Author Topic: When Soyuz T-10-1 caught fire and exploded on the pad in 1983  (Read 42725 times)

Offline Blackstar

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I have a dim recollection that the launch abort was not widely reported at the time, and first was reported as a rumor, not a news item.

The information leaked to the press very quickly--within 48 hours, I believe. I have the Washington Post article that first reported it. I will try to post the date here.

Offline Phillip Clark

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Quote
It does have an inert one!
It doesn't now.
However point taken.
I didn't realise that the original Progress used the same launch shroud as the Soyuz but with an inert escape tower purely for aerodynamic reasons
However since 1989 when Progress M flew that was changed and a new shroud fitted - minus the tower.
Keith

The original Progress did carry the escape tower: I assume that this was because it was an integral apart of the shroud and also that its removal would have changed the aerodynamics of the shroud.   However, the Progress shroud did not have the four "flaps" which are used during a launch abort.   See the hopefully-attached photograph of the Progress 1 launch (which was released at the time, so we know which Progress is being shown!).
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline Phillip Clark

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It would be fair also to mention a Soyuz 18a (crew Lazarev and Makarov) anomaly during second staging event in April of 1975. Third staged ignited when second stage was not separated and abort had been performed by Soyuz spacecraft own propulsion engine. This event had been revealed in open media only in 1983, while NASA got an official Soviet report two days after aborted launch.

This is rubbish.   The April 5th launch failure was accurately reported in the media within 2-3 days of the event.  It was revealed to the media - when the Soviets referred to it as the "April 5th Anomaly", in the West it became "Soyuz 18A" and in a 1981 book Glushko called it "Soyuz 18-1" - because of the impending Apollo-Soyuz mission and the Soviets did not want any rumours of a failure in the lead-up to that flight.
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline woods170

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These might be after that accident, but it does not look like a lot of damage. The newspapers are fake, however.
Look more closely. There is substantial damage. The four arms holding the rocket have been violently forced open. Only three are visible, all pointing upwards under different angles and at least one of them is missing the entire top part (the part that interface with the rocket-body). Other than that the quality of that part of the video is so bad that not much else can be seen. But even from the bad-quality footage it is clear the that the carrier and support arms were in a very bad state after the incident.
I would not expect much damage to the concrete base structure of the pad as that is a very sturdy construction.

Offline woods170

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The documentary is quick to add that the Americans failed to draw the necessary lessons from the accident by not equipping the Space Shuttle with a crew escape system...
Bah. That's typical Russian behaviour. I would have been surprised if this had NOT been added to the documentary.

Offline Proponent

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<snip>
3-The documentary is quick to add that the Americans failed to draw the necessary lessons from the accident by not equipping the Space Shuttle with a crew escape system...
3-That's an ignorant statement on their part. It was not possible to equip shuttle with such a system at this point (1983) without completely redesigning the vehicle and sacrificing most of its performance.

I don't think there was really any lesson to be learned in this regard.  It had long been well known that rockets sometimes blow up.  Somehow NASA had mind-bashed itself ("bash" is not actually the verb I'm thinking of) into disregarding the risk.  One more explosion didn't really add much information.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2014 10:43 am by Proponent »

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Offline jacqmans

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Story: https://www.gazeta.ru/science/2018/09/26_a_11997565.shtml

(google translation of the T-10 part)

Explosion at the start

 In September 1983, at the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Soyuz-T spacecraft was preparing for launch, which was to deliver a new crew to the Salyut-7 orbiting station consisting of experienced space pilots Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov.  It seemed that everything was going according to plan, but Strekalov was tormented by a bad presentiment.  In an interview with the magazine "Astronautics News", he told:

 “Suddenly, two days before the start, I was struck by some kind of strange sad mood.  It seemed that all this was in vain, that we in vain were so much weary of our work.  Then I thought it was from overwork.  That day Volodya and I allowed ourselves some rest and relaxation.

 And six hours before the start, I called my mother home.  I always called her on the day of launch from Baikonur.  And she weeps into the phone and says:

"Son! I beg you, think of anything, but just do not fly. Everything will be bad this time! ”
 
 Then I started three more times, and she always said: “All is well, I bless you, a soft landing.”  And at that time like that.  How to explain it - I just don’t know, this presentiment cannot be explained.  I was discouraged.  Of course, my words made a strong impression on me.  But how not to fly?  We are not schoolchildren - I came up with some reason and did not go to school.  We are at the cosmodrome, everything is already behind, and there is no turning back. ”

 The launch was scheduled for September 26 - at 22:37 Moscow time.  Everything went according to routine.  The astronauts donned spacesuits, reported to the Chairman of the State Commission about their readiness, moved from the Assembling and Testing Corps to the launch complex No. 1, and housed in a ship.  However, during the final operations, approximately 1 minute 48 seconds before the estimated launch time, one of the elements of the fuel supply system to the gas generators of the turbopump units caught fire on the Soyuz-U carrier rocket.

The fire quickly spread to the rocket blocks.
 
 For the timely operation of the SAS in a situation where the rocket is still on the ground, two people were responsible - the commander of the crew (“shooting”) Alexey Shumilin and the technical leader of the launch, Alexander Soldatenkov .  The latter later recalled:

 “Do you think the button was pressed - and that’s it, the rocket flew?”  No, it's a whole cycle.  First we check whether all the oxygen valves have opened.  First comes oxygen, then kerosene, then ignition.  And we always control whether everything is closed and open as it should be.  Our main principle is that if there is an abnormal situation that could threaten the destruction of a rocket or a launch, then the automatics gives the order to turn off.  Let then there are some costs - say, on the rocket bulkhead, but still the machine is saved, and the launch pad too ...

 What is our order?  In the bunker there are two people behind the periscope — the gunman and I, the technical manager.  I shoot and I have my passwords.  My operator sits twenty kilometers away.  The shooter also has his own operator.  They sit on different floors, their soldiers guard.  My operator knows my password, the second operator knows the password of the shooter.  If I shout one and my operator presses the button, nothing will happen.  But when we shout together, then each operator will press his own button, and the team will pass.  And at that time we were just dumbfounded at first, because there was never such a thing ... "

 The password that day was the word "Dniester".  Having received the envelopes with the password, the “shooter” and the technical manager took their places in the bunker.  Shumilin calmly issued the commands: “The key to the start”, “Broach one”, “Purging”.

 However, after the command “Pressurization” on the television screens and in the periscopes, the flames enveloping the rocket became visible.  And it looked unusual:  instead of a bright white glow from the bottom, a purple-red smoking tongues crawled over the rocket.
 
 Shumilin decided that the engines were turned on and said: "Ignition".  But then he immediately shouted: “So this is a fire!  Dniester, Dniester, Dniester! ”Soldatenkov joined in a second, also shouting:“ Dniester! ”

 Pilot-cosmonaut Vladimir Titov said: “The countdown of the last seconds is going on ... We are waiting for a slight jolt and a hum to appear below.  He will notify about the release of the engine mode.  A second, another ... Waiting for the habitual was delayed.  Then he felt the rocket sway.  I thought: “The wind pulled.  Now will start charging tanks "...

 A wave of light vibration has passed.  I do not know why, but this “shake” was not pleasant.  I thought again about the wind.  The vibration declined and subsided after two or three seconds.  A look at the clock.  Time!  But then a second wave of vibration appeared.  She was growing fast.  I did not have time to figure out what was happening, when suddenly - a strong jerk ...  “Explosion,” a thought pierced through the lightning. But I did not have time to get scared. ”

 On the transfer of the password "Dniester" took six seconds;  another four seconds were required for issuing commands by operators from the site and one and a half seconds for the command to be executed by the ship's automatic.  Finally, the CAC engine started.  A second before the rocket exploded, and she began to fall.

 Pilot-cosmonaut Gennady Strekalov recalled: “It turned out that the fuel supply valve was incorrectly installed in one of the first-stage engines (in the B side missile unit) of the launch vehicle.  This valve, by the way, is stored in my house as a relic.  Due to the incorrect operation of this valve, the turbopump assembly developed its speed too quickly, and one of its blades flew off, a spark appeared and a fire broke out instantly, which rushed up from the bottom of the rocket.

 It is good that at the command post they immediately noticed a fire and worked very quickly.  A command was issued to turn on the SAS via a wired connection, but it did not go through, since the wires were already burned.  Thank God, Shumilin and Soldatenkov were not taken aback and in time had time to re-give the command to turn on CAC via the command radio link.  Just two seconds after that, a powerful explosion was heard, the rocket fell into the vapor chute and burned there for several hours ... The fire was extinguished only by morning.  Our rocket completely destroyed the famous Gagarinsky launch - the 1st platform, where in 1961 started Yuri Gagarin .
 
This launch pad was then restored for a year and a half ... "
 
 In accordance with the logic of work, the SAS stole the head unit from the rocket, then at an altitude of 1 km the descent vehicle separated from it and landed 3.7 km from the start.

 “Soon, the headphones heard the voice of Leni Kizima, answered him, began to report their feelings,” cosmonaut Vladimir Titov told.  - But then it turned out that they did not hear us ... Already high above the ground, in the romp of the squibs, they understood that a separation of the ship’s compartments had taken place.  The parachute system worked.  Landed normally on the bottom, despite the strong wind.  In the left window we saw a fire in the area of ​​the starting position. ”

 Experts immediately rushed to the landing vehicle that had landed.  First of all, they were afraid that the astronauts were injured, because the overloads when the SAS is triggered are quite noticeable.  But no damage was found.

 “ Yury Pavlovich Semenov was the first to ride on a small field car ... We asked to smoke,” cosmonaut Gennady Strekalov recalled.  - Semenov did not smoke and rushed to the driver with the words: "Give the guys a cigarette."  And then he began to feel us, saying: “Well, are you whole?  There are no fractures?  Then we were taken to the examination to the doctors.  They checked us, everything was normal.  Then they brought to our hotel rooms at the 17th site ... That's the story.

Now our flight is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the most short-term rocket flight, because the SAS installation is a small solid-fuel rocket. ”

 The emergency launch did not discourage the astronauts from wanting to go back into space.  In total, Gennady Strekalov made five flights into orbit, and Vladimir Titov made four flights, with the last two on the American shuttle.  For the salvation of the crew of the "Soyuz-T" Alexei Shumilina and Alexander Soldatenkov were awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor.  But the real victors in September 1983 could be felt first and foremost by the creators of a reliable emergency rescue system.

« Last Edit: 10/12/2018 03:23 pm by jacqmans »
Jacques :-)

Offline WallE

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This was ironically a few weeks after the Soviet media made light of the SRB damage sustained during the launch of STS-8, saying it was proof that the US space program was negligent of crew safety.

What Soyuz T-10-1 does prove is the Soviet program's less-than-advanced safety features particularly the LES that couldn't be activated except with a lengthy ground control sequence. They also do not seem to have had any fire suppressant system since the booster debris burned out of control for hours and resulted in huge damage to the pad. If you see footage of Atlas, Titan, etc pad explosions, the area quickly gets doused by water from the fire suppressant system, resulting in much less damage to the facilities.

Offline Star One

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This was ironically a few weeks after the Soviet media made light of the SRB damage sustained during the launch of STS-8, saying it was proof that the US space program was negligent of crew safety.

What Soyuz T-10-1 does prove is the Soviet program's less-than-advanced safety features particularly the LES that couldn't be activated except with a lengthy ground control sequence. They also do not seem to have had any fire suppressant system since the booster debris burned out of control for hours and resulted in huge damage to the pad. If you see footage of Atlas, Titan, etc pad explosions, the area quickly gets doused by water from the fire suppressant system, resulting in much less damage to the facilities.

Yet the two crew members survived as yesterday they did as well. I’d of thought that’s the key point rather than seeking to bang some kind of patriotic drum multiple decades after the event.

Offline John-H

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Do the Russian pads have a water deluge system for normal launches?  I believe most American pads do.

John

Offline WallE

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Apparently there was a similar failure to MS-10 on a Zenit reconnaissance satellite launch in 1967. One strap-on did not separate properly, but with more catastrophic results as it hit and ruptured the core stage fuel tank and caused the core to explode when leaking RP-1 contacted the engine exhaust. An accident like that may not have been survivable on a manned launch, so we should be thankful that the core on MS-10 seems to have suffered damage of a lesser degree that merely sent it off-course.

Offline RIB

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Plus they're lucky that the staging occurred at a high enough altitude that aerodynamic forces were low on the vehicle. if that had happened in the atmosphere it could have caused a massive structural failure of the booster

Offline WallE

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So it looks like now they're saying the LOX vent valve release sensor on the Blok D strap-on was damaged in a processing accident and failed to open at staging, resulting in the strap-on ramming and puncturing the core stage LOX tank due to residual thrust (the vent valve is supposed to open to terminate thrust in the strap-ons).

This failure mode on MS-10 had apparently occurred once before, during a Zenit launch in 1986 and it was the same sequence of events. The LOX vent valve sensor was damaged during the process of mating the strap-ons to the core, one strap-on failed to shut down properly, and it collided with the core and ruptured its LOX tank.

The 1967 failure had a quite different cause where the telemetry cable failed to detach at staging, causing one strap-on to hit and rupture the RP-1 tank, which of course was a much more catastrophic situation than a ruptured LOX tank.

« Last Edit: 10/22/2018 12:06 am by WallE »

Online Alter Sachse

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Online lucspace

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Image apparently showing the Soyuz T-10a descent module not far from the launch pad, showing damage from the fire and explosion of the launch vehicle... New to me and cannot find a source.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HomemDoEspacoBr/status/1458179172308815882

Offline Joachim

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Image apparently showing the Soyuz T-10a descent module not far from the launch pad, showing damage from the fire and explosion of the launch vehicle... New to me and cannot find a source.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HomemDoEspacoBr/status/1458179172308815882
Is this really a photo of Soyuz T-10-1 launch abort? I can see snow at Baikonur. The abort occurred on September 26, 1983. And the Soyuz came down 4 or 5 km from the launch pad away.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2021 12:39 pm by Joachim »

Offline JoeFromRIUSA

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Plus it's near a Soyuz launch coimplex

Offline WallE

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That photo is showing the December 14, 1966 accident not Soyuz T-10-1. The descent module there landed about 1300 feet from LC-31.  8)
« Last Edit: 12/07/2021 10:53 pm by WallE »

Offline Dalhousie

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I can't find any good photos of a Soyuz T descent module, but there are are significant differences in the photo compared to this detailed 3D rendering https://www.artstation.com/artwork/e0rlyY
Apologies in advance for any lack of civility - it's unintended

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