Author Topic: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues  (Read 15598 times)

Offline MechE31

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #40 on: 05/19/2015 11:57 AM »
Any idea if there are any spare Atlas V cores that are not slated for a mission already? Otherwise that might be delta winning those. The alternative is SpaceX somehow ramps up core production to try and win extra contracts...but I don't think they would do that. Regarding Atlas V cores maybe Jim could answer that. Barring spare cores these contracts would have to wait for NGLS

Otherwise I agree, it seems to me Roscosmos needs to conduct an overhaul of the supply chain/quality control.
I don't believe that LV will be the long pole. Mexican government has to get the insurance payment, order a new satellite, and it has to be built. If they had contingency plans (which I assume they did, since this was a military payload), they might order the S/C in six months, plus another 36 (really minimum) for delivery, you are talking about a 2019 launch, which should be a lot easier on the manifest since it coincides with a dip on DoD launches.

They may have a very similar SkyTerra-2 satellite in storage from the bankrupt LightSquared. While there is conflicting info on it, I know that 4 total satellites were built, and that there was talk when the Mexsat contract was signed of re-purposing SkyTerra-2, it didn't happen.

If it did exist, it would still require work, but could most likely be turned in about 6 months.

If they were willing to wait for a new satellite the first time around when re-purposing SkyTerra-2 was an option, I doubt they would go with a re-purposed SkyTerra-2 this time around.  They'd have to have some kind of time-critical need that was more pressing now than it was back when they started to make them make a different decision, and I doubt that's the case.

I believe it was LightSquared's call back then as the contract was signed around the time they started the bankruptcy hearings and a lot has changed on their end since then.

I don't remember the specifics, it's been many years since that has been discussed.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #41 on: 05/19/2015 12:26 PM »
Any idea if there are any spare Atlas V cores that are not slated for a mission already? Otherwise that might be delta winning those. The alternative is SpaceX somehow ramps up core production to try and win extra contracts...but I don't think they would do that. Regarding Atlas V cores maybe Jim could answer that. Barring spare cores these contracts would have to wait for NGLS

Otherwise I agree, it seems to me Roscosmos needs to conduct an overhaul of the supply chain/quality control.
I don't believe that LV will be the long pole. Mexican government has to get the insurance payment, order a new satellite, and it has to be built. If they had contingency plans (which I assume they did, since this was a military payload), they might order the S/C in six months, plus another 36 (really minimum) for delivery, you are talking about a 2019 launch, which should be a lot easier on the manifest since it coincides with a dip on DoD launches.

They may have a very similar SkyTerra-2 satellite in storage from the bankrupt LightSquared. While there is conflicting info on it, I know that 4 total satellites were built, and that there was talk when the Mexsat contract was signed of re-purposing SkyTerra-2, it didn't happen.

If it did exist, it would still require work, but could most likely be turned in about 6 months.

If they were willing to wait for a new satellite the first time around when re-purposing SkyTerra-2 was an option, I doubt they would go with a re-purposed SkyTerra-2 this time around.  They'd have to have some kind of time-critical need that was more pressing now than it was back when they started to make them make a different decision, and I doubt that's the case.
On the failure press conference the Secretary of Communications and Boeing Space Systems president stated that the replacement would take 36 to 38 months. But I'm pretty sure it won't fly on a Proton-M. So I don't believe that it matters much further discussion in this particular thread.

Offline woods170

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #42 on: 05/19/2015 12:31 PM »
On the failure press conference the Secretary of Communications and Boeing Space Systems president stated that the replacement would take 36 to 38 months. But I'm pretty sure it won't fly on a Proton-M. So I don't believe that it matters much further discussion in this particular thread.
Emphasis mine.
Commercial business for ILS was already on a steady decline, thanks to the previous Proton failures. This latest one is yet another nail in the coffin. If the Russians keep it up with this failure rate then ILS will cease to exist before this decade is out; basically they are becoming a SeaLaunch v2.0.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2015 12:31 PM by woods170 »

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #43 on: 05/19/2015 02:01 PM »
I wonder how much of an incentive he has to reshuffle things at Khrunichev. If Khrunichev keeps pushing out failed launches, there won't be any more launch money for people to siphon off.

The problem is that the first instinct seems always to be to scapegoat and I don't think that their system allows for them to identify and remedy true root causes that are not immediately obvious. They can identify and patch obvious production issues and individual personnel lapses very well. However, the deeper cultural malaise and lack of check-points to identify faults during the production process may literally be something that it is impossible for what is essentially a politically-controlled and -managed operation to recognize and remedy.
Failure investigations in the US tend to not only look for what caused the problem but what else could have cause the issue and what can cause a problem in the future. That is a result of some very hard lessons learned. The investigations tend to be a chance to reevaluate the system. There were numerous fixes and improvements post Challenger. When General Dynamics moved away from this approach to failure investigation with the Atlas I they got stung by the back to back failures of the AC-70 and AC-71. They thought they found the problem and went back to flight only to be hit by the same problem that doomed the first flight. AC-71 was fell victim to a problem a more thorough investigation would have caught. A little while later AC-74 failed as well. Then there was the commercial Titan that failed too. Those two were issues of not enough inspection and quality control.

Investigations take time and money to do. While they are going on no money can not be made by the rocket. There is a strong incentive to find the problem, fix it, and get back to flying. Another thing is that an investigation is greatly hindered when people fear losing their jobs or going to jail. That sort of environment encourages people to keep quite about everything even if they did nothing to cause the problem. Witch hunts and scapegoat finding are incomparable with finding and fixing the problems.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #44 on: 05/19/2015 02:44 PM »
Root cause analysis is needed as several have stated.

Is this even possible in the Russian political climate where untruth at the highest levels is the National policy? 
How can an honest investigation even be conducted?
« Last Edit: 05/19/2015 03:24 PM by AncientU »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #45 on: 05/19/2015 03:48 PM »
Root cause analysis is needed as several have stated.

Is this even possible in the Russian political climate where untruth at the highest levels is the National policy? 
How can an honest investigation even be conducted?
Let's be honest. If root cause is that budgets are 1/2 of what they should, what good it is if they can do nothing about it? I suspects that everybody knows it but there's no political will to solve it.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #46 on: 05/19/2015 04:31 PM »
Root cause analysis is needed as several have stated.

Is this even possible in the Russian political climate where untruth at the highest levels is the National policy? 
How can an honest investigation even be conducted?
Let's be honest. If root cause is that budgets are 1/2 of what they should, what good it is if they can do nothing about it? I suspects that everybody knows it but there's no political will to solve it.

Scary.  I find myself agreeing with Rogozin.

Quote
Speaking several days after the latest failures in the sector -- including the botched launch of a Proton rocket that led to the loss of a Mexican satellite -- Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the industry was plagued by "morally decayed" officials and underpayed personnel.

He reserved the most biting criticism for the Khrunichev space centre, which produces the Proton rockets.

After the latest failure, investigators launched probes targeting the lab's ex-employees for allegedly falsifying documents and causing a loss of nine billion rubles ($180 million, 161 million euros), Rogozin said.

"With such high moral decay of its leadership, one should not be surprised at the product's poor quality," he said.

He said the latest accident with the Proton rocket is identical to two other accidents in 1988 and 2014, which shows that the high-profile probes into them "did not find the real reason" for the malfunction.

http://news.yahoo.com/russian-deputy-pm-attacks-space-industry-reform-bill-154134132.html

While you're at it, Mr. Rogozin, check that image in the mirror.
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #47 on: 05/19/2015 04:44 PM »
The fact that a cause similar to earlier failures last year and all the way back in 1988 interest me. If I'm remembering correctly, that's referring to problems with tank debris getting into turbopumps and causing engines to shut down early. If I'm right, then maybe the problem (seemingly solved for 25 years, let's recall) might be something to do with metallurgical quality. Are budget squeezes causing Khrunichev to revert to a tank alloy/lamination method that was originally abandoned because it had a high risk of de-lamination when immersed in hypergolic fuels but is much cheaper?
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #48 on: 05/19/2015 05:37 PM »
Re: Mr. Rogozin
open  :)
If I had the disposable income, I'd commission a musician to write and produce a parody song titled
"Mr. Trampoline Man"
sung in the style of William Shatner's version of "Mr. Tambourine Man."
close  :)

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Offline spectre9

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #49 on: 05/19/2015 06:09 PM »
I think the failure rate for Proton is fine.

Perhaps starting to edge towards the stage where you would worry about your payload but is not this the point of cheap rockets that can launch huge payloads?

Ask any of the customers if they would pay 100s of millions more for a guarantee. The answer is obviously no otherwise they'd be flying on Atlas/Delta.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #50 on: 05/19/2015 07:02 PM »
I think the failure rate for Proton is fine.

Perhaps starting to edge towards the stage where you would worry about your payload but is not this the point of cheap rockets that can launch huge payloads?

Ask any of the customers if they would pay 100s of millions more for a guarantee. The answer is obviously no otherwise they'd be flying on Atlas/Delta.
They would pay that and more. That is why Ariane is doing so well and why both Atlas V and the Japanese H-IIA have picked up contracts. These comsats are typically a billion dollars or more. The price difference between the Proton and its competitors is little in comparison with the total cost.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #51 on: 05/19/2015 08:45 PM »
I think this launch failure will have grave consequences for ILS / commerical launches on Proton and Soyuz.
The last commercial Proton launch contract I know is Eutelsat 9B 16 months ago...

<snip>

So probably commercial contracts on Proton are going to the (be) history. Proton lost its low-cost advantage (to SpaceX), and is by far the most unreliable rocket around (which must hike up insurance rates a lot). Its only advantage is quicker availability. Last commercial contract I know of (Eutelsat 9B) was signed 16 months ago for launch in 2015. That leaves Turksat 4B, Yamal 601, Eutelsat 9B, Inmarsat 5 F3 in the pipeline and nothing else.

We will see if these four walk, too, and who picks them up.

« Last Edit: 05/19/2015 08:46 PM by AncientU »
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Offline WindnWar

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #52 on: 05/19/2015 10:21 PM »
Anyone know what the launch schedule looks like for the H-IIA? Could they pick up some of these orders quickly or is there a long lead time for vehicle delivery? The biggest issue is near term there doesn't seem to be many launch options available.

Offline sdsds

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #53 on: 05/20/2015 08:39 AM »
The biggest issue is near term there doesn't seem to be many launch options available.

There's a launch system available in the US with a near-perfect record. It uses domestic engines on both first and second stages. (In it's simplest no-solid configuration it can even claim to create zero carbon emissions during ascent!)

Will any ILS customers choose to instead pay for a launch on that system? I kinda doubt it....
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Offline WindnWar

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #54 on: 05/20/2015 12:12 PM »
By that you mean Delta IV, problem is doesn't that have either a 24 or 36 month lead time? As expensive as it is I doubt they keep spare cores around.

Offline MaxBioHazard

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #55 on: 05/20/2015 05:09 PM »
Pardon me, but shouldn't "Krunichev" be spelt "Khrunichev"?
Yes, it's pronounced more like Hrunichev, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kha_(Cyrillic).

On Russian forums the main cause of the problems is considered unprofessional management, the dominance of old farts, outdated management techniques using, low wages and high staff turnover among young professionals. See http://keyboard09.livejournal.com/960101.html (2012, but still relevant).

First attachment is an age stats and staff turnover stats depending of the age and length of service on Hrunichev and ORKK. Second attachment is an ad for a half-time job for a 4-6-year students, task is a software modelling of orbiting Soyuz-2 rocket, fee is a 10 000 rubles/month (200$), possible without job experience.
« Last Edit: 05/20/2015 05:30 PM by MaxBioHazard »

Online Nicolas PILLET

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #56 on: 05/20/2015 07:14 PM »
On Russian forums the main cause of the problems is considered unprofessional management

Rejecting every problems' fault on management is a common practice in France. It seems we have a common point with Russia !
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #57 on: 05/20/2015 09:56 PM »
On Russian forums the main cause of the problems is considered unprofessional management

Rejecting every problems' fault on management is a common practice in France. It seems we have a common point with Russia !
Let's remember that well educated Russians only spoke in French until the Napoleonic wars. The Russian culture was heavily influenced by the French. Even War and Peace was written (originally) in both languages.

Offline fregate

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #58 on: 05/20/2015 11:23 PM »
On Russian forums the main cause of the problems is considered unprofessional management

Rejecting every problems' fault on management is a common practice in France. It seems we have a common point with Russia !
Let's remember that well educated Russians only spoke in French until the Napoleonic wars. The Russian culture was heavily influenced by the French. Even War and Peace was written (originally) in both languages.
Not quite - "War and Peace" was written in Russian, apparently you did manage to get through first 18 pages that were written in French :)
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Recent Failures/Krunichev Processing issues
« Reply #59 on: 05/21/2015 05:37 PM »
Getting back on topic, another possible explanation for issues at Khrunichev is that it is not a design bureau, but rather a manufacturing facility. If there were a full design bureau in control of production, then some of these issues may have been designed out.

As it stands, Khrunichev's designers may not be able to uncover the root cause of these issues.

There used to be a full design bureau for Khrunichev, but it was separated many years ago.

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