Author Topic: When Soyuz T-10-1 caught fire and exploded on the pad in 1983  (Read 43442 times)

Offline Blackstar

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http://thespacereview.com/article/2327/1
    

Things that go boom in the night
by Dwayne Day
Monday, July 8, 2013

Last week a Russian Proton rocket exploded in spectacular fashion at the primary Russian launch facility at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. The rocket lifted off, wobbled, looped, and started breaking apart in fiery clumps before slamming into the ground and exploding. We know all this because there were a lot of people on site to film it in real time, or post their videos to YouTube shortly thereafter. This is, after all, the modern age.

But when Russian rockets blew themselves to smithereens during the Cold War, usually there was no public acknowledgement of the failure by Soviet officials, who preferred to conceal their embarrassments. The United States intelligence community, however, was often watching. And occasionally American officials sought to advertise the failure for propaganda purposes, even if they could not show evidence of it. Such was the case with the explosion of a Soyuz rocket in September 1983 that came close to killing two cosmonauts. Newly declassified CIA documents now reveal some of what the US intelligence community knew about this event.

Offline Stan Black

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Dwayne,

Another informative read from yourself!

One question: when was it known that Progress featured an escape tower on top? Was that something they knew or was it common knowledge by that time?

Stan

Offline arachnitect

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That was in 1983? Wow, I'd always assumed that had happened much earlier...

It made me wonder about how much the US intelligence on the Soviet manned program changed after ASTP. Weren't there various NASA liaisons to the Soviet Union, including Baikonur, during ASTP? Did the intelligence descriptions of the facilities suddenly improve?

Quote from: http://history.nasa.gov/apollo/apsoyhist.html
Prior to the conduct of ASTP, the astronauts and cosmonauts visited each other's space centers and became familiar with the spacecraft of the other country. The first visit was by the Russians to Johnson Space Center in July 1973, followed by a U.S. visit to Moscow in November 1973. In late April and early May 1974, the Russian flight crews returned to Johnson Space Center, and the U.S. crews went to Moscow in June and July 1974. The Russian crew made a third trip to the United States in September 1973 and came for the fourth and last time in February 1975. The U.S. crew visited the Soviet Union in late April and early May 1975 and became the first Americans to see the Russian launch facilities at Tyuratam on April 28, 1975.

Offline saturnapollo

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Quote
One question: when was it known that Progress featured an escape tower on top? Was that something they knew or was it common knowledge by that time?

The Progress version has never featured an escape tower. Why would it? - it's unmanned.

It's always been known that the Soyuz manned spacecraft had an escape tower. Even Airfix had the basic configuration correct when it released the Vostok/Voskhod/Soyuz launcher kit in1969.

Keith

Offline Stan Black

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Quote
One question: when was it known that Progress featured an escape tower on top? Was that something they knew or was it common knowledge by that time?

The Progress version has never featured an escape tower. Why would it? - it's unmanned.

It's always been known that the Soyuz manned spacecraft had an escape tower. Even Airfix had the basic configuration correct when it released the Vostok/Voskhod/Soyuz launcher kit in1969.

Keith

It does have an inert one!

Gunter has a picture
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau_det/soyuz-u.htm

Quote
“The presence of an escape tower atop the payload indicates that it is an SL-04 launch vehicle with a Progress/Soyuz payload.”

Offline saturnapollo

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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

Online Targeteer

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Another great product Blackstar. 

Can you point the location of the declassified NPIC reports?  I'm somewhat surprised they've been released (although it has been the "standard" 25 years for declassification review.)
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline fregate

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42 Progress missions  from 1978 to 1990 use the same launch shroud as the Soyuz LV, though this was purely for aerodynamic purposes as the launch escape system had been deactivate.

@Blackstar - I would skeptically question an authenticity of "Keep your fingers crossed" photo. It's a typical western gesture that most likely would not be used in Russian culture before 90s...   
« Last Edit: 07/09/2013 03:24 am by fregate »
"Selene, the Moon. Selenginsk, an old town in Siberia: moon-rocket  town" Vladimir Nabokov

Offline notsorandom

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@Blackstar - I would skeptically question an authenticity of "Keep your fingers crossed" photo. It's a typical western gesture that most likely would not be used in Russian culture before 90s...   
That picture may have been a still image taken from this footage:

The part in question starts at the 36 second mark. It is hard for me to see if they are making any gestures with their hands or not.

Offline jacqmans

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Jacques :-)

Offline Blackstar

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It made me wonder about how much the US intelligence on the Soviet manned program changed after ASTP. Weren't there various NASA liaisons to the Soviet Union, including Baikonur, during ASTP? Did the intelligence descriptions of the facilities suddenly improve?

Yeah, probably, although I don't think that NASA got to walk all over Baikonur.

One problem with writing based upon intelligence reports is that the compartmentalization process in the U.S. intelligence community--to keep things secret--makes it hard to know what the U.S. intelligence community really knew about what was going on. For instance, I wrote the article based solely on imagery interpretation reports. But as I mentioned in the article, there were other kinds of intelligence, such as DSP detection of the thermal energy. At some point the Air Force surely produced a report that said something like "At XXXX Zulu time, DSP-12 detected a thermal event at location XX, XX, XX. This event is consistent with a fire and explosion at this location. There was no movement of the thermal source that would indicate a launch vehicle in flight."

And of course there were communications intercepts, and possibly telemetry signals detected.

I don't have any of those reports. So the U.S. intelligence community knew a lot about what had happened, but I don't have access to that and don't have a way to assemble that all into a single overall picture.

Offline Blackstar

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A note about the video:

I'm working from vague memory here, but I think that around 1992-1993 somebody in Russia sold about 10 minutes (or less) of "secret footage" to a Western media source. I think it was in the UK. They produced a UK documentary using the footage and then I think it later showed up in a US documentary, probably on The History Channel (which used to actually show history documentaries, believe it or not). That footage has since shown up in other documentaries as well. The key stuff that was released was:

-the Nedellin explosion (lots of people running from a burning ICBM, some of them on fire)
-the Soyuz T-10-1 failure
-one or more N-1 explosions, plus some other N-1 footage
-the smoking remains of Soyuz-1

There might have been some other stuff, like mission footage, maybe from Salyut-1. All of this was kinda shady, if I remember correctly, and it is entirely possible that the Russians selling it did not have any permission to do so. It is also possible that the Russians selling it had lots of other non-disaster footage, but the Western media sources just were not interested. The people buying were interested in making money themselves, not producing exhaustive history.

Offline fregate

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@Blackstar - I would skeptically question an authenticity of "Keep your fingers crossed" photo. It's a typical western gesture that most likely would not be used in Russian culture before 90s...   
That picture may have been a still image taken from this footage:
The part in question starts at the 36 second mark. It is hard for me to see if they are making any gestures with their hands or not.
Yes, it's an authentic and there are no "Keep your fingers crossed" - military men just kept hands behind their backs. My sincere apologies for being doubtful. I was in Moscow at that time (just started my Uni study)  - but failed launch had not been announced. 
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. 
« Last Edit: 07/10/2013 03:20 am by fregate »
"Selene, the Moon. Selenginsk, an old town in Siberia: moon-rocket  town" Vladimir Nabokov

Offline Danderman

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This is a recent Roskosmos documentary on the launch abort, with some new animations.

Offline Blackstar

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That's cool. Great find, thanks!

Looks like there is one or two new pieces of launch video footage. Unfortunately, no photos of the destroyed pad or the recovered Soyuz.

Offline Danderman

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That's cool. Great find, thanks!

Looks like there is one or two new pieces of launch video footage. Unfortunately, no photos of the destroyed pad or the recovered Soyuz.

I thought I saw some imagery of people walking around the pad after the blast, close to the end of the video.

Offline Blackstar

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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.

Offline Danderman

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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.

At any rate, I think the pad was in use again within a relatively short period of time, so it was probably not Zenited.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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As far as I can see, there isn't any new footage of the accident in the documentary.  There may not be much other footage of the accident itself, but what about footage of the damage to the pad, the recovered Soyuz etc.? I wonder why nothing new has been released more than 30 years after the accident. Is that footage still classified, is it too difficult to track down in the archives or what? The same question can be asked about footage of many other Soviet space missions.     

It is claimed in the documentary that the Americans initially believed three cosmonauts had died in the accident. I do remember there were Western reports about three cosmonauts being on board, but I don't think there ever were rumours that they had died. That certainly doesn't emerge from the declassified CIA documents described by Dwayne Day in "The Space Review" last year. 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...

Offline Blackstar

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1-but what about footage of the damage to the pad, the recovered Soyuz etc.? I wonder why nothing new has been released more than 30 years after the accident. Is that footage still classified, is it too difficult to track down in the archives or what? The same question can be asked about footage of many other Soviet space missions.     

2-It is claimed in the documentary that the Americans initially believed three cosmonauts had died in the accident. I do remember there were Western reports about three cosmonauts being on board, but I don't think there ever were rumours that they had died. That certainly doesn't emerge from the declassified CIA documents described by Dwayne Day in "The Space Review" last year.

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...

1-I agree. You would think that by now somebody would have photos of the destroyed launch pad.

2-I have over a dozen declassified imagery interpretation memos following this accident. None of them mentions the crew being killed. Several of them are very clear that the capsule was visible a few kilometers away from the pad along with recovery forces and a parachute. So it was clear from the imagery interpretation reports that the crew escape system had fired successfully.

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 think that I've seen reports indicating that adding a system for ejecting the crew compartment would have reduced the shuttle's payload to something like 10-15K pounds.

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 »

Offline lucspace

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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 »

Offline Alter Sachse

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One day you're a hero  next day you're a clown  there's nothing that is in between
        Jeff Lynne - "21century man"

Offline 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

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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