Author Topic: MISSION FAILURE: Progress M-27M launch Soyuz-2-1A - April 28, 2015  (Read 344420 times)

Offline Liss

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Actually, Komarov/Ivanov/Solovyov have said that:

(1) TM from 3rd stage was lost some 1.5 sec before scheduled ejection of SC;
(2) SC separated more or less on time;
(3) SC was found to rotate with the period of 4 seconds;
(4) today, manifolds of SC were found to be depressurized which led to cancellation of the mission.

No most possible cause was named but they would check issues at the moment of separation.
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline gwiz

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Revisit the hazard of uncontrolled reentry --

This reentry will be different, the Progress will have tanks practically full of propellant and water, which over the next few days can be expected to freeze. That ought to significantly enhance survivability through boil-off cooling at high temperatures, allowing large quantities of hypergolic propellants to reach the surface in a localized area.

Is this a USA-183-type event headed our way?

...and you may quote me.
Why are the tanks expected to freeze?  Progress is designed for a long orbital life, mostly attached to another spacecraft and unable to control its attitude.  I would have thought the thermal design of the thing would be aimed at keeping fluids fluid, regardless of attitude.
This depends partly on having full electrical power. We don't know right now how much electrical capability is left on-board.
Does it always have full power when docked to ISS?  I'd think the nadir ports would leave it in the shade for much of the time.

Online DaveS

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Revisit the hazard of uncontrolled reentry --

This reentry will be different, the Progress will have tanks practically full of propellant and water, which over the next few days can be expected to freeze. That ought to significantly enhance survivability through boil-off cooling at high temperatures, allowing large quantities of hypergolic propellants to reach the surface in a localized area.

Is this a USA-183-type event headed our way?

...and you may quote me.
Why are the tanks expected to freeze?  Progress is designed for a long orbital life, mostly attached to another spacecraft and unable to control its attitude.  I would have thought the thermal design of the thing would be aimed at keeping fluids fluid, regardless of attitude.
This depends partly on having full electrical power. We don't know right now how much electrical capability is left on-board.
Does it always have full power when docked to ISS?  I'd think the nadir ports would leave it in the shade for much of the time.
Both Soyuz and Progress are placed on station-supplied power shortly after docking.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Actually, Komarov/Ivanov/Solovyov have said that:

(1) TM from 3rd stage was lost some 1.5 sec before scheduled ejection of SC;
(2) SC separated more or less on time;
(3) SC was found to rotate with the period of 4 seconds;
(4) today, manifolds of SC were found to be depressurized which led to cancellation of the mission.

No most possible cause was named but they would check issues at the moment of separation.
Ouch. So that would mean things depressurized. Not good.

Still, seems like contrary to what I thought earlier that the problem was with the 3rd stage after all.

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Online Lars-J

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Actually, Komarov/Ivanov/Solovyov have said that:

(1) TM from 3rd stage was lost some 1.5 sec before scheduled ejection of SC;
(2) SC separated more or less on time;
(3) SC was found to rotate with the period of 4 seconds;
(4) today, manifolds of SC were found to be depressurized which led to cancellation of the mission.

No most possible cause was named but they would check issues at the moment of separation.
Ouch. So that would mean things depressurized. Not good.

Still, seems like contrary to what I thought earlier that the problem was with the 3rd stage after all.

No, there doesn't have to be a contradiction. Obviously there is something very wrong with the Progress spacecraft. But the root cause of that *could* still have been the 3rd stage damaging it.

Offline JasonAW3

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I guess if they can somehow comand the thrusters to fire until fuel depletion could be good, even if not able to control the spin. Less nasty stuff would have a chance to hit the ground.

If they can at least get it to hit the atmosphere broadside instead of front or rear first, it would stand a much better chance of breaking up and burning.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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I guess if they can somehow comand the thrusters to fire until fuel depletion could be good, even if not able to control the spin. Less nasty stuff would have a chance to hit the ground.

If they can at least get it to hit the atmosphere broadside instead of front or rear first, it would stand a much better chance of breaking up and burning.
I don't see how they will do this if the SC manifolds are depressurized.
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Offline JasonAW3

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Can we get assets in place for an intercept?

Like shooting it down?

Not 'shoot down' but 'disintegrate' so that there is nothing large and dense enough to likely survive passage through the upper and middle atmosphere.

Yes, I imagine "assets" could be put into place and would likely be able to break up the Progress on its way down.  They'd want to hit it from the trailing part of the orbit to minmize the chance of any debris bouncing back up in orbit.

Too bad we don't have a few ships equipped with railguns, as those would blow it apart in one shot.
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Offline JasonAW3

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I guess if they can somehow comand the thrusters to fire until fuel depletion could be good, even if not able to control the spin. Less nasty stuff would have a chance to hit the ground.

If they can at least get it to hit the atmosphere broadside instead of front or rear first, it would stand a much better chance of breaking up and burning.

Crazy as it sounds, so long as it still has its solar panels and they can be controlled from groundside, as it starts to brush the atmosphere, they could be used to adjust the attitude of the whole spacecraft through drag.

That is, if it doesn't have attitude control wheels like the Hubble.  (I doubt that it does as this is usually used for space telescopes and rarely for other craft, as far as I know).
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Can we get assets in place for an intercept?

Like shooting it down?

Not 'shoot down' but 'disintegrate' so that there is nothing large and dense enough to likely survive passage through the upper and middle atmosphere.

Yes, I imagine "assets" could be put into place and would likely be able to break up the Progress on its way down.  They'd want to hit it from the trailing part of the orbit to minmize the chance of any debris bouncing back up in orbit.

Too bad we don't have a few ships equipped with railguns, as those would blow it apart in one shot.
We don't have any yet :) Its only a few years away now though that program has made alot of progress.

That being said, again, I doubt that politically speaking, the US would be involved in this. If it is to be shot at it will probably be the Russian's who would do it. But I doubt they will.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Can we get assets in place for an intercept?

Like shooting it down?

Not 'shoot down' but 'disintegrate' so that there is nothing large and dense enough to likely survive passage through the upper and middle atmosphere.

Yes, I imagine "assets" could be put into place and would likely be able to break up the Progress on its way down.  They'd want to hit it from the trailing part of the orbit to minmize the chance of any debris bouncing back up in orbit.

Too bad we don't have a few ships equipped with railguns, as those would blow it apart in one shot.

Any "intercept" would scatter debris into higher orbits at the same inclination and same plane as ISS. It would endanger ISS.

Besides USA-193 took months to plan and position assets, only weeks exist before reentry.
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Offline Danderman

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(4) today, manifolds of SC were found to be depressurized which led to cancellation of the mission.



The implication here is that prop has been lost to space, if the manifolds are depressurized.

« Last Edit: 04/29/2015 05:36 PM by Danderman »

Offline jcm

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(4) today, manifolds of SC were found to be depressurized which led to cancellation of the mission.



The implication here is that prop has been lost to space, if the manifolds are depressurized.



I'm unclear on the terminology here - is "manifold" synonymous with "propellant tank" ("bak" in Russian I think) in this usage?
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Offline JimO

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Any "intercept" would scatter debris into higher orbits at the same inclination and same plane as ISS. It would endanger ISS.

Besides USA-193 took months to plan and position assets, only weeks exist before reentry.

The USA-193 pieces reentered quickly, including in a meteor shower observed twenty minutes later in Canada with a MOVING radiant [imagine that!]. But the time factor is the show-stopper.

Time also helps, in the other direction, maybe ten days isn't a long-enough 'cold soak' to get the geptyl down really really cold. How much do we think is on board? What's the amount at insertion?

Offline jcm

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  How much do we think is on board? What's the amount at insertion?

Total propellant (fuel+oxidizer) 1373 kg
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Offline JimO

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I'm unclear on the terminology here - is "manifold" synonymous with "propellant tank" ("bak" in Russian I think) in this usage? 

A manifold is the complex of lines and valves leading from the bipropellants to the thrusters. They can be isolated, cross-strapped, even zig-zagged as line breaks or thruster leaks require. The shuttle OMS/RCS system had five manifolds, ganged into groups. Buran much the same.

The manifolds architecture of Salyut-7 allowed cross-strapping through two external fill ports that took several EVAs, but to prop operators like me back in the 80's, it was eye-popping mission-control-porn. Probably the most impressive on-orbit repair i've ever learned of.

Offline JimO

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Total propellant (fuel+oxidizer) 1373 kg

Thanks. Mass ratio the traditional 1.6 : 1  ??

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Offline JimO

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I'm not questioning anything but I don't understand. Full tanks of anything getting hot and exploding would seem to reduce the risk of substantial anything getting to the ground. Frozen fuel is what makes this more dangerous than usual?

Your 'common sense' take on it is entirely reasonable, on Earth. Most people reach the same conclusion. But please read my treatment of the real science, here: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/down-in-flames

Offline the_other_Doug

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(4) today, manifolds of SC were found to be depressurized which led to cancellation of the mission.



The implication here is that prop has been lost to space, if the manifolds are depressurized.

Not necessarily, though the result of a depressurized propellant manifold system is much the same.

Two points:

First, anything that violently depressurizes a manifold of that type could possible close the valves that feed gasses/fluids into the manifold.  Large shocks, especially pressure shocks, have been known to cause such valves to close from the mechanical stress of sudden pressure spikes.  So, it's possible that the Progress still has a decent fuel load, but with no way to get it to the prop manifolds and hence to the actual engines.

Second, the Soyuz/Progress propellant systems have redundant manifold systems, i.e., there are two prop manifold units that can be isolated from one another via valves in the plumbing from the prop tanks and to the engines.  The fact seems to be that both manifolds depressurized simultaneously (or at least lost the ability to be pressurized -- it depends on whether or not the manifolds were pressurized already at the time of spacecraft separation from the 3rd stage).  That argues, most forcefully, that something explosive and destructive happened, in, or very close outside of, the manifolds.

I can see two equally likely scenarios -- the 3rd stage exploded at cutoff, damaging the Progress equipment module and holing the prop manifolds, or one/both of the manifolds exploded as they were pressurized in preparation for the first orbital maneuvers, destroying themselves and damaging the 3rd stage such that it lost TM capability.

I recall reading up-thread that the Progress maneuvering systems are safed during boost and only activated at or just before SC sep.  So, the question that needs answering to be able to discriminate between these two scenarios is when, exactly, were the Progress prop manifolds supposed to be pressurized?  If that process was underway at the time TM was lost from both the 3rd stage and the SC, I'd think it makes the second scenario more likely.  If the prop manifold pressurization was at a static state at the time TM was lost -- either not yet begun their pressurization event, or already pressurized for a significant amount of time -- then the first scenario may be more likely.

Just my own armchair analysis, here...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

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