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Soyuz program troubles

Soyuz program troubles

Soyuz program troubles

(OP)
A launch failure today after sabotage was recently noted on a previous mission to the ISS. Until the Soyuz program gets back on track, we now have people stranded on the ISS.

https://www.space.com/42097-soyuz-rocket-launch-fa...

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

"we now have people stranded on the ISS"

There is supposed to be a docked soyuz capsule at the ISS, if not two, to handle emergencies. I have not read anything to suggest that is not the case.

this article suggests (9th paragraph down) that they have a return capsule docked.

https://www.space.com/42100-russian-soyuz-rocket-f...

RE: Soyuz program troubles

I rather impressed that the soyuz crew capsule can do a mid-launch recovery.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

(OP)

Quote (btrueblood)

There is supposed to be a docked soyuz capsule at the ISS, if not two, to handle emergencies. I have not read anything to suggest that is not the case.

this article suggests (9th paragraph down) that they have a return capsule docked.

Quite right, it was a poor choice of words. I guess I should have stated that there is no possibility to relieve them and will have to stay unless the ISS is abandoned.

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

There's no problem with the crew remaining on board the space station for the near future, the issue currently is the existing Soyuz capsule docked in orbit is nearing the end of the design period it can remain docked. A unmanned Soyuz can possibly be sent up if needed (and the Russians feel confident the failure is unlikely to occur again), or the ISS could remain unmanned for a period (it's been done before, though the station is a lot bigger now). Alternatively the Russians may be able to find the fault and determine it was a flaw that can be easily addressed and prepare another manned mission right away. One big issue is the Russian progress supply system also uses the same first stage boosters and so that launch system may also be out of commission for a while. The European ATV supply vehicles can fuel the space station but it will be interesting to see what happens.

It will be interesting to see what this does for the US commercial crew program. SpaceX is currently ready to perform their unmanned test flight but it's being held back by paperwork and the docking schedule for the space station. Boeing is dealing with an issue discovered during testing of their abort system, so it's unlikely they'll be ready any time soon.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Soyuz program troubles

Question:' the existing Soyuz capsule docked in orbit is nearing the end of the design period', Is there a reason for this?

Question 2: 'docking schedule for the space station', It seems the waiting list just found an opening, right?

RE: Soyuz program troubles

Quote (cranky108)

Question:' the existing Soyuz capsule docked in orbit is nearing the end of the design period', Is there a reason for this?

I heard that the peroxide monopropellant used by the thrusters has a shelf-life. I would expect they have a safety factor built in which they can eat into if it makes sense to. Obviously there are tons of options for NASA and Roscosmos, it just depends on which is the least risk for crew and the station. I'm sure they'd add a tiny risk onto the crew if it ensured the safety of the $180 billion station.

Quote (cranky108)

Question 2: 'docking schedule for the space station', It seems the waiting list just found an opening, right?

Hah! I believe the schedule is definitely flexible enough to move around and accommodate whatever solution they propose. This does pose an interesting problem though. My understanding is only the Russian Soyuz and Progress supply ship can automatically dock with the station. All other currently available ships require them to be docked using the robotic arm. Depending on the fuel status of the station I wonder if they'll even be able to operate it unmanned for an extended period of time?

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Soyuz program troubles

This is part of the "conquering space" aspect of space exploration. They need to solve this problem as it's a unique one that will occur again.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Soyuz program troubles

I't is impressive that the Soyuz capsule was able to successfully return the astronaut & cosmonaut passengers. It was a rather late launch abort. the first stage had already gone through jettison of the launch-abort package. The four extra side-mounted rocket engines had done their job and been jettisoned, and the rocket was very close to first stage separation. I can't quite determine from the information if the rocket had yet jettisoned the aerodynamic covering over the Soyuz portion.

The Soyuz consist of three modules. The front module is an orbital module for the crew, the middle module is the decent module for the crew, and the rear-most is a service module containing solar power systems and systems equipment. They ride the middle module up during a launch. In an abort like this the system has to separate the modules without collision.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

Every US spacecraft, up to Apollo, had a similar abort system. The small gantry above the capsule carried rockets that could boost the capsule away from the main rocket should something had gone wrong.

The Shuttle didn't have such a mechanism.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Soyuz program troubles

(OP)
Comcokid, I agree that this was pretty impressive. The Apllo (and previous) systems had an abort system but the primary abort hardware (LES tower) was ejected 30 seconds into the flight, before the first stage was expended. All other abort modes relied on other stages and I don't believe any of these modes were ever tested. (I hate to cite a wikipedia article, but see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_abort_modes

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

(OP)

Quote (TehMightyEngineer)

There's no problem with the crew remaining on board the space station for the near future,...

You don't watch Big Bang Theory, do you?

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

What I'm wondering about is if the loss of this rocket is another sign of possible sabotage.

In August a small pressure leak was detected on the International Space Station. The leak was traced to a small hole drilled in the orbital section of Soyuz capsule that had ferried three up to the station on June 6th. Pictures show a hole and several scratches in the paint from more than one attempt to get a drill bit to bite into the metal, and additional paint scratches on another surface most likely from the drill chuck. The hole was hidden behind fabric that lines parts of the spacecraft. Speculation is that hole was drilled at the factory and plugged with a substance that later dried and caused the leak.

https://www.inverse.com/article/49553-nasa-pressur...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_MS-09

This capsule is the one still attache to the ISS. There were plans to do a spacewalk in November to inspect the Soyuz from the outside where the hole was located.

Thoughts?

RE: Soyuz program troubles

Quote (Bard)

You don't watch Big Bang Theory, do you?

Other than the occasional episode, no. Did I miss a joke somewhere?

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Soyuz program troubles

(OP)

Quote (TehMightyEngineer)


Other than the occasional episode, no. Did I miss a joke somewhere?
I'm not a regular either, but one of the nerds (Howard) did a stint on the ISS. It didn't go well.

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

NASA could have had a replacement transport system in place, if they had the focus, direction and funding. The Shuttle was a compromise design trying to meet multiple requirements and contained design flaws from the start. NASA suffers the problem of getting wildly changing goals with each new President. There is a good summary at https://www.space.com/42156-soyuz-abort-close-call...

Meanwhile SpaceX, Blue Origin et al are working on genuine steps forward, low-cost and reusable transport systems. Those companies don't have the "design by Congress" problem NASA have. It's generally recognized that Congressional allocations of funding are more to do with handing out pork, rather than achieving particular missions.

So perhaps the woes of Soyuz and the ISS are less to do with conquering space, and more to do with conquering Earthly politics.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

(OP)

Quote (microwizard)

NASA could have had a replacement transport system in place, if they had the focus, direction and funding.

Right you are, but don't neglect NASA's role in contributing to their own woes by promising wildly optimistic capabilities and costs. For example, I would consider the shuttle program to largely be a failure, at least as regards the system reliability, launch rate, and cost as promised to obtain funding from congress.

BTW, the Soyuz module has been flying in various forms since the mid 1960s. I don't believe there is a replacement on the drawing board so it will apparently fly for decades to come. I have come to expect that NASA will never launch another spacecraft, but rather to become a regulatory bureaucracy like the FAA to oversee the work of SpaceX and Blue Origin. I hope they prove me wrong.

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

I thought NASA also did some airplane testing in the past, likely for the FAA.

I also see that NASA and Amtrack have opposite funding cycles because of who is in the White House. One party like space, the other likes trains.
Both are mismanaged to the point that I can not afford to take a spaceship, or a train.

I am also under the impression that the Soyuz program may be underfunded, which may reflect in lower pay (or working conditions) to the workers.
So I would think there might be some worker resentment in the ranks.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

(OP)
That was one speedy investigation.

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Soyuz program troubles

Notice this

Quote:

...law enforcement authorities will work out who is guilty of the assembly mistake. "Every accident has a name and surname (of the guilty party)," he said, adding that space industry plants had received orders to "boost workplace and technical discipline."

Ouch. Not a "Safety First" workplace.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

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