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Russian Rocket Proton-M Crashes At Launch

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the up-is-a-hard-direction dept.

Transportation 145

First time accepted submitter Jade_Wayfarer writes "Today, at 02:38 UTC (08:38 local time), Russian rocket Proton-M crashed after only several seconds of flight. Proton-M was carrying 3 GLONASS-M satellites of the ill-fated Russian navigational system. There were no causalities, but evacuation of personnel was ordered because of toxic rocket fuel fumes. Video of the event can be found here."

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145 comments

probably... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164611)

...because the rocket was using GLONASS for navigation instead of GPS.

Re:probably... (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#44164647)

Normally AC first post comments are throwaways, but the image of a rocket trying to follow the navigation satellites in its nose made me giggle...

Re:probably... (-1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44164649)

...because the rocket was using GLONASS for navigation instead of GPS.

Wasn't a navigation, but propulsion problem. Go back to your model rocketry and read the manuals again, and not the difference between Propulsion section and Payload section.

This is a drag, but it's always a drag when these fail because it still means failure is possible, even SOYUZ.

Re:probably... (1)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | about 10 months ago | (#44164685)

I watched the video first and focused on the plumes. To my untrained eye, I didn't see any sputters or anything from the engine....

Re:probably... (1)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | about 10 months ago | (#44164715)

Correction - just saw it again. Something weird billowed out of the engines at 0:18 or so

Re:probably... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44164797)

Correction - just saw it again. Something weird billowed out of the engines at 0:18 or so

So glad this was only 3 satellites, rather than 3 cosmonauts. That 0:18 mystery plume would have been guessed, second guessed and investigated. As it is, they'll still need to retrace the assembly and prep of the rocket to try to identify where a flaw was introduced.

Re:probably... (-1, Troll)

citizenr (871508) | about 10 months ago | (#44165083)

So glad this was only 3 satellites, rather than 3 cosmonauts.

Why? There is 7 billion of us on this rock. Are you one of those 100% safety nuts that are willing to sacrifice progress because we might lose 0.00000000014 of our population? Cant risk hurting three Astronauts, better spend $100 Billion more on this project, meanwhile 3 people die in car accident every 10 minutes on average.

Re:probably... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#44165329)

Why?

Why shouldn't he be glad that nobody got hurt in this accident? Where did he say anything about impeding progress?

Besides, it's completely pointless to do things exactly the same and hope all goes well, rather than spending money to find out what caused the problem. Whether the next payload is satellites or humans, it's a complete waste if the whole thing blows up again..

Re:probably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166807)

Why reply to trolls, my friend? Thanks to you I had to read the parent crap. Just let them be quetly modded down and disappear

Re:probably... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166093)

Yeah, it looks like an engine failure of some kind (the brownish plume), and then the other engines valiantly tried to correct for it (check out the deflection of the other rocket plumes trying to correct for the spin/deviation) and fail.

It reminds me of this Delta II failure, also carrying a GPS satellite [wikipedia.org] , which was a booster failure. Video [youtube.com] here [youtube.com] , although the ending is rather different.

The part I can't figure out for the Proton rocket is why, as it turned horizontal and started heading back down, the range officer wasn't mashing the "destruct" button or automatic systems weren't triggering. Or why those systems failed if they did. I thought it was standard practice to explode these things as close over the pad as possible once things go wrong rather then let it go to ... well, wherever the hell it might head. Thankfully it doesn't look like it made it far from the pad before impacting on its own.

Re:probably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166219)

Or why those systems failed if they did. I thought it was standard practice to explode these things as close over the pad as possible once things go wrong rather then let it go to ... well, wherever the hell it might head.

Maybe if you have a pad surrounded by a large empty field, it is better to let it go a short way away from the pad before exploding/impacting as long as it is not going toward any people, buildings, towns, or over the horizon. It might save you some effort of rebuilding or cleaning up the pad.

Re:probably... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#44164743)

This is a drag, but it's always a drag when these fail because it still means failure is possible, even SOYUZ.

Protons have historically been highly reliable. A mishap like this happens every now and then to any launcher.

Re:probably... (3, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 10 months ago | (#44165427)

Protons have historically been highly reliable. A mishap like this happens every now and then to any launcher.

This was the 387th Proton launch. A quick check, and I find that 36 of them have failed (including this latest one), plus three or four "partial failures" (they got into the wrong orbit, but were still usable).

So Proton has a 9.3% failure rate, which is still much more reliable than Shuttle's 1.5% failure rate.

Oh, wait....

Note, for those who would like to insist that Proton failures were common in the early days, but very rare once they got the bugs out, that Proton failed once in each of 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Re:probably... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#44165649)

Protons rockets are a lot cheaper than Shuttles though. It's cheaper to go with the higher failure rate and just buy insurance.

Re:probably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165861)

ROSKOSMOS now is plagued with corruption more then ever before, it is well known that components for rockets being made by private factories with intention to earn as much as possible without much of control from authorities. I would not trust russian rockets while Putins gang is in power.

Re:probably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165881)

Now look up and do the same comparison with Soyuz-FG or Soyuz-U, the rocket family that actually puts the cosmonauts into space.

Re:probably... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166269)

In case people are wondering: The FG version had 0% failure rate and the U version hasv 2.8% failure rate.

Re:probably... (4, Interesting)

Ecuador (740021) | about 10 months ago | (#44166401)

Eh, you are comparing man-rated (multiple times the cost, built specifically for 100% reliability) with cargo-only rockets (built for price/performance, where price actually includes failures).
There is simply no comparison. For Proton to still be in use it is obviously reliable enough that its cost including insurance for cargo is competitive. The space shuttle on the other had a much larger than acceptable failure rate.
Hey, get in this "bus", there is only 1.5% chance you will blow up!
Way, way too much and all because of politics basically, it was not really an engineering choice to make the boosters far away and move them disassembled or to fly in temperatures dangerous for the O-rings etc.

Re:probably... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 10 months ago | (#44165535)

It's always possible to fail. But Soyuz launches seem to be using the Soyuz FG rocket nowadays, so Proton failures are not directly affecting the Soyuz program.

Space flight is not yet as routine as a trip to the Circle-K for an ICEE.

Re:probably... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165041)

FYI, the "wooshing" sound that you heard passing over your head as you posted this response was not the sound of a rocket with a propulsion problem...

Re:probably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166665)

WOOSH.

I'll bet you're really fun at parties. "What?? Horses can't talk!"

Can we have another 3 GLONASS-M sats please? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164645)

The video shows a rocket behaving just like mine on Kerbal Space Program.
Maybe the design is exactly the same.

Dashcam? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164661)

I want to see the dashcam footage!

Re:Dashcam? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44164831)

I want to see the dashcam footage!

You'd see Putin running away after lighting the fuse.

Re:Dashcam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165693)

This comment might have been funnier if it wasn't for the fact that Russia, almost by definition, has the most advanced space program in the world. Followed perhaps by the Chinese. Sigh... Watching a Russian rocket plummet to earth in a death spiral is a sad and terrible loss, but not as sad and terrible as seeing the US space program (and country itself, it seems) doing the same.

Re:Dashcam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166351)

Because a space program is measured entirely by the number of people it launches on its own rockets...

Re:Dashcam? (4, Informative)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about 10 months ago | (#44164937)

Here you go... kinda... Proton Failure [youtube.com]

Re:Dashcam? (1)

router (28432) | about 10 months ago | (#44166813)

Awesome link, thanks for this. I feel for the Russians, sucks to lose one like that.

Wonder where range safety was, but don't know what their protocol is; it might cause less damage if it goes off on the ground as long as its unpopulated versus an air burst. Someone in the know can weigh in here?

Maybe people will stop h8n on SpaceX now? Naw, h8rs gonna h8....

andy

This isn't the Future I was promised. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44164667)

Where are the reliable rockets coming and going like London buses?

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164699)

Where are the magical materials hiding in the Periodic Table of the Elements? The limits of real, practical materials and real, practical engineering mean that this is pretty much as good as it gets. Planes still crash, cars still break down. Rockets take materials to the extreme limits of what's possible.

This ain't software.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 10 months ago | (#44164779)

Gasp! You mean I can't fly around in floating-car like the Jetsons that is able to hold into a small briefcase?

Yeh, science fiction has teased us with a bit too much. Between constraints on materials and the laws of Themodynamics we can't really do all of the cool stuff that we've seen in comics and movies. Not now, possibly never.

Obviously there's room for advancement to be made. Carbon Nanotubes offer interesting manufacturing abilities as the technology (and tube-size) improves. But things are harder to do that people realize.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164901)

If you're intending to suggest that software doesn't breakdown you've never encountered QA.

Even in cases of PEBKAC you can usually pin the problem on the software making unreasonable assumptions.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#44165039)

If you're intending to suggest that software doesn't breakdown you've never encountered QA.

It's possible to make software that doesn't break down. The fact that most people don't have the chops to do it, and the fact that reliable software is a wasted on most existing hardware does not negate it.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

harperska (1376103) | about 10 months ago | (#44165243)

It is only possible to make software that can never break down when all possible values of all input parameters are known ahead of time. In practice, this is rarely the case.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 10 months ago | (#44164709)

In fairness, London did have those bendy buses for a while, which had an unfortunate habit of catching fire.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44164847)

In fairness, London did have those bendy buses for a while, which had an unfortunate habit of catching fire.

True. They also all tend to come at once and then none for ages.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 10 months ago | (#44165181)

I believe Italy solved this problem once with its trains. People turned out to not be very happy with the results, and they hung the guy who did it. Ever since, nobody has been willing to try.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166295)

You realize that "at least the trains ran on time under Mussolini" is fascist propaganda or black humor from the Italians, yes?

The trains ran no more punctually (and perhaps less so) under Il Duce than they did under anybody else.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 10 months ago | (#44165025)

In fairness, London did have those bendy buses for a while, which had an unfortunate habit of catching fire.

Three of them. The (design?) fault was fixed, and there were no further problems.

Boris' withdrawal of bendy buses now means several affected routes are overcrowded, and more buses are needed to run the routes (a bendy bus carries more people than a double-decker bus).

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#44164793)

"Where are the reliable rockets coming and going like London buses?"

Those are the ones which don't find their way into the news [lbc.co.uk] .

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#44164931)

Where are the reliable rockets coming and going like London buses?

Good news, everyone! The rockets you seek are on Futurama.

Bad news, everyone! It just got cancelled.

Re:This isn't the Future I was promised. (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 10 months ago | (#44164975)

The Soyuz is reliable and relatively cheap to build.

"It has become the world's most used space launcher, flying over 1700 times, far more than any other rocket. It is a very old basic design, but is notable for low cost and very high reliability, both of which appeal to commercial clients."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_(rocket_family) [wikipedia.org]

Just have to keep trying... (2, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | about 10 months ago | (#44164753)

I heard that the rocket was also carrying Edward Snowdens political asylum request [slashdot.org] .

No Causalities (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164761)

There were no causalities, but evacuation of personnel was ordered because of toxic rocket fuel fumes

Must have been a pretty big explosion to break the laws of space time like that.

Hard Stuff (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 10 months ago | (#44164771)

Oh come on, guys, again? It's not like this is rocket scie... oh, wait, yes it is.

Easy jokes aside, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. The Proton rocket has been launched how many times? 50? 100? It's supposed to be a rock-solid system at this point - the most reliable commercial launch vehicle available. How many launch failures is this in the last year? Someone down in the QA department must be sleeping on the job, or being bought off. Have they been making unwarrented component or material substitutions? Is there deliberate sabotage at work? Are they just getting lazy and cheap?

Re:Hard Stuff (1)

neurogeneticist (1631367) | about 10 months ago | (#44164913)

Is there any suggestion that the etiology of the failures could be common across events? The Russians do have a fair bit of experience, although I suppose if the infrastructure supporting construction is poor, it doesn't matter how smart your rocket scientists are...

Re:Hard Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165491)

Is manufacturing a huge semi-crystaline piece of explosives without a defect "very challenging"? Yes. Are there undetectable defects which can cause catastrophic failure? Yes.

Re:Hard Stuff (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 10 months ago | (#44165561)

Oh come on, guys, again? It's not like this is rocket scie... oh, wait, yes it is.

That joke has not gotten ol... oh wait, yes it has.

Re:Hard Stuff (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#44166447)

It's supposed to be a rock-solid system at this point - the most reliable commercial launch vehicle available.

So what is the most reliable commercial launch vehicle, and how does its failure rate compare with Proton's?

Re:Hard Stuff (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#44166491)

Sorry, I forgot to add the "serious question" disclaimer, since apparently everything on the internet these days is to be treated as sneering sarcasm unless stated otherwise.

Was that sucker nuclear? (-1, Offtopic)

Stele (9443) | about 10 months ago | (#44164777)

I didn't read the article but from the name of the rocket it sounds like it's nuclear-powered. I hope there wasn't much contamination!

Re:Was that sucker nuclear? (1)

49152 (690909) | about 10 months ago | (#44165193)

No, I guess they just thought it was a cool name or something.

No one is actually using nuclear powered rockets. There has been plenty of projects in the past but they were all cancelled sooner or later.

But there could be plenty of other dangerous stuff aboard that rocket and I have no idea what might have been in the satellites.

Re:Was that sucker nuclear? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 10 months ago | (#44167271)

But there could be plenty of other dangerous stuff aboard that rocket and I have no idea what might have been in the satellites.

Nonsense. Hydrazine is wonderful stuff, and works as a cure-all tonic, guaranteed to make your worries no longer of concern!

Re:Was that sucker nuclear? (2)

Deadstick (535032) | about 10 months ago | (#44165327)

No, and the Poseidon missile is not powered by a Greek deity, either. The Proton series has been Russia's standard heavy-duty space launcher for close on fifty years.

Sabotage??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164803)

Someone has to say it. It looks like unburnt fuel and the smoke would indicate a lack of oxidizer. So, the fuel mix was off.

Re:Sabotage??? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 10 months ago | (#44166059)

Nothing to do with sabotage. Simple QA are always the issues here.
However, remember that this is rocket science. Things happen.

timing of GLONASS subcomponents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164807)

The problem was that the GLON part designed by aeronautical engineers didn't kick in soon enough to counterbalance the part pushed on the project by the space bureaucracy.

This looks like gross error (4, Insightful)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about 10 months ago | (#44164821)

For a system that's been flying since 2001 with upgrades, it's very troubling to have several doomed flights like this in a very short period of time. Those control divergences so early in the flight suggest either a bad sensor or a mechanical failure in the control links. At first glance it looks like the gains were appropriate to at least correct the initial divergence. If it was mechanical failure it makes me wonder what happened to the days when the Russians overbuilt everything at the expense of sub-optimal performance? Maybe they're just a bit too ambitious with all the advances, upgrades and variations in such a short period of time. Their earlier launch failed to reach orbit because they used outdated fueling data on a new vehicle.

Re:This looks like gross error (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 10 months ago | (#44164899)

Did you even look at the video? It's obvious that there was an engine failure that also caught fire. it was probably laterally thrusting while it was burning.

Re:This looks like gross error (1)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 10 months ago | (#44166485)

I saw that too. I was rather surprised they didn't blow it up - it was obvious it was game over when came over the end there - instead just letting it impact with full force (good thing it didn't decide to topple over towards the ground crews or it would have been game over for them). Makes me wonder if they have self destruct on the Proton or not?

Re:This looks like gross error (2)

solartear (2573599) | about 10 months ago | (#44166917)

No self-destruct on Protons, but it does have engine cut-off. However, for first 45 seconds the engine cut-off is disabled so the rocket has time to move away from the launch pad before it crashes back down to the ground. It this case it allowed the rocket to go further away from its launch pad than if it was immediately cut-off.

Video from different angle... (2, Informative)

toxygen01 (901511) | about 10 months ago | (#44164863)

Re:Video from different angle... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164987)

It's the bit were it turns over and starts to head towards them that makes that funny.

On a serious note where the hell was the Range Safety Officer on this one?

Re:Video from different angle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166087)

one possibility is that the self-destruct failed.
that would make this a very serious double-fail.

Re:Video from different angle... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#44166335)

The rocket came apart, notably the cargo section, before it crashed. Do you think this was merely due to flight stresses?

If this is hydrazine, I'd guess you'd want to burn as much of it as possible before crashing.

Re:Video from different angle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166505)

Given the rapidly-changing thrust vector versus the pull of gravity... yes, I think it could have broken up like that merely due to flight stresses. The rocket is *designed* to come apart and shed the lower stage as it launches - it's not inconceivable that the shear stress on those joints were too much for the design to handle when it's essentially tumbling and spinning at full burn with one engine apparently leaking unburned fuel, and given how the whole thing goes up at the end before impact, probably rupturing inside the rocket too.

Why would they self-destruct the thing? That'd just break up the rocket and spread flaming debris over a larger area. Letting it crash contains the debris, allows it to burn off extra fuel, and contains the damage to a smaller debris field.

Unless it's flying towards a populated area, or the control tower itself... why not just let it smash into the ground? The net effect is really no different - the rocket's still going to be destroyed, and there's going to be a lot of chemical and debris cleanup in the area it crashed.

Re:Video from different angle... (1)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 10 months ago | (#44166567)

Yes on the payload section you can see it tear off the vehicle since its not designed to handle flight loads sideways. I was stunned they didn't blow it up when it toppled over, you want as much burned up before hitting the ground (in case it goes where people are). It makes me wonder if they don't have a low altitude self destruct process and system for the vehicle (they sure should) - hydrazine is extremely nasty stuff.

Re:Video from different angle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167091)

They don't. The Russians don't blow up their rockets when there's a failure, they just switch off the engines and let them crash. Also, the system doesn't let them do that until 45 seconds after liftoff.

Reminds me of kerbal space program (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about 10 months ago | (#44164877)

Needed to install the SAS module and press t to turn it on prior to launch.

Re:Reminds me of kerbal space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165701)

The ASAS wanted to point at the nav sat inside the payload. Or maybe they mounted the probe module upside down.

Still better then North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164923)

Common, thats still an improvement over the North Korean model ...

There were no causalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164967)

I, for one, welcome our new laws of physics defying, rocket crashing overlords.

IT HAS TO BE POINTY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44164971)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtahqXjFcxU

GNSS (2)

blackC0pter (1013737) | about 10 months ago | (#44165011)

That's really too bad. I was looking forward to GLONASS reliably augmenting GPS and improving global GNSS coverage and accuracy. This will set back GLONASS for years. Looks like Galileo and BDS are the next best hopes.

Re:GNSS (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44165155)

True, it would also be nice if we could expand GPS. More sats would really help.

Re:GNSS (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#44166189)

I found all of my GPS problems disappear once I stopped trying to use my phone as a GPS and moved to a proper GPS (Garmin Oregon 450). My phone would literally take over 5 minutes to get a signal, and even after it did, it would drop constantly. My Garmin on the other hand get's a signal seconds after turning on (which is less than 15 seconds). I've never had it lose signal outside. Most people's problems with GPS are probably just due to bad devices, and not really any problems with the GPS system itself. If it was so bad, I don't imagine it would be in such high use for military and commercial systems.

Re:GNSS (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44166771)

Newer phone are much faster than that.

I am not going to carry another GPS device everywhere I go. Even if I had to wait a couple minutes. I have had one in the past and it failed in both urban canyons and real ones.

Re:GNSS (5, Informative)

heypete (60671) | about 10 months ago | (#44166751)

According to the wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , GLONASS has complete global coverage and is fully operational.

I have a GPS/GLONASS receiver and it certainly seems to have comparable coverage to GPS everywhere I've been in the last few years. Accuracy using both GPS and GLONASS, particularly when both are augmented by EGNOS, is quite good (on the order of 2-5 meters).

The satellites they were launching on this rocket were the GLONASS-M type, which was designed in 2001, and were not part of the new GLONASS-K series.

While certainly expensive and troublesome, I don't really see how this incident would set GLONASS back by years. /looking forward to Galileo and modernized GPS as well.

Re:"They Shall Beat ..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165469)

I'm not sure which is more disappointing: that the parent couldn't be bothered to do a decent link, or that slashcode couldn't fit the whole mess into the comment box.

Famous Russian QA At Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165223)

No word yet on how they're going to pay off Kazakhstan for littering their country with incredibly lethal hydrazine yet again.

Obvious - NSA missed! (0, Offtopic)

Skiron (735617) | about 10 months ago | (#44165391)

After hacking in to the controls, NSA missed trying to take out Snowden.

Stop the speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44165545)

The summary clearly states there were no causalities.

Re:Stop the speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167109)

so in which country will the survivors be buried?

You always hate to see this, but .... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 10 months ago | (#44166031)

this is probably going to help ESA, ULA's atlas/delta and SpaceX. However, SpaceX needs to make their new F9 V1.1 and FH launch successful. Assuming that it is, then you can bet on it that a number of companies will throw in with SpaceX.

Range Safety Officer? (1)

blueturffan (867705) | about 10 months ago | (#44166419)

Does anyone know whether or not there was a range safety officer monitoring this launch? From the video, it's pretty clear early on that this booster is in trouble, and since it's unmanned it seems like it would be better to detonate the Proton before it impacts the earth.

Without knowing the procedures and capabilities it's hard to know why the flight was not terminated sooner. Any Slashdotters with knowledge of Russian launch safety protocols?

Re:Range Safety Officer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166901)

That was my first thought as well - where the hell is the RSO? It clearly looks like it was under significant thrust right up until breakup. A US launch would have been aborted as soon as the trajectory diverged significantly (horizontal being very significant). Do the Russians not do that?

Re:Range Safety Officer? (2)

somepunk (720296) | about 10 months ago | (#44167163)

The payload was jettisoned and a parachute deployed. Aroud 32 seconds in. It appears to have been consumed by the fireball, but it may have been behind it from the viewer's perspective. No idea if that was automatic or not.

Bad spellchecker. BAD! (2)

cellocgw (617879) | about 10 months ago | (#44166983)

TFS said "There were no causalities,"

You would think that we could at least wait a week or two for the assessment teams to tell us if they'd found some causalities. Now, "casualties," OTOH...

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