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Soyuz Capsule Return Marred By Mystery Communications Blackout

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-then-on-again dept.

ISS 97

astroengine writes "An unexplained communications loss left flight controllers unable to speak with three space station crew returning to Earth over Kazakhstan during the last 15 minutes of their descent Thursday night. The first indication that the capsule survived its fiery plunge through the atmosphere was a series of beeps signaling components of the Soyuz had been jettisoned as planned. Later, ground controllers picked up signals that the Soyuz's parachutes had deployed, but it wasn't until a Russian recovery aircraft established two-way radio communications with the crew that flight controllers knew all was well."

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Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421546)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Golden Girls! (0)

wsxyz (543068) | about 3 years ago | (#37421588)

arguably on-topic, for once.

a menace? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421550)

A communications blackout can mean only one thing: invasion.

Re:a menace? (1)

Zephyn (415698) | about 3 years ago | (#37422156)

Or the beginning of an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Re:a menace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422872)

"It can also mean that you didn't pay your phone bill."

Communications failure? (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 3 years ago | (#37421562)

Wait, you're telling me that plunging through super-heated plasma at mach 17 for several minutes can cause communication problems? HOLY CRAP! :\

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421642)

Can you imagine? No access to Facebook for MINUTES!! WTF did those guys do?

Re:Communications failure? (3, Funny)

n5yat (987446) | about 3 years ago | (#37421790)

Tweet about life without facebook?

Re:Communications failure? (1, Offtopic)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | about 3 years ago | (#37422304)

Posting to undo mis-moderation, sorry.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 3 years ago | (#37423298)

I'm shocked, shocked to find someone with ethics on slashdot. Your 'personal responsibility' nonsense has no place here, sir, begone with you.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37424968)

Helpful tip: when you do that, do it anonymously. If you're logged in, an anonymous post will undo the moderation without causing your post to get modded down to oblivion.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37425030)

That would make sense, wouldn't it... :-) This is the first time I've screwed that up, sadly.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 years ago | (#37425160)

I think this is one time when the "Party is looking for you" is most likely, a good thing.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

Mercano (826132) | about 3 years ago | (#37422574)

Actually, Ron Garan is active on Twitter [twitter.com] , not Facebook. The last few months, he's has one of the coolest twipic accounts I've seen.

Re:Communications failure? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421670)

This was abnormal behavior you fucking retard.

When you read comments like yours it becomes immediately clear why men have made all the real advances in spaceflight, not women.

Re:Communications failure? (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37421726)

Although arguably they make better trolls.

Re:Communications failure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421996)

He's a transsexual, not a woman. The clue is in the writing. And in the website.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37427526)

And in the name.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

rickb928 (945187) | about 3 years ago | (#37422030)

When you read comments like yours it becomes immediately clear why women don't listen to us, and don't pay much attention to what we write.

Leave me out of your misogyny please. And let up on the roids.

Re:Communications failure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422120)

Right, because misogynistic assholes haven't always been the preferred, swoon-worthy male.

Just sayin'...

Re:Communications failure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422122)

Does it matter if they listen to us? We still do all the science, engineering, and inventing.

They can ignore us all they want while living in their man made houses using their man made technology.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 3 years ago | (#37422342)

I would bet money that you do no science and haven't built or invented anything.

Re:Communications failure? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422484)

So you fail to dispute my statistics?

Telling.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37423200)

We still do all the science, engineering, and inventing.

You forgot trolling Slashdot from your Mom's basement as a method for venting your frustration of still being a virgin in your late 40's.

Does she still lay out your cloths for you in the morning?

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Transkaren (1925482) | about 3 years ago | (#37422558)

Yes, because no women are engineers. I mean, in addition to me, you have http://www.engineeryourlife.org/ [engineeryourlife.org] http://www.engineergirl.org/ [engineergirl.org] There are thousands of scientists and inventors that are women. Of the dozen women I know reasonably well, three are engineers, one has a PhD in Physics, and one runs her own technical company. In addition, 5 of my doctors (out of 7 total) have been women. So please, kindly shut the fuck up.

Re:Communications failure? (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37421678)

On the other hand, if you're expecting to have communication and communication drops out, that means something is wrong. And something being wrong on a manned vehicle is what you might call "a bad thing".

Re:Communications failure? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37421776)

Then they should not have used Windows Mobile and AT&T for their radio system... Takes forever to reacquire a signal after it blacks out for a short time....

Re:Communications failure? (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | about 3 years ago | (#37421950)

So true.... I remember the shuttle melting over Texas.. Silence allows the mind to race without any frame of reference.

Re:Communications failure? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422454)

American crybaby. Is great success, Russian space machine!

Re:Communications failure? (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 3 years ago | (#37426104)

On the other hand, if you're expecting to have communication and communication drops out, that means something is wrong. And something being wrong on a manned vehicle is what you might call "a bad thing".

I suppose on that basis that if the capsule contains women a few minutes of radio silence is okay? Blessed relief from the jibber jabberin'?

Re:Communications failure? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37421698)

They established radio contact, so it sounds like the main communication system never came up. Still they wouldn't expect it if it wasn't meant to work. Soviet engineering prevails though :) Minor complicated system fails, major system stays in tact, thus the astronauts are ok.

One or two minutes, but not 15 (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 3 years ago | (#37421706)

That's the problem here. Had I been part of the ground crew, I would have certainly been worried.

Re:Communications failure? (2)

Technician (215283) | about 3 years ago | (#37421712)

Hmm.. Reminds me of the Apollo program except they expected the plasma issue. Maybe they thought another frequency would be immune to the issue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_blackout [wikipedia.org]

For Apollo missions, the communications blackout was approximately three minutes long.[3] For Apollo 16, for example, pre-advisory data (PAD) for re-entry listed the expected times for re-entry communications blackout to be from 0 minutes 16 seconds after entry interface to 3 minutes 33 seconds after entry interface (a total of 3 minutes 17 seconds).[4] For the Apollo 13 mission, the blackout was much longer than normal because the flight path of the spacecraft was unexpectedly at a much shallower angle than normal.[4] According to the mission log maintained by Gene Kranz, the Apollo 13 re-entry blackout lasted around 6 minutes, beginning at 142:39 and ending at 142:45, and was 1 minute 27 seconds longer than had been predicted.[5]

Re:Communications failure? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37421882)

Because this is the first time they've ever done this, right?

It's not like every other Soyuz Capsule has managed to not have this happen or anything.

And it's not like communication should reestablish after you are through the plasma.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422182)

Syntax for a meaningful /. reply:

First sentence: sarcasm
All other sentences:
- It's ["like" | "not like"]
- ["every" | "no"]
- (something)
- ["always" | "never"]
- (action)
["" | "or anything."]

Re:Communications failure? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37422018)

Exactly. It's not so much that a blackout occurred, it's the length that is the troubling part. 15 minutes when the longest length for Apollo was 6 minutes (under highly unusual circumstances) and the norm was 3 minutes.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

Technician (215283) | about 3 years ago | (#37422808)

This could have been caused by nothing more than a slight craft orientation issue when beginning reentry. Without proper alignment, an alteration of the course could have created an alignment problem with a communications satellite. Without proper orientation on reentry, a dirversion off course would result in a longer blackout.

From the same Wikipedia article;

Until the creation of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, the Space Shuttle would, like Gemini, Mercury, Apollo, and others, endure a 30 minute long communications blackout before landing. However, the Shuttle can communicate with a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite during re-entry. This is because the shape of the Shuttle creates a "hole" in the ionized air envelope, at the tail end of the craft, through which it can communicate upwards to a satellite in orbit and thence to a ground station.[1]

If the hole was not pointed at a satellite, the communications link would fail.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37425848)

Um... Shuttle, not Soyuz. I don't know if the US makes the TDRS cluster available to the Russians, or if they have an equivalent cluster, or even if a Soyuz makes a big enough hole (although I expect the ionized air envelope to be conical and not close in on itself behind the craft).

Re:Communications failure? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37426570)

If the hole was not pointed at a satellite, the communications link would fail.

Okay but the plasma sheath is basically a reflective tunnel, effectively a conical wave-guide. It would be widest at the far end, because the plasma spreads and disperses, so a signal transmitted back, along the path of the vehicle should bounce along the tunnel and spread by diffraction once the plasma peters out. I don't think the satellite would have to be perfectly aligned with the tunnel, though having it within 30 degrees or so would be an advantage.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37422434)

Hmm.. Reminds me of the Apollo program except they expected the plasma issue. Maybe they thought another frequency would be immune to the issue.

I don't know about Soyuz, but on later missions the shuttle used TDRS satellites to communicate during reentry. The blackout primarily affects downward radio signals, not upward, so the shutte could have near-constant communications with the ground the whole time (unless it burned up).

Re:Communications failure? (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 years ago | (#37428268)

Hmm.. Reminds me of the Apollo program except they expected the plasma issue. Maybe they thought another frequency would be immune to the issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_blackout [wikipedia.org]


This article only refers to NASA vehicles. There is no mention of any of Soviet/Russian Federation design/manufacture. The original article also does not make it clear if this was a TMA or TMA-M.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422096)

Wait, you're telling me that plunging through super-heated plasma at mach 17 for several minutes can cause communication problems? HOLY CRAP! :\

They're just lucky they don't go under any bridges.

Re:Communications failure? (0)

gary_7vn (1193821) | about 3 years ago | (#37422248)

Sarcasm isn't funny if it's based on ignorance. Oh well.

Re:Communications failure? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37426486)

Wait, you're telling me that plunging through super-heated plasma at mach 17 for several minutes can cause communication problems? HOLY CRAP! :\

That hasn't been a problem for decades.

Write the script... Blockbuster here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421640)

All was well aboard the spacecraft as it began re-entry, until a mysterious communications black out. What happened to those astronauts during the 15 minutes no one could reach them and what role did aliens play?

Re:Write the script... Blockbuster here! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37421792)

There is 15 minutes of silence recorded on all their recorders!!!!

Re:Write the script... Blockbuster here! (1)

spongman (182339) | about 3 years ago | (#37422006)

That is interesting, isn't it?

Re:Write the script... Blockbuster here! (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 3 years ago | (#37422370)

Isn't this the beginning of one of the species movies?

Re:Write the script... Blockbuster here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422904)

No, it's the END of a movie.

Re:Write the script... Blockbuster here! (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 3 years ago | (#37423490)

Indeed. Think Carl Sagan.

yo dawg, I heard you like memes... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 3 years ago | (#37422490)

Proof that Richard Nixon was a Sirian fifth-columnist.

Re:Write the script... Blockbuster here! (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37424376)

"There is 15 minutes of silence recorded on all their recorders!!!!"

There was 15 minutes of being out of communications.

There was 23 hours and 15 minutes of silence on their onboard recorders.

Check their DNA (4, Funny)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 3 years ago | (#37421722)

They should make sure to check the crew's DNA very carefully and make sure they're still human. A lot of really bad things in the movies have started exactly like this.

Re:Check their DNA (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 years ago | (#37421906)

A lot of really bad things in the movies have started exactly like this.

FTFY ...

Re:Check their DNA (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 3 years ago | (#37421988)

A lot of really bad movies have started exactly like this.

FTFY.

Re:Check their DNA (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about 3 years ago | (#37425736)

GParent -"A lot of really bad things in the movies have started exactly like this."

Parent - "A lot of really bad things in the movies have started exactly like this."

What the fuck, exactly, did you fix for the GP? Cos I can't se the difference, and those are copy-pasted with incorrect punctuation to force them to appear at the same x on the page.

Re:Check their DNA (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 3 years ago | (#37426542)

Maybe this will shed a little light on this thread for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke [wikipedia.org]

Re:Check their DNA (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about 3 years ago | (#37428308)

Yes, I'm well aware of the FTFY meme. It's just that, normally, the troller actually fixes something for the trolled.

It's not funny to be stupid or thick, you know. And saying you've fixed something when you haven't is pretty dumb.

Re:Check their DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422168)

Clearly they have been irradiated by cosmic rays, and theoir fate is now that they will become the Fantastic F-- uh... Three.

Re:Check their DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37422424)

You mean the Terrific Trio [wikia.com] obviously.

Re:Check their DNA (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37422796)

A lot of really bad things in the movies have started exactly like this.

Uwe Boll, for example.

Re:Check their DNA (1)

cornface (900179) | about 3 years ago | (#37423288)

"Today's big story centers around the killing
Of District Attorney McGraw, whose body was
Found in his garage, murdered.

Dr. Walker is under the impression that these crimes
Were being perpetrated by dead men charged with atom
Rays, which gives them superhuman strength and makes
Them impervious to bullets.

Well, if you want to believe that story you can."

Re:Check their DNA (1)

jovius (974690) | about 3 years ago | (#37423386)

Maybe some mixed DNA as in Hot Plasma IIV - The Insertion, or as in Space Hotties IV - Fiery Plunge, to which there is also the legendary sequel Two Way Communication.

Re:Check their DNA (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37424404)

"They should make sure to check the crew's DNA very carefully"

Oh, the crew's DNA is just fine.

It's all that extra with the unusual nucleotide coding that we're worried about.

Soviet engineering FTW (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421780)

Their radio broke. This isn't the first time that something has failed on a Soyuz capsule, and it won't be the last. Twice, the explosive bolts holding on the service module failed to fire. They had that 3rd stage failure a few months ago. They've had capsules land so far off course it has taken hours to get the helicopter there. And so on and so forth.

Do you know what all of these accidents have in common? They haven't lost a crewmember in 30 years...

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (4, Insightful)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37422674)

Only by accident. If that third stage failure had a soyuz carrying astronauts in it, they'd all be dead. Same is true for a half dozen other incidents at least - soyuz TMA-11, Soyuz TMA-1, June 1997 a module of the mir space station was punctured and depressurized during a mid space collision between mir, spektr, and progress, etc etc. The US suffered some catastrophic tragedies with Columbia and Challenger, losing 7 astronauts per incident. It doesn't mean soviet engineering is at all better.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37422780)

Only by accident. If that third stage failure had a soyuz carrying astronauts in it, they'd all be dead.

No they wouldn't, because unlike the shuttle the launch abort procedure from Soyuz consists of more than 'and then you die'.

If that rocket had carried astronauts the escape system would have fired and they'd have been sitting on the ground waiting for a helicopter a few minutes later.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (2)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37422896)

no it wouldn't, because the soyuz second stage ends after 290 seconds into flight, and the escape system can only be used until 157 seconds into the flight. They'd be dead.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37423008)

no it wouldn't, because the soyuz second stage ends after 290 seconds into flight, and the escape system can only be used until 157 seconds into the flight.

You mean like the way the Apollo abort rocket was jettisoned soon after second stage separation? Do you think that means that the Apollo astronauts would have died due to a second stage failure?

No, it means they didn't need it anymore.

Hint: the only actual, real, actually happened Soyuz launch abort happened more than 290 seconds into the flight. The crew did not die.

But don't let reality get in the way of a good rant.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37426588)

Space-Plane == Horseless-carriage

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

Megane (129182) | about 3 years ago | (#37422886)

Only by accident. If that third stage failure had a soyuz carrying astronauts in it, they'd all be dead.

Except for the minor difference that a Soyuz has a parachute. As I recall, the main problem was that the launch failed to go high enough. They likely could have separated the crew module and fired the parachutes.

The US suffered some catastrophic tragedies with Columbia and Challenger, losing 7 astronauts per incident.

The root cause of the Columbia and Challenger incidents can be blamed on putting the crew vehicle on the side of the rocketry rather than on top. (We're not planning to do that again.) Other than that we only lost three on the ground from failing to understand how fire works, and avoided losing three more in space to an actual accident.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37423000)

so you're saying they weren't high enough, so the parachutes that couldn't have deployed would have saved them? or they'd separate, somehow gain more altitude, and then deploy parachutes? The soyuz escape system doesn't work after the 157 seconds, and the malfunction wasnt detected until 325 seconds. It's possible ancient aliens could have saved them too, but somehow I doubt that likely.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37423040)

It's possible ancient aliens could have saved them too, but somehow I doubt that likely.

I guess they must have saved the crew of Soyuz-18A.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37423178)

it didn't happen under exactly the same circumstances. Saying the same result would have occurred is pretty inane. in soyuz 18a cosmonauts experience sustained accelerations of more than 20g (which can be fatal), and the parachutes survived far beyond their expected loading @ 15g. The capsule also didn't land in the ocean and get dragged underwater by it's parachute, like a previous soyuz capsule, even though the landing site was completely random. So as I said to begin with - don't attribute to soviet engineering what is actually luck. You'll notice the one time the soyuz escape system was actually used, on the pad, it failed to initiate automatically and had to be initiated by the control tower, and only launched 2 seconds before the rocket exploded. so I don't see where I'm wrong. There's more chance they'd be dead than alive. the soviets were really lucky.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37423300)

it didn't happen under exactly the same circumstances.

The Soyuz detected a guidance problem and shut down. The Progress detected an engine problem and shut down. Why do you think the abort would have been any different in those cases, other than having happened later in the second case?

So as I said to begin with - don't attribute to soviet engineering what is actually luck.

So your proof that Soyuz astronauts would have died appears to be that in the only actual real launch abort which ever happened so far they survived?

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37426610)

The progress payload doesn't have a heat shield so an abort at 325 seconds makes it burn up. The manned launcher does have a heat shield so it makes a normal landing down range.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37424234)

It is unlikely anyone would die. The capsule would have to not separate from the final stage and crash to earth with it. Or there would have to be an explosion.

The most likely scenario is return to earth on a parachute and landing after manually separating from the final stage. You know, explosive bolts and all.

No one has died during all the launches of Soyuz. It's a lot better track record than the Shuttle.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 years ago | (#37426032)

It doesn't mean soviet engineering is at all better.

It didn't before, but now it's a comparison between Russian, Chinese and Indian space engineering.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 years ago | (#37429188)

If that third stage failure had a soyuz carrying astronauts in it, they'd all be dead.

If the third stage were to fail to ignite can the crew not manually initiate separation of the third stage from the Service Module? (Probably also immediatly also dump the Orbital Module to reduce mass). Then use the engine and thrusters to give control over where they are going to land.
Even if the third stage were to explode. So long as both the crew and the Descent Module survived the explosion they should still be able to land safely.

Re:Soviet engineering FTW (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 3 years ago | (#37439688)

Don't forget the time too when some guy had to fix the door shut using The Inanimate Carbon Rod.

Fifteen minutes is all they need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421782)

Fifteen minutes is all they need to exchange the crew with synthetic replacements. Exact in every detail, but carrying alien nano technology designed to infiltrate our environment and self-replicate. Slowly they will replace every human cell with their own, right down to the human brain wherein every quanta of electrical activity will be recorded and measured, the data being fed back to the "central corpus" in real time. Alien intelligence analysts that operate outside of normal spacetime will pour through the otherwise arcane data, feeding back a master programming template to be overlayed into our minds to form a new emergent intelligence, one that is compatible with their physiology...

Re:Fifteen minutes is all they need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421932)

Seems like a lot of trouble when all they have to do is pollute their precious bodily fluids?

Duh? (1)

rwven (663186) | about 3 years ago | (#37421900)

Maybe they should have tried switching to their auxiliary subspace transmitter. Radio? What's that?

But don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37421966)

Private space will solve all these problems AND colonize the galaxy! All that while running out of oil! Oh joy!

LightSquared (5, Funny)

dietdew7 (1171613) | about 3 years ago | (#37422008)

In other news, my LightSquared broadband is working great!

Intentional Problems? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#37422466)

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you must but, I'm getting the idea that there might be some interest in the US not relying upon Russia for crew transport... Russia's space tech might be a bit on the old side, but it has never been known to be unreliable. Now inside of a few short months they've been experiencing some pretty serious problems after going for so very long without any.

Re:Intentional Problems? (1)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37423034)

>Now inside of a few short months they've been experiencing some pretty serious problems after going for so very long without any.

Because the Chinese are going to be marketing their new heavy booster any day now. Deng Xioping came back from the dead and he's the new marketing director.

Blame Canada.

--
BMO

Re:Intentional Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37423762)

Well you hit a known target there. After all what was the sense of destroying the Mir in the first place? Easily the most stupid achievement in space exploration - right after sending Hubble up there with a f-d mirror. Hmm I'm not sure which is nr. 1 - stupidity out of range.

 

Re:Intentional Problems? (1)

damburger (981828) | about 3 years ago | (#37423840)

You are a conspiracy theorist.

Even if this is a statistically significant cluster of reported failures (I am skeptical of that; random data does cluster you know...) then it could simply be that Soyuz failures are being reported more.

Re:Intentional Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37424272)

Must be the aging material. But I'd point my finger to Microsoft.

Re:Intentional Problems? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#37427544)

Your honor, I swear this bolt is from my bicycle!

Re:Intentional Problems? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37443000)

It could also be increased press scrutiny from the U.S. press now that the Russkies are the go-to's for transporting astronauts. The U.S. press has never missed an opportunity to bad-mouth even the most minor of Soviet/Russian technical problems. Now that the shuttle is gone and people are bitching about how we have to rely on Russia, they've focused in on the Soyuz--picking apart every minor problem as some catastrophe waiting to happen (I can almost picture them with their fingers crossed). The U.S. press has an established narrative for everything, and their space narrative has always been that the U.S. is ahead of the Russians at all times (even back in the early-mid 60's when this CLEARLY wasn't the case).

Body doubles? (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | about 3 years ago | (#37422510)

So the crew was replacedhttp://science.slashdot.org/story/11/09/16/1558202/Soyuz-Capsule-Return-Marred-By-Mystery-Communications-Blackout# with alien drones, big deal.

Re:Body doubles? (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | about 3 years ago | (#37422520)

Odd, looks normal in preview, all jacked up after submittal. Ah well.

Well, obvious but... (1)

kikito (971480) | about 3 years ago | (#37426388)

"All was well" isn't accurate. At the very least, their communication systems were malfunctioning.

Grocery shopping for Earthlings.. (1)

nanospook (521118) | about 3 years ago | (#37426798)

Well, it's obvious.. they were abducted by aliens.. and rejected..
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