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Space Station Resupply Rocket (unmanned) Explodes on Launch (October 28, 2014)

 
 
oralloy
 
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 05:11 pm
http://pbs.twimg.com/media/B1ETqhMCcAAT0HR.jpg:large

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/222143-nasa-rocket-explodes-shortly-after-launch

This was one of the new privately-developed transports to the International Space Station, but I believe (not entirely sure) that in this case only the space capsule was privately developed, not the launch rocket.

If I am correct on that, while the cargo is obviously going to be a loss, this is not likely to be because of a failure in the privately-developed technology.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,159 • Replies: 38
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 05:54 pm
@oralloy,
was this one of those that were launched at Wallops Island?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 06:13 pm
@oralloy,
Not that it matters as the space station is toast as the Russians fall in with the Chinese....but still NASA is now so battered that we should consider closing it down.

The loss

Quote:
Total cargo: 2,215 kg (4,883 lb)[12]

Science investigations: 727.0 kg (1,602.8 lb)
U.S. science: 569.0 kg (1,254.4 lb)
International partner science: 158.0 kg (348.3 lb)
Crew supplies: 748 kg (1,649 lb)
Equipment: 124.0 kg (273.4 lb)
Food: 617.0 kg (1,360.3 lb)
Flight procedure books: 7.0 kg (15.4 lb)
Vehicle hardware: 637.0 kg (1,404.3 lb)
U.S. hardware: 607.0 kg (1,338.2 lb)
JAXA hardware: 30.0 kg (66.1 lb)
Spacewalk equipment: 66.0 kg (145.5 lb)
Computer resources: 37.0 kg (81.6 lb)
Command & data handling equipment: 34 kg (75 lb)
Photography/TV equipment: 3.0 kg (6.6 lb)
Total cargo with packaging: 2,294 kg (5,057 lb

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_CRS_Orb-3

We were pretty stupid to kill the shuttle before we had anything else. The humiliation continues.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 06:18 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
was this one of those that were launched at Wallops Island?

Yes.

NASA TV has a text screen up on the TV channel saying that there will be a press conference at 8:30 eastern time, about 15 minutes from now.

I'm not sure how much detail they'll have just two hours after the incident though. And I'll even be a little surprised if they start it on time. I've seen NASA press conferences start 5-10 minutes late before, even when they've had only good news to report.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 06:34 pm
@farmerman,
yup - Wallops Island. One of my photog buddies was there - he's just started posting about it.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 06:36 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
Not that it matters as the space station is toast as the Russians fall in with the Chinese....

I doubt the Russians are going to align with China. Putin seems to want to go it alone.

If we're willing to have them, China would be happy to fill Russia's vacancy in the ISS in 2020.


hawkeye10 wrote:
but still NASA is now so battered that we should consider closing it down.

I wouldn't say they were battered as much as underfunded.

Closing them down would only make things worse. Much of the current funding would then go to developing a replacement agency instead of to developing new spacecraft.


hawkeye10 wrote:
We were pretty stupid to kill the shuttle before we had anything else. The humiliation continues.

The shuttle was expensive to operate and was taking too much away from the development of the new rocket.

I don't perceive any humiliation. Rocket accidents happen. It's just part of rocketry.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 06:37 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
NASA TV has a text screen up on the TV channel saying that there will be a press conference at 8:30 eastern time, about 15 minutes from now.

I'm not sure how much detail they'll have just two hours after the incident though. And I'll even be a little surprised if they start it on time. I've seen NASA press conferences start 5-10 minutes late before, even when they've had only good news to report.

The screen now says 8:45 eastern time.

EDIT: Now it says 9:00 PM. I imagine they'll get it going at some point though.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 06:41 pm
@oralloy,
" we lost one. **** happens. We still believe in the mission and believe that we can do the mission."

That is the script.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 07:15 pm
@oralloy,
I love when we get some of these "Sage pronouncements" from Hawkeye.
It may sound kinda Hawkee -like but The Rocketry Inc companies needed this to be "blooded" in their business plans. They've been exceedingly lucky till now. Im still optimistic as to how several GR consortia have been set up to become private enterprise in SPACE.This may do a lot to give NASA a biger kick in the ass. This is, like clean water and the Hiway system, one of those other areas that Govt and industry NEED to become a team.(I don't mean anything about He3 either, that's a non-problem. I feel we need to be a galactic citizenry and Id like us to start the process so I can read about it )

All industries have to learn the rules imposed by such things as gravity and the safety protocols involved.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 07:28 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Orbital Sciences Corp. has delayed the next scheduled launch of their Antares rocket on the company’s second NASA-contracted resupply flight to the International Space Station (ISS), pending the outcome of an investigation into why an Antares AJ26 engine scheduled to fly a future ISS flight next year failed during customary acceptance testing (also known as “hot-fire” testing) at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on May 22.

The next mission, designated Orb-2, is now scheduled to fly from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility MARS Pad-0A no earlier than June 17. That date is, however, only a planning date to give engineers more time to determine the cause of last week’s engine failure; a new firm date will not be established until more progress is made by the investigation team.

“On May 22 an acceptance test of an Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 rocket engine used in the Antares launch vehicle first stage terminated prematurely, resulting in extensive damage to the engine,” said Orbital Sciences in their brief comments on the incident. “The cause of the test failure in not known at this time. Over the next several days, engineering teams from Aerojet and Orbital will gather and examine the data collected from the test to determine the cause of the failure. This engine was slated for the Antares flight scheduled for early 2015.”

Antares has flown flawlessly on all three of its missions since 2013, but the liquid kerosene- and liquid oxygen-powered AJ26 engines Orbital Sciences uses to launch Antares skyward have failed in testing before, most recently in June 2011 when an engine caught fire on the Stennis E-1 Test Stand due to leaking kerosene in an engine manifold. The engines are actually modified Russian NK-33s, reconditioned by Aerojet Rocketdyne specifically for Antares.

A U.S.-built version of the AJ-26 engine is currently being developed in a strategic partnership between Aerojet and Teledyne Brown for NASA’s future Space Launch System (SLS).

It’s important to note that the engines themselves, built by Kuznetsov Design Bureau, are 40 years old, and they are no longer in production. Aerojet purchased 40 of the engines in the 1990’s and can supply enough to Orbital to support Orbital’s contractual obligation for ISS resupply flights for NASA, for now, but without a replacement engine the Antares may not survive to fly into the next decade.


http://www.americaspace.com/?p=61279

At this point the entire NASA scheme of using subcontractor modified ancient Soviet equipment to get to the space station looks iffy.

This is what NASA has been reduced to.

Humiliating.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 07:40 pm
@hawkeye10,
but it looks like AErojet is already building a new version of theAJ26. This seems to get it to market sooner no?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 07:47 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

but it looks like AErojet is already building a new version of theAJ26. This seems to get it to market sooner no?


my understanding is that that plan only took shape after the sanctions over Ukraine, when the Russians said that they will not sell us anything else ( I believe that I remember something about our maybe using a trampoline to get to ISS) . The NASA braintrust has always wanted to go with the subcontractor modified ancient soviet equipment because they have no money and this is a lot cheaper and because actually building something will take extra years. NASA a long time ago rolled the dice and made plans that depended upon a solid USA/Russian relationship, and that ancient Soviet engines taken from the scrap heap would be good enough to get the job done.

OOOPS!
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 07:54 pm
@hawkeye10,
Aerojet has a huge manufacturing facility in Folsom Ca. They've got the infrastructure in place from building large engines and static firing them there. Their only problem had been some environmental problems that were handled in the 90's.
The real problem is whether we still hve any living "Rocket scientists"
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 08:07 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
The real problem is whether we still hve any living "Rocket scientists"


right. At least the Russians are right there with us.

Anyways, I did not watch the conference.....we need to be what the problem was. If this was another engine explosion then NASA needs to put everything on hold and reevaluate. My first instinct is to suspect that the Soviet metals(and/or welds) have not aged very well. They were notorious for building things just good enough to get the job done. They might not have the shelf life NASA assumed.

EDIT: apparently the news conference was much delayed and is still happening. THe feed I saw does not mention up till now any second thoughts about the NASA plan.

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/nasas-antares-rocket-explodes/
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 09:39 pm
bookmark
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 09:57 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
http://www.trbimg.com/img-54501c41/turbine/bal-baltimore-sun-live-blog-001/750/750x422
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 10:04 pm
@oralloy,
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 10:31 pm
Quote:
The explosion destroyed the rocket and spacecraft and immediately raised questions about the future of NASA's reliance on private commercial ventures to carry vital payloads into space to supply and support the orbiting space station.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/10/28/nasa-rocket-explodes-wallops-island/18080871/

EDIT: I did notice NASA downplaying the importance of this payload.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2014 11:15 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
As you can see, just seconds after launch there was something odd that happened in the first stage; there was a bright flare, then the bottom of the rocket exploded. As launch expert Jonathan McDowell notes, the first stage is built by the Ukranian company Yuzhnoe and uses Aerojet AJ-26 engines which are Russian NK-33 engines. These are very old engines (built in the 1960s and 70s) that are refurbished. While it’s not known if these were the cause of the explosion, I suspect they'll be very carefully scrutinized in the investigation. A recent test of one engine ended in failure.

Update, Oct. 28 at 22:30 UTC: Let me be clear: We don't know what caused this failure, and the engines are one of many possibilities. I am not pointing fingers, and I won't speculate beyond this. I changed the phrasing in the paragraph above to make this more clear.


http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/10/28/breaking_antares_rocket_explodes_on_takeoff.html

Ya sure, your brain went the same place mine in....a bet it was that old soviet gear.

0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Oct, 2014 12:14 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
The real problem is whether we still have any living "Rocket scientists"

NASA is still actively designing a successor to the space shuttle, but the government is underfunding the effort.

Their idea is to take the disposable fuel tank used in shuttle launches, stick 4 to 5 shuttle engines directly to the bottom of it, and call that a first stage. They still plan to have the two booster rockets on either side. The second stage will be a modernized version of one of the stages from the old Saturn program.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4f/Ares-V_2_%28Feb_2008%29.jpg/1024px-Ares-V_2_%28Feb_2008%29.jpg


Another possible returnee from the old Saturn program is the Saturn V main engine. The idea is to replace the solid rocket boosters with a pair of kerosene-burning boosters, each with two big Saturn V main engines in it.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Z91.jpg
 

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