Author Topic: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again  (Read 49659 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Started in L2, but moving to public as this is now serious.

ATK train with SRB segments crashes again.

L2 memo in the article. All updates here now:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5090


Online DaveS

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #2 on: 05/02/2007 06:26 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 2/5/2007  8:18 PM
URL

FOX. Inaccurate as usual. "None of the cargo was spilled"? Kinda hard for something solid to spill.
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Online Chris Bergin

No Segments in the water is the latest report.

"The bridge began to collapse as the train began to cross... two locomotives and the pax car went down as the bridge cantilevered down. Two to three segments/rail cars still on the tracks, but the tracks are below grade, one car tipped over, and four further segments/rail cars intact, upright and on tracks."

Offline Roland

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #4 on: 05/02/2007 06:38 PM »
Oh Boy!Some Segments fell of the Train-is that right? I think no one will ignite such a Segment on Pad.It sems like we will have further delays on Flights ,or are there Replacements on Stock at ATK?
 :o

Offline Flightstar

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #5 on: 05/02/2007 06:39 PM »
This is going to mess up the launch schedule for sure.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #6 on: 05/02/2007 06:41 PM »
Congratulations Chris, on Google News your site is the fourth site of four covering the story and the only one one with pictures of a train.

Nicely done.
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Offline Jamie Young

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #7 on: 05/02/2007 06:45 PM »
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 2/5/2007  1:41 PM

Congratulations Chris, on Google News your site is the fourth site of four covering the story and the only one one with pictures of a train.

Nicely done.

Actually, this site is second with the news, beaten by three lines on a local TV station, first space site to report and with NASA memos. And was on L2 earlier, so first site with the news overall :)

Online Chris Bergin

I'm going to be updating the article a few more times it would appear. Lots of memos going into L2, will collate as much as viable into the article for all.

Offline ShuttleDiscovery

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #9 on: 05/02/2007 07:00 PM »
I can't believe it's derailed again!  This year isn't off to a very good start with all these delays!  :)

Online Chris Bergin

Quote
ShuttleDiscovery - 2/5/2007  8:00 PM

I can't believe it's derailed again!  This year isn't off to a very good start with all these delays!  :)

I think in this case it's not the train's fault. Seems like the bridge caused this (although we all have to wait and just 'assume' right now).

Online Chris Bergin

An issue with this incident involves the use of the the booster segments involved in this incident (for both STS-120 and STS-122) If one of the segments is determined to need to be scrapped, the other segments and the motor won't fly, as they are matched sets for the shuttle, in order to minmize trust imbalance. They could be used on a Ares 1-X type demo flight, however. The spare motor could be used for static tests as a test item. Certain parts of the scrapped motor would be recycled (washed out and recovered).

Offline jmjawors

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #12 on: 05/02/2007 07:11 PM »
Some serious karma at play with the shuttle program this year.  Freak hailstorms, train derailments... what next?
.:: Matt ::.

Offline ShuttleDiscovery

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #13 on: 05/02/2007 07:13 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 2/5/2007  8:06 PM

An issue with this incident involves the use of the the booster segments involved in this incident (for both STS-120 and STS-122) If one of the segments is determined to need to be scrapped, the other segments and the motor won't fly, as they are matched sets for the shuttle, in order to minmize trust imbalance.  They could be used on a Ares 1-X type demo flight, however. The spare motor could be used for static tests as a test item. Certain parts of the scrapped motor would be recycled (washed out and recovered).

Oh yeah I forot about the fact that you need to have matching sets.   oops! :o

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #14 on: 05/02/2007 07:15 PM »
Let's just hope the injured people are okay when all is said and done.

Offline Launch Fan

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #15 on: 05/02/2007 07:16 PM »
Quote
Lee Jay - 2/5/2007  2:15 PM

Let's just hope the injured people are okay when all is said and done.

Yes, sounds like a nasty shunt. CNN saying they will have video soon.

Offline Martin.cz

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Offline James (Lockheed)

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #17 on: 05/02/2007 07:22 PM »
Quote
Martin.cz - 2/5/2007  2:21 PM

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/05/02/derailment.shuttle.ap/index.html

In other words NASA PAO don't know, yet NASA memos on L2 show NASA pretty much know a lot more. Well done to this site.

Offline kimmern123

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #18 on: 05/02/2007 07:26 PM »
Let's just hope the people involved will get well. How long a delay are we looking at here for STS-120 and 122? Long enough to just get 3 launches this year?

Well I've got my share of train crashes lately. Not long ago my mother, sister and grandmother was involved in a crash where the train chrashed into a boulder in the middle of the track. But I digress...

Online Chris Bergin

NASA saying they believe this is the first serious incident with the booster train in Shuttle history.

Online Chris Bergin

Quote
kimmern123 - 2/5/2007  8:26 PM

Let's just hope the people involved will get well. How long a delay are we looking at here for STS-120 and 122? Long enough to just get 3 launches this year?

NASA saying they believe they have enough spare capacity not to cause schedule issues, but this is before they know the full state of the six remaining RSRM 98 center and forward segments (STS-120) and RSRM 99 aft segments (STS-122).

I'm sure they'll work it out, but it's too early to say.

By the way, the injuries to the people on the train is a more serious situation, but I'm sure you can all understand, we cover the vehicle hardware here, so I'm concentrating on that.

Online DaveS

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #21 on: 05/02/2007 07:29 PM »
Quote
kimmern123 - 2/5/2007  9:26 PM
How long a delay are we looking at here for STS-120 and 122? Long enough to just get 3 launches this year?
Not known yet. It all depends if the segments are undamaged or ot.
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Online Chris Bergin

I'm informed that if a single segment is trashed, then the same segment from the other motor will be scrapped. But two new matching segments can be cast and inserted. This would fix the thrust imbalance issue.

Online Chris Bergin

Another memo (and back on to the people for a moment), notes all minor injuries, with one serious (but not life-threatening), and he's been air lifted from the scene.

Offline psloss

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #24 on: 05/02/2007 07:42 PM »
Do they have another train "set" to transport segments besides this one?

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #25 on: 05/02/2007 07:44 PM »
Non life-threatening is certainly good news, now let's hope for non life-altering as well - some stitches and a couple of days off, or some such thing.

Offline ShuttleDiscovery

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #26 on: 05/02/2007 07:50 PM »
So it's not all bad news... :)

Offline Peter NASA

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #27 on: 05/02/2007 07:52 PM »
We'll take some damaged segments over anyone being killed, that's for sure.

Offline Jim

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #28 on: 05/02/2007 08:12 PM »
Quote
psloss - 2/5/2007  3:42 PM

Do they have another train "set" to transport segments besides this one?

many

Offline Martin.cz

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #29 on: 05/02/2007 08:17 PM »
looks like CNN has video of the crash....

Offline Bruhn

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #30 on: 05/02/2007 08:22 PM »
Quote
Martin.cz - 2/5/2007  3:17 PM

looks like CNN has video of the crash....

The lead locomotive looks like it has sunk so far in the mud that it is flush with the top of the mud.  Being such a swampy remote area, how in the heck do you clean this mess up.

Offline paulhbell07

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #31 on: 05/02/2007 08:35 PM »
Weird how 2 loco's and passenger wagon have come the off rails and tipped over, then a couple of the the trucks carrying the segments are upright, then one of the trucks has tipped over then the rest behind seem upright. I wonder why the one in the middle has tipped and the ones either side of it have remained upright.

Offline Damon Hill

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #32 on: 05/02/2007 08:35 PM »
Big cranes, after the bridge is rebuilt.  Railroads routinely deal with this and worse.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #33 on: 05/02/2007 08:36 PM »
It looks like one of the four is on it's side and the other three are fine.  Knowing NASA, I bet those segments are packed pretty effectively.  I'm guessing that segment isn't too bad off.

Offline Shuttle Man

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #34 on: 05/02/2007 08:49 PM »
Segment damage is going to be key here for the 120 and 122 stacks.
Ex-Apollo, waiting for NASA to finish what we started.

Offline cz77

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #35 on: 05/02/2007 08:59 PM »
The bridge collapsed????  It would almost be comical if it wasnt so serious.

Online Chris Bergin

NASA are happy it won't hurt the schedule (snippet from a long e-mail):

"ATK has two additional flight sets completed and in storage in Utah ready for shipment and one flight set in Final Assembly. With the amount of RSRM hardware in process, it appears there would not be an impact to the Space Shuttle Schedule."

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #37 on: 05/02/2007 09:22 PM »
These segments weigh on the order of 100 tons each, correct?

It's not going be easy to recover the toppled segment given the surrounding soil conditions.  They'll probably have to do it with a crane on the rails.

Offline astrobrian

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #38 on: 05/02/2007 09:28 PM »
Would a Sky Crane Helicopter be able to lift it? Or would mods to the container need to be made?

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #39 on: 05/02/2007 09:36 PM »
Sky cranes are super wimpy as cranes go.  Roughly 10 tons capacity.

Offline Stowbridge

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #40 on: 05/02/2007 10:04 PM »
Quote
astrobrian - 2/5/2007  4:28 PM

Would a Sky Crane Helicopter be able to lift it? Or would mods to the container need to be made?

Not enough capacity.

It's going to take about a month to set up the lifting of these very heavy segments.
Veteran space reporter.

Offline nathan.moeller

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #41 on: 05/02/2007 10:53 PM »
Glad to hear it won't hurt the schedule.  Thanks for passing all the news along Chris.  2007 has been a messy year for NASA!  Let's just hope their luck balances itself out with three or four safe shuttle flights.
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Offline EE Scott

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #42 on: 05/02/2007 11:34 PM »
Is there any way to get the names of the ATK folks who were on that train?
Scott

Offline gordo

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #43 on: 05/02/2007 11:35 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 2/5/2007  8:26 PM

NASA saying they believe this is the first serious incident with the booster train in Shuttle history.

in '82, the train hit and killed 2 people on a level crossing.  This was minor compared to that thankfully

Offline gordo

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #44 on: 05/02/2007 11:42 PM »
The video shows what we've been told that only 1 SRB transporter seems damaged and on its side.


Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #45 on: 05/03/2007 12:26 AM »
Interesting about the 82 incident, Gordo.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #46 on: 05/03/2007 12:57 AM »
NASA PAO get around to a release:

May 2, 2007

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-3749

Kyle Herring
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111

RELEASE: 07-97

NASA SUPPORTS TRAIN-DERAILMENT RECOVERY IN ALABAMA

WASHINGTON - Officials from NASA and ATK Launch Systems, Edina, Minn.,
are assisting the Federal Railroad Administration during its
investigation of a train derailment Wednesday morning near
Pennington, Ala. The train was carrying space shuttle reusable solid
rocket motor segments from the ATK Launch Systems manufacturing site
in Brigham City, Utah, to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

"Several members of the NASA family were injured in this serious
accident. Today our prayers are for those who have been injured and
their families. Our employees work in hazardous jobs every day, and
it is our goal to keep them safe," said NASA's Space Shuttle Program
Manager Wayne Hale.

The special train carrying only solid rocket motor segments and a
passenger car to monitor their transportation was crossing a bridge
or a trestle, which collapsed under the locomotives. Six people were
injured when the two locomotives and the passenger car dropped about
10 feet and turned on their sides.

One of the cars carrying a solid rocket motor segment is also on its
side. The remaining cars containing seven solid rocket motor segments
and two aft exit cone segments are upright.

The hardware was intended for use on shuttle Discovery's STS-120
mission in October and shuttle Atlantis's STS-122 mission in
December. These segments are interchangeable, and ATK Launch Systems
has replacement units that could be used for the shuttle flights, if
necessary.

Each segment weighs approximately 300,000 lbs. and is protected by a
white or yellow colored fiberglass cover during shipment. The
condition of the rocket motor segments will be assessed as soon as
teams conduct a full inspection. Solid Rocket Motor segments have
been transported across country by rail for more than 26 years with
an excellent record of safe transportation. For information about the
Space Shuttle Program, visit:

www.nasa.gov/shuttle

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #47 on: 05/03/2007 01:49 AM »
Forgot to copy this across from L2:

The train was set to arrive at KSC on the 7th.

As you can see from this screenshot of part of the ATK Daily Presentations we put on L2, they have an empty set of cars. This also shows exactly what was en-route:

Will be interesting to see tomorrow's pdf!

Offline shostetler

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #48 on: 05/03/2007 01:52 AM »
As an engineer for the BNSF railway, I can tell you it's no fun having your train suddenly go into emergency and wonder if everything "back there" is ok or not. It's not always just 4 or 5 cars like this train, but more like a mile or a mile and a half. I've wondered many times just what we carry, rarely if ever do we know, unless it's a special load or is hazardous. It's accidents like this though that explain why train makeup rules are so strict. All the rules are written in accidents, or blood. The end result of which is that now there is a buffer car behind the engine, and sometimes other cars added just for more braking ability. The added car behind the engine is in case there is a derailment such as this because then the hazardous material load (flammable, or poisonous) won't be next to the engine which may catch on fire. In this case it doesn't sound like fire was an issue, but it did save the booster from having that bad a wreck and going into the river.

Offline shostetler

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #49 on: 05/03/2007 02:48 AM »
picture....

Copyright AP.

Offline nathan.moeller

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #50 on: 05/03/2007 02:51 AM »
Wowzers.  That'll mess your day up for sure.  Thanks for passing that along Seth.  Glad everyone is going to be okay.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #51 on: 05/03/2007 04:10 AM »
Quote
cz77 - 2/5/2007  3:59 PM

The bridge collapsed????  It would almost be comical if it wasnt so serious.

I'm wondering why these segments, parts for NASA's multi-billion dollar babies, are being shipped over what appears to be "iffy" trackage.  This accident appears to have happened on a stretch of little-used track owned (at least in 2003) by CSX Transportation.  According to Harry Ladd's 2003 "U.S. Railroad Traffic Atlas", this track, which runs from a short-line connection at Myrtlewood, AL to Montgomery, AL  probably only hosts one or two local freight trains per day at most, which means there is little revenue available to keep the track in good shape.  CSX earnings, along with the earnings of most North American railroads, have been in decline recently, a problem that often causes deferred maintenance.  

EDIT:  The track is now operated by the Meridian and Bigbee Railroad which is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc.   http://www.gwrr.com
CSX presumably sold or leased the track to GWRR sometime since 2003, creating what it calls a "short line partner"  http://www.csx.com/?fuseaction=customers.sl_directory-detail&i=2039  .  

The Meridian and Bigbee has had a number of derailments in the news recently, including one that was suspected to have been caused by vandalism.  
http://www.meridianstar.com/local/local_story_037004945.html  
http://www.meridianstar.com/local/local_story_030001902.html?keyword=topstory
http://www.meridianstar.com/local/local_story_319005401.html

 - Ed Kyle


Offline shostetler

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #52 on: 05/03/2007 06:57 AM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 2/5/2007  11:10 PM

I'm wondering why these segments, parts for NASA's multi-billion dollar babies, are being shipped over what appears to be "iffy" trackage.  This accident appears to have happened on a stretch of little-used track owned (at least in 2003) by CSX Transportation.  According to Harry Ladd's 2003 "U.S. Railroad Traffic Atlas", this track, which runs from a short-line connection at Myrtlewood, AL to Montgomery, AL  probably only hosts one or two local freight trains per day at most, which means there is little revenue available to keep the track in good shape.  CSX earnings, along with the earnings of most North American railroads, have been in decline recently, a problem that often causes deferred maintenance.

Ahh.. but how little is known by the general public about the state of class 1 railroads in the US... lol, and how very very little anybody realizes just how big and important our railroad system is. I can't speak for CSX, but BNSF has experienced record profits in recent years. And even with future years of oil shortages, railroads will still be #1 and reap profits. BNSF isn't laying all their 2nd main track from KS down to TX without record profits. The sad part is, in all the profits, the railroads sell off some of the lesser grossing branch lines. These branches are usually sold to a secondary company with the exclusion that if the seller (CSX) needs the railroad again, they can use it. The then short line railroad relying on the profits from that one small portion of railroad they bought can't afford to keep up with track maintenance as the prior owners enjoyed since they don't have the umbrella of an entire network to take care of them. So, they maintain the railroad in the smallest way possible to try and turn a profit to make stockholders of their new little company happy, always in the form of little or no maintenance, (a 30 mph rr trickles down to 10 mph or 5 mph.. along with fewer FRA inspections for the slower track). And in the end, the deferred maintenance to exhume more profits shows it's ugly head in the form of derailments as you see here. The CSX probably kept trackage rights on that short stretch of track for this one special train to shave numerous route miles and possible interchanges with other railroads away from the shortest route possible. The end result is what's happened here. I've personally been involved with fighting a railroad abandonment and learned the hard way, the STB does NOT care about how freight gets from point A - B. The big boys with the money and high priced attorneys win. Trust me, the UP, or CSX will eat these derailments up by flat out buying these SRB's and not think a thing about it. The CEO's of these railroads make more than enough in personal income to purchase one booster rocket themselves, let alone cut into profits of the RR itself.

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #53 on: 05/03/2007 11:52 AM »
Will the NTSB be carrying out an investigation into the derailment?

Offline rdale

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #54 on: 05/03/2007 12:54 PM »
Quote
Gary - 3/5/2007  7:52 AM

Will the NTSB be carrying out an investigation into the derailment?

Yes, that's standard practice for any accident (especially with injuries.)

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #55 on: 05/03/2007 12:56 PM »
Officially: "ATK has established an emergency operations center and is in contact with on-site authorities. ATK and NASA have personnel en route to the site as well as an emergency handling team from Utah. NTSB will lead the investigation. "

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #56 on: 05/03/2007 01:00 PM »
Quote
From the NASA Press Release

These segments are interchangeable, and ATK Launch Systems
has replacement units that could be used for the shuttle flights, if
necessary.


ATK used the word "Bull Crap" when I passed that on. NASA PAO got it wrong.

Offline Gary

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #57 on: 05/03/2007 01:42 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 3/5/2007  2:00 PM

Quote
From the NASA Press Release

These segments are interchangeable, and ATK Launch Systems
has replacement units that could be used for the shuttle flights, if
necessary.


ATK used the word "Bull Crap" when I passed that on. NASA PAO got it wrong.

I suspect that in THEORY they are but in practice the solid propellant is poured from the same mixing vats into both SRB casings. Switching out a segment thats going to have been poured from a different mix could give thrust imbalance issues all of its own.

NASA's own website says as much here - http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/srb.html

Offline hmh33

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #58 on: 05/03/2007 02:34 PM »
Hope all the injured recover quickly.


"The spare motor could be used for static tests as a test item. Certain parts of the scrapped motor would be recycled (washed out and recovered). "

Barbeque anyone?

Offline Captain Scarlet

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RE: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #59 on: 05/03/2007 02:53 PM »
Quote
hmh33 - 3/5/2007  9:34 AM

Hope all the injured recover quickly.


"The spare motor could be used for static tests as a test item. Certain parts of the scrapped motor would be recycled (washed out and recovered). "

Barbeque anyone?

That'd be one hell of a kick to the spare ribs ;)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Newsflash: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #60 on: 05/03/2007 03:06 PM »
Quote
shostetler - 3/5/2007  1:57 AM

Quote
edkyle99 - 2/5/2007  11:10 PM

I'm wondering why these segments, parts for NASA's multi-billion dollar babies, are being shipped over what appears to be "iffy" trackage.  ...CSX earnings, along with the earnings of most North American railroads, have been in decline recently, a problem that often causes deferred maintenance.

Ahh.. but how little is known by the general public about the state of class 1 railroads in the US... lol, and how very very little anybody realizes just how big and important our railroad system is. ...

U.S. freight railroads did well in recent years, but the last two quarters have seen declining traffic and revenue.  
See, for example:

http://railfax.transmatch.com/
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/csx-earnings-slip-lower-freight/story.aspx?guid=%7BEF2F6EE6-A7A5-405D-9498-8C2E0A288A3E%7D

That said, I agree that the problem with this particular track probably has more to do with its acquisition by a short line from its former Class I owner.  

NASA should have a say in the routing of this sensitive, hazardous cargo.  If this short line can't handle the freight, then future shipments should be rerouted to better track.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #61 on: 05/03/2007 04:23 PM »
Interesting report at

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1178183785137530.xml&coll=1

says:

"Meridian and Bigbee of Meridian, Miss., was hauling the equipment and owns the trestle, said Mike Williams, a spokesman for Bigbee parent Genesee & Wyoming Inc. of Greenwich, Conn. The bridge was closed for repairs Sunday night and reopened Wednesday morning, he said."

Hmmmm.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #62 on: 05/04/2007 12:14 AM »
I must first say I am happy to learn from ATK sources that those injured in this incident are expected to make a full recovery from their injuries. It also appears that the incident is not expected to cause any delay in the shuttle flight schedule, and I also understand a review of rolling stock maintenance, routing, track maintenance, etc., will be conducted to ensure that equipment or infrastructure failures of this type are addressed.

Having said that, there is a sidebar to the main story here that struck me as an "interesting coincidence"....the personnel car involved in the derailment, and in which the escort passengers (and who it appears are  thankfully) were riding, is owned by the Promontory Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), and is named the "Warrior River." The derailment occurred on the Meridian & Bigbee line on a trestle over the Tombigbee River. The uppermost portion of a chain of rivers, of which the Tombigbee is one, is the Black Warrior River, which empties out of a lake known by two different names: Bankhead Lake and....."Warrior River."  

The "Warrior River" is a Pullman passenger rail car with six bedrooms, two rest rooms, a full kitchen and lounge, built in 1949. It was bought by the Promontory Chapter of the NRHS in 1988 and considerably updated. (The Promontory Chapter takes its name from Promontory Point, in Utah, not far from ATK Thiokol's facility, where the eastern and western segments of the first US transcontinental railroad were joined by the pounding of a "Golden Spike" back in May of 1869.)

Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline speez

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #63 on: 05/04/2007 01:07 AM »
I too am thankful that all personnel involved in BOTH rail incidents are expected to fully recover.   Just the "sheer coincidence" of two train derailments, is hard to believe.  One might ask the question, "Why are the SRB segments transported by rail, anyway?"

Reminds me of an email I received several years ago.

Here's the link:


http://www.softwaretipsandtricks.com/forum/chit-chat/32708-what-imperial-roman-horse-srbs-shuttle-have-common.html

Offline gordo

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #64 on: 05/04/2007 01:19 AM »
Quote
speez - 4/5/2007  2:07 AM

 "Why are the SRB segments transported by rail, anyway?"


Size and Weight is believe

Offline Lee Jay

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #65 on: 05/04/2007 01:27 AM »

Offline Seattle Dave

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #66 on: 05/04/2007 02:23 AM »
There's about 20 new photos from a NASA guy in L2 of the crash. It's a total mess. :(

Offline Jamie Young

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #67 on: 05/04/2007 03:57 AM »
Quote
Seattle Dave - 3/5/2007  9:23 PM

There's about 20 new photos from a NASA guy in L2 of the crash. It's a total mess. :(

I hear ya. But as mentioned a number of times here, I'd take a wrecked train over people getting badly hurt or killed.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #68 on: 05/04/2007 04:13 AM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 3/5/2007  11:23 AM

Interesting report at

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1178183785137530.xml&coll=1

says:

"Meridian and Bigbee of Meridian, Miss., was hauling the equipment and owns the trestle, said Mike Williams, a spokesman for Bigbee parent Genesee & Wyoming Inc. of Greenwich, Conn. The bridge was closed for repairs Sunday night and reopened Wednesday morning, he said."

Hmmmm.

 - Ed Kyle

AP has picked up this aspect of the story, reporting that work was underway on the trestle right up to the time that the SRB train arrived.  Track workers actually stopped working and were standing track side watching when the train wrecked!

http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_5810824

Shouldn't a precursor "test" train have proceeded before such valuable cargo on track that was in the process of being rebuilt?  The way it seems to have worked out in this case is that the SRB train was the first train across the bridge.  Perhaps this is standard rail freight operating procedure, but it doesn't seem at all smart to me to run this particular train this way.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline gordo

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #69 on: 05/04/2007 12:04 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 4/5/2007  5:13 AM

AP has picked up this aspect of the story, reporting that work was underway on the trestle right up to the time that the SRB train arrived.  Track workers actually stopped working and were standing track side watching when the train wrecked!

 - Ed Kyle

I wonder if any of them caught the incient on a mobile phone  :o

Offline Gary

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #70 on: 05/04/2007 12:20 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 4/5/2007  5:13 AM

Shouldn't a precursor "test" train have proceeded before such valuable cargo on track that was in the process of being rebuilt?  The way it seems to have worked out in this case is that the SRB train was the first train across the bridge.  Perhaps this is standard rail freight operating procedure, but it doesn't seem at all smart to me to run this particular train this way.

 - Ed Kyle

I would have thought it would have been standard practice for major track work - unless this particular track work was not that major.
Does anyone know what sort of work they were doing?

Online Chris Bergin

Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #71 on: 05/04/2007 01:45 PM »
Quote
Seattle Dave - 4/5/2007  3:23 AM

There's about 20 new photos from a NASA guy in L2 of the crash. It's a total mess. :(

We've got a load more memos, so we'll be doing another article within the next hour or so.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #72 on: 05/04/2007 04:42 PM »
Another article with some of the quotes from the latest memos we've put on L2:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5092

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #73 on: 05/04/2007 04:43 PM »
Larger images of the two used in this article from the 17 exclusive images on L2:

Offline Johnny Rönnberg

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #74 on: 05/04/2007 07:18 PM »
The US railways seems to be in the same situation as the UK railways - very bad. I'm can not understand that a public open railway can be in this bad condition.
"You see one Earth, you've seen them all."

Offline shuttlepilot

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #75 on: 05/04/2007 07:24 PM »
Quote
Johnny Rönnberg - 4/5/2007  9:18 PM

The US railways seems to be in the same situation as the UK railways - very bad. I'm can not understand that a public open railway can be in this bad condition.
You didn't see polish railways :o

Offline bholt

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #76 on: 05/05/2007 01:51 AM »
The statistics do not bear this out. U.S. RRs are moving more freight than ever before with relatively few accidents. This is just mainly bad luck.

Brent
"We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
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Offline Space101

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #77 on: 05/05/2007 03:54 AM »
Quote
shuttlepilot - 4/5/2007  2:24 PM

Quote
Johnny Rönnberg - 4/5/2007  9:18 PM

The US railways seems to be in the same situation as the UK railways - very bad. I'm can not understand that a public open railway can be in this bad condition.
You didn't see polish railways :o

Nothing is as bad as Railtrack PLC! :o
Let's go and explore space.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #78 on: 05/05/2007 04:31 AM »
Quote
bholt - 4/5/2007  8:51 PM

The statistics do not bear this out. U.S. RRs are moving more freight than ever before with relatively few accidents. This is just mainly bad luck.

Brent

U.S. railroads are moving more freight tonnage, but it is focused on a shrinking system of mainline track - and rail freight is steadily losing market share percentage to trucks.  Secondary rail lines like the Meridian to Mongomery route that put this SRB train on the ground, are marching toward oblivion.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline renclod

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #79 on: 05/05/2007 07:00 AM »
Quote
Gary - 3/5/2007  4:42 PM

Quote
Chris Bergin - 3/5/2007  2:00 PM

Quote
From the NASA Press Release

These segments are interchangeable, and ATK Launch Systems
has replacement units that could be used for the shuttle flights, if
necessary.

ATK used the word "Bull Crap" when I passed that on. NASA PAO got it wrong.
I suspect that in THEORY they are but in practice the solid propellant is poured from the same mixing vats into both SRB casings. Switching out a segment thats going to have been poured from a different mix could give thrust imbalance issues all of its own.

NASA's own website says as much here - http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/srb.html

I suspect the SRB segments are also carefully matched with regard to the vertical integration. One can learn about SRB and ET tolerances here:

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oce/llis/0713.html
Public Lessons Learned Entry: 0713

Quote
The fit of one section with the next is ensured because their mating parts (tangs and clevis joints) were all drilled using a master tool. There is no alignment adjustment between the sections and the deviation from vertical in the "y" plane is +0.8299" per stack.
All this applies to fabrication (master gauge > transfer gauges > master tools) and would assure the interchangeability (of one segment pair with another segment pair) right off the factory gate.

But I wonder, after a number of missions, going through different environments and flight regimes (temperature of the sea water at splash, aerodynamic loads) what happens with the assured interchangeability of segments.


Offline Jim

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #80 on: 05/05/2007 01:55 PM »
The mechanical interfaces with the SRB's has nothing to do with 'matching" or interchangability.  It has to do with the propellant pour.    The same segments rarely, if at all, fly together.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #81 on: 05/05/2007 02:28 PM »
I think all eight segments were destroyed on 51L by range safety, correct?  Another set sank, though I forget which flight.  Roughly how many others are in existence?

Offline Jim

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #82 on: 05/05/2007 02:52 PM »
28 shipsets

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #83 on: 05/05/2007 03:07 PM »
I hope "shipsets" means 2 SRBs worth like on this train.  In that case 28*8=224 segments.  Thanks Jim!

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #84 on: 05/05/2007 04:51 PM »
Recovery going well.

One or both of the Locos have been righted back on to the tracks, and they weigh more than the cars with segs, so they will be capable of doing likewise with all of the train.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #85 on: 05/05/2007 04:54 PM »
By the way, this is the train in question (when it's doing what it should be):

Offline spaceflight101

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #86 on: 05/05/2007 05:29 PM »
Any "rumbles" as to a possible affect on the schedule? Murphy definitely needs to take a vacation far, far away from NASA things...or else we're going to be talking about 2011.

Offline shostetler

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #87 on: 05/05/2007 05:38 PM »
Quote
spaceflight101 - 5/5/2007  12:29 PM

Any "rumbles" as to a possible affect on the schedule? Murphy definitely needs to take a vacation far, far away from NASA things...or else we're going to be talking about 2011.

2011? or the axing of more modules..

Offline Gary

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #88 on: 05/05/2007 05:47 PM »
Quote
Lee Jay - 5/5/2007  3:28 PM

I think all eight segments were destroyed on 51L by range safety, correct?  Another set sank, though I forget which flight.  Roughly how many others are in existence?

I think it was STS-3 or STS-4 - Certainly one of the early flights both SRB parachute systems failed and the boosters were lost.

Offline Jim

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #89 on: 05/05/2007 05:53 PM »
Quote
shostetler - 5/5/2007  1:38 PM

Quote
spaceflight101 - 5/5/2007  12:29 PM

Any "rumbles" as to a possible affect on the schedule? Murphy definitely needs to take a vacation far, far away from NASA things...or else we're going to be talking about 2011.

2011? or the axing of more modules..

No more modules can be removed.  But first this  will not affecdt 2010

Offline JayP

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #90 on: 05/06/2007 03:13 AM »
If I remeber correctly, there are 11 segments per motor, not 8. There are 2 segments each in the forward, forward center, and aft center sections and 5 in the aft section. That would mean that there are 28*22=616 casing segments toatal. Also, assuming that the redesign after 51-L ment scrapping the existing segments, (i'm assuming here, I could be wrong) that means that each segment has only flown an average of 3 times over the entire program. I've always wondered exactly how "reusable" these motors are.

Offline astrobrian

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #91 on: 05/06/2007 05:43 AM »
That is an average. The average flights per year haven't achieved the original goal either after 51-L so that plays a part.

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #92 on: 05/06/2007 12:26 PM »
Quote
JayP - 5/5/2007  11:13 PM

If I remeber correctly, there are 11 segments per motor, not 8. There are 2 segments each in the forward, forward center, and aft center sections and 5 in the aft section. That would mean that there are 28*22=616 casing segments toatal. Also, assuming that the redesign after 51-L ment scrapping the existing segments, (i'm assuming here, I could be wrong) that means that each segment has only flown an average of 3 times over the entire program. I've always wondered exactly how "reusable" these motors are.

There are 2 casings that makeup a segment (the aft does not use 5).  Only 4 segments make up an SRM.  
51-L did not require scrapping of existing casings.  the new casings were only needed for the field joints, the old casings could be uses for the factory joints


Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #93 on: 05/08/2007 07:29 PM »
All cars now righted and back on the track.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #94 on: 05/08/2007 07:37 PM »
That was fast.  Anyone know what type of equipment they used to lift the cars?

Offline Orbiter Obvious

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #95 on: 05/15/2007 01:30 AM »
Quote
Lee Jay - 8/5/2007  2:37 PM

That was fast.  Anyone know what type of equipment they used to lift the cars?

A very big crane :)

Offline MKremer

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #96 on: 05/15/2007 02:39 AM »
With the weight of those locomotives probably several big cranes.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #97 on: 05/15/2007 02:43 AM »
We're talking about a swamp that couldn't support even the rails.  Was the crane on the undamaged tracks?  It wouldn't be easy to get a mobile crane out there and then find stable ground on which to put it.

Offline George CA

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #98 on: 05/15/2007 03:29 AM »
It'll of been a beefed up version of this.
"One Percent for Space"

Online Chris Bergin

RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #99 on: 05/15/2007 09:40 PM »
The latest is that the four segements that are not going to KSC will start transfering on Saturday to good railroad cars - at the rate of one segment per day. Segments will then head to Utah.

Offline Lee Jay

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #100 on: 05/15/2007 09:52 PM »
Quote
George CA - 14/5/2007  9:29 PM

It'll of been a beefed up version of this.

Yeah...that's what I expected.  But I was expecting them to have to complete some track repairs first.  That's why I was surprised that they got it done so quickly.

Offline Justin Space

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #101 on: 05/20/2007 08:31 PM »
Good to read that all the segs will be out of there this weekend.

Offline shostetler

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #102 on: 05/27/2007 06:26 PM »
This is what we refer to as a cornfield meet, where 2 trains hit out in the field together headon. At the start of the video, there is a signal with 2 yellow lights, meaning they are going into the siding ahead to meet another train. At the siding, the train they are meeting fails to stop, and was doing 38mph when they hit the train with the camera. The signal into the siding was red over green, meaning to take the siding, but when the other train fails to stop, it drops all red on them. I had to share this, beings this is what my job entails. We had a nice little briefing at work where they played this tape for us, and showed us the aftermath. Talk about one heck of a wakeup call.


Offline vt_hokie

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #103 on: 05/27/2007 08:03 PM »
Yikes!  Thank goodness nobody was killed that time.  Reminds me a little of the Chase, Maryland disaster in '87, where a string of Conrail engines ran through a red signal onto the main and into the path of a 125 mph Amtrak train.  16 people died in that accident, which brought about several changes on the Northeast Corridor, including the requirement for cab signals on all equipment, freight or passenger.

Offline publiusr

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #104 on: 06/01/2007 08:32 PM »
The worst thing I have ever seen was one car that had telescoped into the other. No room for the occupants. I'd rather be atop an R-7 on fire.

Offline STSFan10

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #105 on: 06/12/2007 04:40 AM »
Has this been cleared since? That's why I'm bumping :)
"Damn it's good to be a Cylon.....There ain't no Earth anyway."

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #106 on: 06/12/2007 11:23 PM »
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STSFan10 - 12/6/2007  5:40 AM

Has this been cleared since? That's why I'm bumping :)

I don't know about the site, but the booster segs are all back where they should be now.

Offline krausso

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #107 on: 06/13/2007 04:19 AM »
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Jim - 6/5/2007  6:26 AM

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JayP - 5/5/2007  11:13 PM

If I remeber correctly, there are 11 segments per motor, not 8. There are 2 segments each in the forward, forward center, and aft center sections and 5 in the aft section. That would mean that there are 28*22=616 casing segments toatal. Also, assuming that the redesign after 51-L ment scrapping the existing segments, (i'm assuming here, I could be wrong) that means that each segment has only flown an average of 3 times over the entire program. I've always wondered exactly how "reusable" these motors are.

There are 2 casings that makeup a segment (the aft does not use 5).  Only 4 segments make up an SRM.  
51-L did not require scrapping of existing casings.  the new casings were only needed for the field joints, the old casings could be uses for the factory joints

There are two cases that make up a segment for the forward, forward center, and aft center. The aft segment is actually three cylinders and is not identical to the cylinders used in the other segments.

Offline Stowbridge

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Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #108 on: 07/16/2007 04:39 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 12/6/2007  6:23 PM

Quote
STSFan10 - 12/6/2007  5:40 AM

Has this been cleared since? That's why I'm bumping :)

I don't know about the site, but the booster segs are all back where they should be now.

No problems for STS-120 and 122 is the outcome?
Veteran space reporter.

Offline Danny Dot

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #109 on: 07/16/2007 07:56 PM »
Do the SRB segments have to go back to Utah between each flight?  Is the propellant poured in Utah?

Danny Deger
Danny Deger

Offline Jim

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RE: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #110 on: 07/16/2007 08:08 PM »
Quote
Danny Dot - 16/7/2007  3:56 PM

Do the SRB segments have to go back to Utah between each flight?  Is the propellant poured in Utah?

Danny Deger

yes and yes

Online Chris Bergin

Re: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again
« Reply #111 on: 07/17/2007 12:27 AM »
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Stowbridge - 16/7/2007  5:39 PM

Quote
Chris Bergin - 12/6/2007  6:23 PM

Quote
STSFan10 - 12/6/2007  5:40 AM

Has this been cleared since? That's why I'm bumping :)

I don't know about the site, but the booster segs are all back where they should be now.

No problems for STS-120 and 122 is the outcome?

All seems well as per ATK Quick Looks on L2.

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