Author Topic: ATK train with SRB segments crashes again  (Read 49491 times)

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.


Offline 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.

Offline 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

Offline 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.

Offline Gary

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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.)

Offline 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. "

Offline 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 ;)

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