Author Topic: Russia to set world record with 39 space launches in 2009  (Read 6629 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Russia to set world record with 39 space launches in 2009
« Reply #20 on: 12/30/2008 05:47 PM »

.... the trend after 1968 was down, rapidly.  And this was not all due to ending recoverable reconnaissance satellites--note that the US continued flying them until 1986.  The rapid decline in US launches at that time was not the sign of something _wrong_ with US industry, but exactly the opposite: US satellites lasted longer.

So you would need to factor that in as well: has the downward trend had something to do with increased longevity for American satellites of all types?  If they last longer, you don't have to launch as many.  Certainly you could calculate some of this simply by looking at the lifetimes of US government satellites.  Look at TDRS lifetimes, etc.

U.S. space spending was in rapid decline after the mid 1960s.  This accounts for part of that era's decline.  The longer-lived reconsats cut launch rates substantially as well.  But this is why I've only plotted launch rates since 1990 - the post-Cold War era.  No one is hooking Corona spysat RVs these days! 

Satellite lifetimes haven't changed much since 1997, when the current U.S. decline began.  In 1998, U.S. rockets (mostly Atlas IIAS, Delta II, and Pegasus) performed something like 16 or so commercial launches.  How many this year?  One?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 12/30/2008 05:50 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline EE Scott

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Re: Russia to set world record with 39 space launches in 2009
« Reply #21 on: 01/01/2009 01:02 PM »
OMG, how dare those Russians.

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A

Makes me wish we wrote them another check for a billion dollars because we can't even launch our own astronauts for five years of the next decade.

U-S-A, U-S-oh.


You make a good point there, but there has been so many projections and announcements that have been seemingly done as nothing but a reaction to a NASA announcement that it gets old and frustrating.  I for one am a fan of Russian space efforts, but I get so frustrated by the difference between what the Russian could be doing versus what they are doing.  The capability is there for Russia to have a robust space science program, with all sorts of creative and ground breaking probes sent out, while at the same time they should have upgraded their human space capabilities and craft to a much higher level than what they have done so far.  They just need a commitment of money to get their huge talent base up and running on something REAL, but they don't get it.  Year after year -- even when they get a nice but temporary windfall from the energy price bubble of 2008 -- the output doesn't change much, and their industrial capabilities in this area are going unused.  Come on Russia - lets see something exciting!
« Last Edit: 01/01/2009 01:03 PM by EE Scott »
Scott

Offline robertross

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Re: Russia to set world record with 39 space launches in 2009
« Reply #22 on: 01/06/2009 09:20 PM »
They won't be happy until they push their goal too far and have a disaster on their hands. All it will take is one Soyuz failure, and the dream is gone. Like shuttle, it will have to halt launches, do a thorough (laughs) review, fix any problems, and get back to flying. We all know how long shuttle took each time to get back on its heels (or I should say stack).

If the failure was Progress, I wonder how ops are affected until a shuttle or second Progress could fill-in the important up-mass. Don't need to respond to this comment and derail the thread, unless you want to, and I will wash my hands of all responsibility...lol.  :)
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Offline khallow

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Re: Russia to set world record with 39 space launches in 2009
« Reply #23 on: 01/06/2009 10:23 PM »

We all know how long shuttle took each time to get back on its heels (or I should say stack).

It's not clear to me that a long time is required to troubleshoot a launch failure. For example, airlines don't ground their fleets for two years when there's an accident.
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Offline robertross

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Re: Russia to set world record with 39 space launches in 2009
« Reply #24 on: 01/07/2009 12:27 AM »

We all know how long shuttle took each time to get back on its heels (or I should say stack).

It's not clear to me that a long time is required to troubleshoot a launch failure. For example, airlines don't ground their fleets for two years when there's an accident.


On an OT remark, if we knew of half the problems of airliners that should have had fleets grounded...then maybe we'd take notice and demand change. If there is a major problem they would, but for minor ones they just rotate the fleet to do the modification until all the planes are done. Plus the lawsuit settlement is considired cheaper to them. A faulty sensor I believe in the near-empty fuel tank of a 747 caused it to blow up, due to excessive heat on the tarmac and AC running. They're slowly making that change. If it happened twice before the mod, then they would have been grounded.

If they found the problem quickly enough, then any production line unit may have time to be checked. But you would have to:

1) Gather evidence (if you can get enough of the pieces). Weeks.
2) Establish the cause of failure (if possible). Possibly months.
3) Determine if any other failed items are present in production units & test/replace (if it is a part).
4) If a replacement part is required (due to bad batch), a long lead time may ensue. Weeks-months.

Russia may tolerate one loss of crew (their own) and continue flying, but NASA may have a different point of view. Lose two vehicles, it's over for the long haul. IMO.

Don't get me wrong, the more launches the better. But we all know that a fast pace isn't always the best pace to run at. It's called complacancy, and I'm guilty of it like any other. I had a close call in my car today coming home to get on NSF again....  :)
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

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