Author Topic: Rocket "Loops"  (Read 15352 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Rocket "Loops"
« on: 07/02/2013 06:57 PM »
The big loop carved out by the failing, 388th Proton at Baikonur on July 2 made me wonder how often similar events have occurred.  By similar events I mean rockets flying on seemingly good engines, but flipping out of control.  Perhaps we can list a few in this thread.

I'll start with an image of the most recent Proton "loop".

I'll add an image of the famous Juno II failure of July 16, 1959 from Cape Canaveral LC 5.  That rocket didn't make as big a loop as Proton because it turned closer to the ground.

And, of course, the all time winner may be the spiraling Trident 2.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/02/2013 07:03 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Jim

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #1 on: 07/02/2013 07:01 PM »
Trident II
Early Atlas
Taurus
Jupiter
« Last Edit: 07/02/2013 07:02 PM by Jim »

Offline R7

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #2 on: 07/02/2013 07:04 PM »
Falcon 1 ?

edit: and obviously V-2



S-300 SAM goes coo-coo



Titan II

The Air Force feels that the launching is a partial success because of the smooth exit from the silo!



same launch(?) in slo-mo starting at 10:40 (doozy soundtrack!)

« Last Edit: 07/02/2013 08:47 PM by R7 »
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Offline bubbagret

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #3 on: 07/02/2013 07:08 PM »
Long March 3B Intelsat 708

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #4 on: 07/02/2013 07:14 PM »
Long March 3B Intelsat 708
Yes, that one nearly did a loop before hitting the ground, though nighttime darkness concealed the full effect.

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Offline drbuzz0

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #5 on: 07/02/2013 07:17 PM »
There was a Russian ICBM test in which the upper stage failed and went into a spin over Norway.   The spinning stage shot out propellant and formed a spiral that looked very dramatic on time exposure shots.

Some people stated claiming it was some kind of portal to another dimension or something crazy like that.

http://spaceports.blogspot.com/2009/12/failed-russian-icbm-booster-test-leaves.html

Offline ClaytonBirchenough

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #6 on: 07/02/2013 08:59 PM »
I also like the Trident 2... pretty incredible luck with the camera angle.
Clayton Birchenough
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #7 on: 07/02/2013 09:07 PM »
Falcon 1 ?
I don't think that the first Falcon 1 did a loop, because it lost thrust while climbing and then fell down unpowered.  It slid a bit sideways coming down, but it was not in a powered loop like yesterday's Proton.

The explosion when it hit was loud and dramatic like Proton, though obviously less energetic due to the available propellant.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #8 on: 07/02/2013 09:09 PM »
I also like the Trident 2... pretty incredible luck with the camera angle.

I'm trying to find a Minuteman or MX missile test that I remember did something like that during the 1980s or 90s, but I've had no luck so far. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline R7

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #9 on: 07/02/2013 09:38 PM »
The explosion when it hit was loud and dramatic like Proton

What explosion? Tanks designed to rupture to relieve structural stress during rapid ground contact ruptured, and propellants designed to rapidly mix and burn to minimize ecological harm on marine life rapidly mixed and burned effectuating brief period of elevated heat, sound and light.

Btw I think there are couple Minuteman-loops at the end of (from ~15:50) second Titan II video I posted.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #10 on: 07/02/2013 10:30 PM »
I know the Masten guys still semi-seriously talk about having Xombie do an *intentional* flip as its final flight, if they run out of customers for more sane flight profiles, and don't get any paid offers from museums to retire Xombie before they do that flight...

:-)

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Offline ClaytonBirchenough

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #11 on: 07/03/2013 12:03 AM »
I know the Masten guys still semi-seriously talk about having Xombie do an *intentional* flip as its final flight, if they run out of customers for more sane flight profiles, and don't get any paid offers from museums to retire Xombie before they do that flight...

:-)

~Jon

Wow, that'd be cool to see! :)
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #12 on: 07/03/2013 03:38 AM »
I know the Masten guys still semi-seriously talk about having Xombie do an *intentional* flip as its final flight, if they run out of customers for more sane flight profiles, and don't get any paid offers from museums to retire Xombie before they do that flight...

:-)

~Jon

Wow, that'd be cool to see! :)

Yeah, especially if it does the loops successfully without crashing!

~Jon

Offline Proponent

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #13 on: 07/03/2013 06:17 AM »
Wasn't there a DC-X or DC-XA flight during which the vehicle intentionally flew a loop and landed safely?

Offline woods170

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #14 on: 07/03/2013 09:32 AM »
What explosion? Tanks designed to rupture to relieve structural stress during rapid ground contact ruptured, and propellants designed to rapidly mix and burn to minimize ecological harm on marine life rapidly mixed and burned effectuating brief period of elevated heat, sound and light.

 ;D

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #15 on: 07/03/2013 02:03 PM »
What explosion? Tanks designed to rupture to relieve structural stress during rapid ground contact ruptured, and propellants designed to rapidly mix and burn to minimize ecological harm on marine life rapidly mixed and burned effectuating brief period of elevated heat, sound and light.

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #16 on: 07/03/2013 02:06 PM »
Wasn't there a DC-X or DC-XA flight during which the vehicle intentionally flew a loop and landed safely?

No, the DC-X flew a "box trajectory" in one or more flights that mirrored what we did in the NGLLC, and it also did a "death swoop" where it nosed down, and then pulled up. But unless I'm misremembering something, neither was what you could call a "loop" in my book.

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Offline Nickolai

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #17 on: 07/03/2013 07:49 PM »
I know the Masten guys still semi-seriously talk about having Xombie do an *intentional* flip as its final flight, if they run out of customers for more sane flight profiles, and don't get any paid offers from museums to retire Xombie before they do that flight...

:-)

~Jon

Wow, that'd be cool to see! :)

Heck, I'll pay them for that flight!

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #18 on: 07/03/2013 09:30 PM »
I know the Masten guys still semi-seriously talk about having Xombie do an *intentional* flip as its final flight, if they run out of customers for more sane flight profiles, and don't get any paid offers from museums to retire Xombie before they do that flight...

:-)

~Jon

Wow, that'd be cool to see! :)

Heck, I'll pay them for that flight!

Me too. Maybe a kickstarter is in order? :)
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #19 on: 09/09/2013 07:53 PM »
Jupiter
Yes.  That one turns out to have been Jupiter AM-23.  It happened only two months after the infamous Juno 2 AM-16 failure.  AM-23 did its own cartwheel seconds after liftoff. 

AM-23 lifted off from Cape Canaveral LC 26B on September 15, 1959 at 16:45 EST, following 12 hours and 15 minutes of countdown delays (it was supposed to liftoff during the pre-dawn hours to facilitate recovery of the Bioflight 3 capsule in the nose cone.  AM-23 suffered a failed silver solder connection on a pressure sphere, which appears to have depressurized the upper kerosene tank among other things.  The missile was immediately in trouble, wobbling as it rose.  Then the kerosene tank ruptured, breaking the missile in half as the somehow still-thrusting engine began to spin the machine upside down.  Fourteen seconds after liftoff, having spun inverted and beyond through nearly 270 degrees, the LOX tank split open, creating a massive fireball.  The nose cone fell clear of the conflagration and plummeted to earth.  The resulting explosion and debris damaged Juno 2 AM-19A standing on LC 5, but the damage was repairable.  AM-19A went on to successfully orbit Explorer 7 on October 13, 1959.

The heaviest parts of the missile impacted just short of the beach, creating a 50 foot wide, 10 foot deep impact crater.  Archeologists examined the still-existing crater in 2007 and 2012 and found five decade old fragments of the missile still buried in the sand.  Right about here I think.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=cape+canaveral&ll=28.44007,-80.561827&spn=0.001241,0.002411&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hnear=Cape+Canaveral,+Brevard,+Florida&t=h&z=19

After AM-23, Jupiter never failed again, scoring 15 consecutive successes before the program was phased out in 1963.   No one seems to recall those 15 successful launches, but they remember AM-23 and AM-16.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/11/2013 07:04 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline riney

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #20 on: 09/09/2013 08:08 PM »
The energy-dissipating "corkscrew" maneuver used in THAAD testing was... interesting.

http://youtu.be/69uXXiJan_o?t=2m8s

Offline WallE

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #21 on: 02/18/2018 04:07 PM »
Cartwheels happened on Atlas flights a bunch of times. Here's some of the more notable ones.

*Atlas 3B 7/19/58--First Atlas B test flight. The yaw gyro motor was not running at launch and as soon as the pitch and roll program was executed, it started tumbling erratically until finally breaking up at the forward end of the LOX tank at T+43 seconds. The fuel tank and thrust section fell into the ocean just offshore.
*Atlas 23D 5/6/60--The pitch gyro motor failed when some of its wiring shorted to the gyro case. The missile performed a cartwheel before the Range Safety Officer blew it up 25 seconds after launch.
*Atlas 17E 6/23/61--The pitch gyro was apparently running at half speed and the missile began oscillating in the pitch plane shortly after launch. This worsened as the launch progressed, and it finally self-destructed 101 seconds into launch from either structural loads or aerodynamic heating of the propellant tanks.
*Atlas 102D 3/10/63--Another gyroscope failure, the Atlas looped 340 degrees and self-destructed 33 seconds into launch. Why no Range Safety action was taken like with 23D is a mystery. GD/A afterwards issued a tech bulletin urging the replacement of all older Atlas Type B gyro canisters with the newer Type D canister that incorporated the Spin Motor Rotation Detection System.
*GATV 5003 5/17/66--An unplanned pitchover maneuver just before BECO caused the Atlas to plummet back towards Earth. SECO and VECO occurred on time, and the Agena target vehicle separated and fell into the Atlantic Ocean. The failure was believed to either be the result of a pinched wire in the missile programmer or something being frozen by LOX leakage.
*Atlas 68E/NOSS-4 12/9/80--A piece of corroded ducting caused loss of B-1 engine turbopump lubricant. It pinwheeled over in a very similar manner to the GATV failure 15 years earlier and headed back towards Earth, however the RSO blew it up this time.
*Atlas 76E/GPS-7 12/19/81--The B-2 engine shut down seconds into launch due to an improper repair job that caused the gas generator to rupture, the resultant gas leak burning through LOX ducting. The booster corkscrewed over and crashed several hundred feet from the pad in an enormous fireball. I'm actually not sure if it was destructed by RSO action or not.
« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 05:43 PM by WallE »

Online Alter Sachse

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #22 on: 02/18/2018 04:41 PM »
It was GATV 5004.

Offline WallE

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #23 on: 02/18/2018 06:11 PM »
Some Thor/Delta cartwheels:

*Discoverer 10 2/19/60--The booster began oscillating in the pitch plane shortly after liftoff and eventually tumbled out of control, the RSO blowing it up about 52 seconds into launch. Most of the debris landed in the pad area and it was thought to be the result of an unauthorized repair to the autopilot.
*Discoverer 27 7/21/61--Another pitch control failure, this one apparently due to an open circuit in the programmer. Control was lost and the Thor broke up at the forward end of the fuel tank 60 seconds into launch.
*Nimbus B 5/18/68--Control started to fail soon as the pitch and roll sequence started, and the RSO blew it up at T+101 seconds. The failure was apparently the result of a rather burly technician applying too much force when installing the yaw gyro and breaking its alignment pins. It is more notable perhaps for the Navy's recovery of the SNAP generators carried by the satellite.
*Intelsat 3-1 9/18/68--The Delta booster began experiencing pitch oscillations soon after liftoff, but these remained within allowable safety margins until T+100 seconds when control was completely lost and it started heading back towards land. The booster was destructed by Range Safety at T+108 seconds.
*GOES G--5/3/86--The Delta main engine shut down at T+71 seconds, causing complete loss of attitude control. It tumbled violently, the third stage and payload being stripped off, and the second stage tank being ruptured. The RSO destructed the booster 20 seconds after the engine shutdown. Damaged wiring produced an electrical short that drained the booster's batteries and caused loss of power needed to keep the main propellant valves open.

Also while not a Thor, the first and only Mercury-Scout launch on 11/1/61 ended ignominiously when the Scout booster lost control shortly after liftoff. It began tumbling and breaking up, and the RSO destruct command was sent 43 seconds into launch. The cause of the failure was a simple mistake by a technician who transposed two wires, causing pitch signals to be sent to roll and vice versa.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2018 04:54 PM by WallE »

Offline WallE

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #24 on: 02/19/2018 05:34 PM »
And finally Titan "loops":

*Titan I J-2 7/1/60--The first attempt at launching a Lot J Titan I ended quickly when the missile pitched almost as soon as it cleared the tower and began flying horizontally. The RSO destruct command was sent 11 seconds into launch and the almost fully-fueled Titan crashed several hundred feet from LC-20 in a spectacular conflagration. A hydraulic line in the first stage failed from vibration, causing loss of pressure to the first stage hydraulic system seconds after launch and total loss of control.
*Titan II N-7 2/16/63--The first attempt at launching a Titan II from a silo failed due to inadequate clearance for the umbilicals, which ripped out wiring in the guidance system. The missile lifted in an uncontrolled roll, then pitched over about 15 seconds after launch, and flipped nearly upside down. The second stage broke away from the stack and tripped the ISDS system, blowing up the first stage. That this happened was extremely fortunate because the wiring damage also disabled the RSO charges and the launch crew were in a panic due to their inability to destroy the out of control vehicle.
*Titan II N-20 5/29/63--A faulty fuel valve caused a propellant leak that led to a thrust section fire during ascent. Control of the missile gradually failed and it pinwheeled over about 50 seconds into launch. The second stage broke away from the stack and the ISDS system destroyed the first stage. After a few seconds of free flight, the second stage was manually destructed by RSO action.
*Titan 3C-12/IDCSP 8/26/66 Pieces of the payload fairing began breaking off 15 seconds after launch, and at 78 seconds, the fairing completely disintegrated. The Titan flipped nearly upside down, causing the SRBs to break away from the core due to aerodynamic loads. The ISDS charges then activated and blew the vehicle up. Cause of the failure was suspected to be moisture accumulating in the fiberglass payload shroud, so it was replaced by a metal one on subsequent flights.

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #25 on: 04/28/2018 03:51 PM »
Some Thor/Delta cartwheels:

*Nimbus B 5/18/68--Control started to fail soon as the pitch and roll sequence started, and the RSO blew it up at T+101 seconds. The failure was apparently the result of a rather burly technician applying too much force when installing the yaw gyro and breaking its alignment pins. It is more notable perhaps for the Navy's recovery of the SNAP generators carried by the satellite.

Really T+101 s? http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19690014846 says T+121 s, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/day-nimbus-weather-satellie-180961686/ even more precisely T+120,8 s.
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Offline WallE

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Re: Rocket "Loops"
« Reply #26 on: 04/28/2018 05:02 PM »
Ok thanks for the correction and I also found another rocket loop, which was Atlas 81F, an ABRES test on 10/27/67. Apparently there was a rupture of a booster engine hydraulic line shortly after liftoff, the missile tumbled out of control in a similar fashion to 102D, and was destructed by Range Safety action after only 33 seconds of flight.

This was only one of three times that an Atlas suffered an in-flight malfunction of the booster hydraulic system (the others being the two MIDAS flight failures) while it happened on the sustainer/vernier hydraulic system too many times to count.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2018 04:53 PM by WallE »

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