Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Russian Spaceship Crashes After Failed Launch

A robotic Russian space freighter headed for the International Space Station crashed into the Altai Republic near the border with China today after the third stage of its Soyuz launch vehicle failed about six minutes after launch.

NASA International Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini said the engine powering the stage inexplicably cut off five minutes and 50 seconds after blastoff from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The rocket failed to reach orbit and instead crashed into the remote, mountainous republic, which is located in central Asia at the juncture of Siberian forests, the steppes of Kazakhstan and the semi-deserts of Mongolia.

A thunderous blast from the crash broke windows in surrounding areas but there were no immediate reports of casualties. About 25 percent of the republic is covered with forests.

A Russian commission will investigate the accident.

Suffredini said the planned Sept. 8 return from the station of two Russian cosmonauts and American astronaut Ron Garan might be delayed to keep six people on the outpost. The planned Sept. 21 launch of a new expedition crew that includes U.S. astronaut Dan Burbank could be delayed also. The Soyuz rocket that launches Progress space freighters has a third stage that is very similar to the third stage of the type of Soyuz rockets used to launch station crews.

The upper stage of Soyuz rockets has little commonality with the Breeze-M upper stage that failed during an Aug. 17 Russian Proton rocket launch, stranding a European-built Russian communications satellite in a useless orbit.

The Progress space freighter was carrying about three tons of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station. Suffredini said the six people on the station now have reserves that are adequate enough to last well into 2012.

The loss of the Progress was the first since the U.S. and Russia began assembly of the International Space Station in late 1998.

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the Associated Press image of the Soyuz rocket with a supply-filled Progress spacecraft blasting off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9 a.m. EDT today. You can also click the enlarged image to get a bigger, more detailed view. (AP Photo/Rossiya 24 TV Channel).

20 comments:

Gaetano Marano said...

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after the Shuttle retirement, there's a big risk that, the $200 billion ISS, could DIE soon
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http://www.ghostnasa.com/posts2/072issdeath.html
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and the new.space toy-makers, can't yet help NASA, since they still play only with test, mockups, YouTube animations and Photoshop images of their "spacecrafts"
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it was a very bad idea to retire so soon the Shuttle, 5+ years before have a, true, working, safe and reliable, replacement
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also, if the (1800+ launches) very reliable Soyuz rocket has had a failure, what will be the (real) reliability (and successful launch record) of rockets like the Falcon-9 and the Taurus II on which NASA will rely from 2014 to resupply the ISS astronauts?
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LAID-OFF ROCKETMAN said...

Here you go.... No US Shuttle or Ares Heavy Lift vehicle....canceled by Obama and Boldin.....Nice call Washington..... OH by the way...they already laid-off the people that can build the new Rockets if we had one to build......Nice JOB Democrats

LAID-OFF ROCKETMAN said...

Don't fool yourself into thinking we have a real man-rated vehicle in the works...they don't... Its all smoke and mirrors by Boldin...NOT enough money involved to really do it right and wrong company in the lead Falcon 9,,,,what a joke...Manned space flight is gone for the US. The ISS now called "The Russian Space Station" they own the only ride there and back.....which will be around a 100 million a seat for the ride up next year.....WOW what value

ticked said...

Ummm...@Rocketman,

Bush cancelled Shuttle over 6 years ago, I'm laid off too...but informed.

Ben Brewer said...

Laid-off Rocketman, while I empathize with your pain for being out of work, do you really think a manned space program is what America should be spending billions of dollars annually on? How about we spend that money figuring out how to live on earth without screwing stuff up here, before we try to go somewhere else, just to put the same fate upon another world. My mom was a computer programmer at NASA for 28 years, and I hold the highest interest and respect for astronomy and space exploration, but there has been no real advance in space travel technology for 30 years, which is deplorable for the money invested. How about we take that land and funding and put people to work on conquering our energy and pollution crisis, instead of on boyish dreams of galactic space travel, which as of yet has had absolutely no ROI, other than bankrupting the U.S.S.R?

ticked said...

@Brewer,

Even though Rocketman sounds more than a little bitter and mistaken on his political history, you are genuinely lost in the sea of reality. The US space program to date is responsible for an immense quantity of technology which goes way beyond velcro. Our US investment is responsible for The free transfer of technology which has resulted in almost immeasurable benefit to electronics miniaturization, efficiency and capacitance which has extened the length and quality of all of our lives. The numbers are rough, but crude googling tells me that NASA's entire budget is less than 2 months of our current budget cost of the wars started by Bush and continued by Obama...just saying.

Hutchings said...

@ Ben Brewer

What do you think the space program does? Do you think we just send people up there to float around and take pictures? Yes, for 17 years I have had the girlish dream of going into space. When you are little you think, "wow it would be really cool to float around and see other worlds." But as you grow up you see what the space program really does. Space has the most extreme conditions imaginable. It is the largest engineering challenge there is. When you go into space what you build has to be the lightest, most durable, and most compact it can be. It pushes the envelope of what we can do with science, engineering, and technology more than anything else does. The space station is an international science laboratory dedicated to solving many important Earthly problems like cancer, decent drinking water, climate change, and yes alternate energies. To say we have had no advancements is ridiculous and absurd. If the space station itself is not evidence enough, the shuttles were used as constant test beds until the very last flight with modifications always being added.

I am among those who lost their dream job and most likely the chance to go into space. While this saddens and angers me, I am most upset about the greater loss of knowledge and technology by decisions that both democrats and republicans have made. The space program is no where near perfect, but it is essential to the continued improvement to our world.

Stephen C. Smith said...

Now is the time for commercial cargo, and SpaceX in particular, to prove they have the right stuff.

The November/December demo flight needs to be revised into a resupply mission. And when SpaceX pulls it off, the Administration's commercial transportation strategy will have proven itself.

Let's not forget that the Obama administration decided last year to add STS-135 to bring up enough supplies to hold over ISS until commercial cargo is ready. The administration bought us time we wouldn't have had otherwise.

Go SpaceX. This is your moment in history.

Fishygal said...

Isn't anyone worried that these are the people that will be taking our folks up to the ISS?

Stephen C. Smith said...

Fishygal wrote:

"Isn't anyone worried that these are the people that will be taking our folks up to the ISS?"

You mean the same people who bailed us out for 2 1/2 years after the Columbia accident?

The same people that the Bush administration signed a deal with in 2004 to perform our regular ISS crew rotations because that administration deemed Soyuz to be safer than Shuttle?

Our hands have a lot more blood on them than Russia's. Partners take care of each other. They helped us in 2003-2005. Time for us to help them.

ticked said...

@steven,

SpaceX is not using the proven Floridian Space/workforce. Your employer's lobbyists will eventually have to reveal SpaceX is not a Florida employer other than lighting the fuse. Bring the jobs to an experienced Space Force and then your "go space x" jargon may get traction with folks in the space biz. Btw, all congrats with the bill board job convincing Florida you guys care about us. I can only imagine what that cost.

LAID-OFF ROCKETMAN said...

TICKED??? you're kidding right????twist it anyway you want....Bush canceled shuttle yes.....But he also set in motion the replacement, Ares . Obama shut that down. GET YOUR BLINDERS OFF..WHY?? do you think everyone got laided off>>>>NO ARES Heavy Lift... and get informed....Did you know we already did an ARES test flight that was sucessful??? I was there where were you??? Head in the sand...? No need to comment.....you've already explained to me how informed you are....Blinders baCK ON PLEASE.......

Mark Lopa said...

Nobody should be surprised in what's going on here. Russia was forced into this ISS partnership and they have been pissed off ever since. Now is their time and they will be taking full advantage of it to get exactly what they want. We should never have trusted them...they plan and scheme and only have their best interests in mind. This is only the beginning. Thank you Bush and Obama.

ticked said...

@rocketman

Easy there collegue, I was at OSB and now, unhappily on beach. Human space flight funding has always been about politics. Both sides of the aisle sold the US out of our jobs and the technology we used to transfer so freely. Bush rolled out return to Moon two weeks before state of the union. Polling numbers were not what his peeps had hoped the Kennedyish attempt would yield and the Moon wasnt even mentioned in the address. Obama pitched us from the podium at BCC and pulled the guts out of us (and our electoral votes) after he was elected.

deltadog said...

this vehicle will carry our future manned Space Program

THE LOW BIDDER

WE OUT SOURCED OUR WORK

deltadog said...

THE LOW BIDDER
THE PRESIDENT
OUT SOURCED THE WORK

deltadog said...

WE SPENT 2 BILLION A YEAR ON THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM
RUSSIA SPENDS 2 BILLION A YEAR ON THEIR SPACE PROGRAM
WE WILLION GIVE RUSSIA A YEAR FOR 10 FLIGHTS 1.2 BILLION A YEAR
AND WE HAVE NO JOBS OR VEHICLES
WE SAVED 800 MILLION A YEAR
NO JOBS NO DEVELOPMENT HARDWARE.

LAID-OFF ROCKETMAN said...

Obama, Boldin, Cabanna sold out the contractors and Congress and the Senate know it .....they also know that the "programs" in-work are junk

We (Contractors) designed, we built, we delieved the best flight harware made in the world.....It takes 100K NASA people to stand around, throw money at unproven junk....and be there to push the launch button....
YOUR reward???? Thanks but you guys are out to pasture now...see ya. ANYbody remember Boldins Camel Story????

Ben Brewer said...

@Hutchings

OK, so prove to me that there has been ANY positive NPV on ANY project funded by NASA. I'm not refuting that manned space flight isn't an extreme endeavor in an extreme environment, requiring sophisticated engineering. But, for the money spent, there has been very little FINANCIAL return to society. Explain to me how the space station is necessary for cancer research or energy? Anything you could discover up there can be discovered here for pennies on the dollar. I know its an emotional issue for all of you, but bottom line is its not money well spent. Billions upon billions have been spent and as Rocketman says, we have no viable technology for manned space flight other than the 3 decades old space shuttles, which run on technology that is truly akin to a bottle rocket.

LAID-OFF ROCKETMAN said...

Nothing will come from this new approach to space flight. Its cargo ships that we already have several options for....Like I said before the Senate and Congress are pissed....They know things are in the toliet at the space center, but are afraid to make cuts that would futher damage our position in the world of human space flight. This is fact not fiction....believe me or not, I don't really care....You will see more bad news in the coming months on the space funding...Our three sell outs Obama=Boldin=Cabana are on the hot seat right now I promise you......Don't buy all the smoke and mirrors you see from these guys