, but the resulting stack would decay more slowly, due to higher density.

The descent module has ACS, but no RCS.

Offline JimO

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1813
  • Texas, USA
  • Liked: 215
  • Likes Given: 49
Can they separate the orbital module? That should take quite a bit of momentum. Or separate the return capsule, which must have some RCS by itself, right?

Separating the orbital module might generate a fraction of a meter per second, if performed perfectly, but the resulting stack would decay more slowly, due to higher density.

The descent module has ACS, but no RCS.

In 'Gravity' they used the cute [but of course unworkable] idea to get delta-V into the Soyuz by fooling the descent radar into firing the terminal braking engines. Of course it can't be done, but I was impressed with the effort at a superficially plausible trick.

Offline asmi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 657
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 96
  • Likes Given: 90
In 'Gravity' they used the cute [but of course unworkable] idea to get delta-V into the Soyuz by fooling the descent radar into firing the terminal braking engines. Of course it can't be done, but I was impressed with the effort at a superficially plausible trick.
You'd need to dump heatshield as soft-landing engines are covered by it. This will surely seal the fate of crew.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9565
  • Liked: 345
  • Likes Given: 453
There is  a pretty good likelihood that the midsection prop tanks were neither vented to space, or leaked out, or even were damaged at separation. Since to access these tanks requires positive action, these will probably be filled when Progress re-enters.

I can't figure out why the mid section thrusters cannot be used with this prop to control Progress, unless my assumption is wrong, and even the mid section was impacted by the separation event.


Tags: