Author Topic: When Soyuz T-10-1 caught fire and exploded on the pad in 1983  (Read 43440 times)

Offline JoeFromRIUSA

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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)

Outstanding detective work! First rate!

Offline JoeFromRIUSA

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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)
I thought the Soyuz launch vehicle exploded. It doesn't look like there's any pad damage in that photo. Did the Soyuz land near the pad where the aborted launch and explosion occurred?
« Last Edit: 12/09/2021 05:01 pm by JoeFromRIUSA »

Offline WallE

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I thought the Soyuz launch vehicle exploded. It doesn't look like there's any pad damage in that photo. Did the Soyuz land near the pad where the aborted launch and explosion occurred?

You didn't notice one of the gantry towers has the entire top portion with the service platforms completely blown off? The other tower seems to have the platforms twisted/bent and the whole pad looks blackened (aren't R-7 pads normally painted green?) And yes the descent module did land a short distance from the pad.

Three people were killed as a result of this disaster. A member of the launch crew chose a poor place to hide from the explosion and ended up being overcome by smoke inhalation. Two army conscripts died the next day from inhaling still-lingering fumes when they neglected to put on their gas masks.

The pad was restored to use in 7 months and its next launch was a Zenit satellite on July 4, 1967.

Offline lucspace

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I came across this in a digital version of an older Novosti Kosmonavtiki issue. Is it a bona fide image of Soyuz T-10A? On the left side of the image, obvious clone stamp effects are visible...

Offline WallE

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I came across this in a digital version of an older Novosti Kosmonavtiki issue. Is it a bona fide image of Soyuz T-10A? On the left side of the image, obvious clone stamp effects are visible...
It seems to be. It's obviously not the 1966 event as that happened during daylight hours and the only footage they got of that was a poor quality film from a camera a mile away from the pad that activated after the LES and fire started.

Apparently the cause of both disasters was a valve malfunction in the launch vehicle. In the case of 7K-OK 1 a LOX valve in the Blok G strap on failed to open, preventing engine start and causing an automatic shutdown command to be sent to the core and other strap ons. On Soyuz T-10-1 it was a valve problem that allowed pressure gas to enter the Blok B turbopump, causing it to overspeed and disintegrate which started the fire that ultimately destroyed the entire vehicle.

It seemed that recovery from pad explosions in the Soviet space program was generally longer than similar US disasters like Atlas-Centaur AC-5. LC-31 was restored to use in 7 months after 7K-OK 1 and it took ten months to restore LC-1 from T-10-1. This could be because the inefficient Soviet command economy made it slower to get replacement parts but not really sure.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Definitely Soyuz-T10A. The same picture appears in an article on the T-10A launch abort in the latest issue of the Roscosmos journal "Russkiy kosmos".

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Excellent article by Dwayne Day and Asif Siddiqi on the 1983 Soyuz pad abort and what the US intelligence community knew about it at the time.

https://thespacereview.com/article/4692/1

Quote
Something goes boom in the night: the explosion of a Cold War secret
by Dwayne A. Day and Asif Siddiqi
Monday, November 13, 2023

In the fall of 1983 American reconnaissance satellites spotted preparations for a space launch at the sprawling Soviet missile and space launch range known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome, then popularly called “Tyuratam.” The satellites photographed activity at what the CIA labeled “Launch Site A1.” A1 was in fact the most famous launch pad at Baikonur, both for the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. When a CIA U-2 spyplane had first flown over Baikonur in the late 1950s, it spotted one primary launch pad, which the National Photographic Interpretation Center, which analyzed overhead imagery of the Soviet Union, soon named Complex A. Later launch complexes were designated B, C, D, and so on. Complex A became famous as the site of the Sputnik launch, and later Yuri Gagarin launched from there as well. But soon Site A1 would be the site of a spectacular accident, one that the Soviet Union sought to keep secret. American satellites would photograph the accident in detail, and information on it would accidentally leak to the Western media.

Offline JoeFromRIUSA

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So, there was no telemetry in the blockhouse indicating an anomaly.? The abort password was delivered after visually seeing something wrong on the pad. I wonder if at this point of the count there is no automatic system that would abort when sensors indicated all was not well

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