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Proton-M Rocket Carrying Russia's Most Advanced Satellite Crashes

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the tough-thing-to-get-right dept.

Communications 160

schwit1 (797399) writes "When it rains it pours: A Russian Proton rocket crashed Friday nine minutes after launch. Considering the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over space, combined with the increasing competition for the launch market created by SpaceX's lower prices, another Proton failure now is something the Russians could do without. Moreover, the Russians were planning a lot of Proton launches in the next few months to catch up from last year's launch failure. Many of these scheduled launches were commercial and were going to earn them hard cash. This failure definitely hurts, and will certainly be used as justification by their government in increase its control over that country's aging aerospace industry."

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More government control, that's the ticket (4, Insightful)

Teresita (982888) | about 4 months ago | (#47016975)

This failure definitely hurts, and will certainly be used as justification by their government in increase its control over that country's aging aerospace industry."

Because paying folks by the hour rather than by the successful launch is a surefire way to cut Space-X off at the knees. This from the land of the three-man shovel.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017059)

yeah, because paying per successful launch would surely never cause a company like SpaceX to try to cut corners, take unacceptable risks, and get as many launches squeezed in as possible, right?

When you're talking about people's lives at stake, and lobbing enormous explosive devices around, minimizing people's hours and maximizing the profit isn't necessarily the best answer.

It's similar to the way private control has completely fucked up the US healthcare system.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2, Insightful)

Teresita (982888) | about 4 months ago | (#47017213)

When you're talking about people's lives at stake, and lobbing enormous explosive devices around, minimizing people's hours and maximizing the profit isn't necessarily the best answer.

The evil capitalist profit incentive has gone a long way toward making the chances of dying in a plane crash approach the probability of winning a lottery. If an airline lost the entire plane on the twenty-fifth flight ala Challenger, and again on the 113th flight ala Columbia there'd be a lot of empty seats.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47017297)

That and the massive amounts of regulation that works directly against the "evil capitalist profit incentive". You picked a really bad industry. Try something with fewer regulations - pogs or Justin Bieber CDs or something.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47017503)

Hmmm, now that I think of it, I think regulating the producing of Justin Bieber CDs would be in the national interest.

I agree with the regulation comment, the FAA was and is instrumental in making airliners safe. Risk is something companies tend to put a price on, human lives doesn't really enter into that calculation and is probably considered an external cost. The free market might be able to price it in...and the price would fluctuate...depending upon lives lost...which is not a terribly good way to think about safety.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#47018759)

that model works well for the car industry...

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017591)

Actually, if you dig deeper a lot of regulation comes directly from the business themselves. Established businesses often like regulation because it improves the businesses perception (Hey, where government regulated what could go wrong??) while making it harder for start-ups to compete. A really good example of this is the founding of the USDA. Which came about after the European popularity of "The Jungle" which was basically writing down all the sea monster stores of the meat packing industry. I mean he tells us the meat packers really had us of their thumbs??? Then how did they manage to hold a knife and make exact cuts???
The US meat packing industry wanted a government seal to put on meat to reassure the European public that American meat was safe to eat.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

necro81 (917438) | about 4 months ago | (#47018201)

That and the massive amounts of regulation that works directly against the "evil capitalist profit incentive". You picked a really bad industry. Try something with fewer regulations - pogs or Justin Bieber CDs or something.

My cousin was killed by a Justin Bieber pog, you insensitive clod!

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (5, Insightful)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#47017305)

Commercial pilot here: If you think "profit" is why airplanes are safe - I am ROFLMAO x 1000. OMFG you could not be more wrong! I once worked for a place that wanted us to call in on the radio with our registration number insteald of XX airlines Flight XXX so the FAA wouldn't even realize we had paying passengers in our ancient shit-heaps. They were ALL ABOUT profit!

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2)

arth1 (260657) | about 4 months ago | (#47017331)

The evil capitalist profit incentive has gone a long way toward making the chances of dying in a plane crash approach the probability of winning a lottery. If an airline lost the entire plane on the twenty-fifth flight ala Challenger, and again on the 113th flight ala Columbia there'd be a lot of empty seats.

The evil capitalist profit incentive has ensured that we no longer have manned space flight at all, and depend on the evil socialist from-each-according-to-ability system to do our launches.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017357)

You no longer have manned "space" flight because it fundamentally makes no fucking sense.

You guys are worshiping telegraphs in the 21st century.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017361)

Um... you are forgetting that the reason that the airlines have such excellent safety records is due to the strict government oversight of just about every aspect of the industry. Pilot, Fight Attendants, Mechanics... heck, even the luggage handlers have to be certified to one level or another by the FAA. Every, even minor, mishap with a plane is documented in detail by the NTSB.

Yes, if the evil capitalistic profits were welcome to run amok there would be no seat belts, oxygen masks, life jackets, interiors would be of highly combustible materials, and the seats would rip from the floor/collapse in a crash - because all of those things add weight - and weight reduces profits. They are there to make the planes safe - not because the airlines want them there.

Challenger blew up due to political reasons (decision to not-launch (line engineers) was overridden by upper mgt. to make the president look good). Columbia was due to errant assumptions on the part of the engineers at both NASA as well as Lockheed Martin's. 'There is no way this chunk of lightweight foam could possibly cause any damage.' Ooops...

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018043)

Normalization of deviance ... like replacing a blown fuse with a higher current one.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017395)

I agree. I couldn't imagine the nightmarish scenario where government agencies set up strict regulations on every aspect of air travel: from how planes are maintained, to how long pilots are allowed to fly them, to whether a model of aircraft is even permitted to fly at all. If a plane were to crash, you certainly wouldn't want to rely on the government to conduct an extensive investigation into the cause and make detailed recommendations/regulations to ensure it doesn't happen again. Yes, the need to keep shareholders happy has made all of that unnecessary and made air travel as safe as it could possibly be.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

deodiaus2 (980169) | about 4 months ago | (#47017463)

Well, Wilbert Wright died on his third flight. I am sure that the air travel industry had some pretty bad stats. In the 1950's airline attendants were required to train in First Aid and the uniforms looked a lot like nurse's, something that was not just happenstance.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (4, Insightful)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#47017521)

One of the reasons the FAA (then CAA) was INVENTED was because planes crashed so often that the industry was never going to become viable. One thing they did pretty early on was prohibit making wing spars out of wood for commercial airliners after some people died because of either rot or termites. Absent that rule there would always be one airline not ticking off the "make spar out of metal" option box and saving a few dollars.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 4 months ago | (#47018331)

One of the reasons the FAA (then CAA) was INVENTED was because planes crashed so often that the industry was never going to become viable.

which is good as long as FAA doesn't get "regulatory capture" by industry like the FCC has become. I also recall for parachuting equipment (canopies, rigs, etc) all are TSO and materials had to be MIL-SPEC. But those mil-specs were defunked but were picked up by Parachute Industry Association which maintains PIA-specs for materials.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2)

cellocgw (617879) | about 4 months ago | (#47018497)

But those mil-specs were defunked but were picked up by Parachute Industry Association

To be sure, most MIL-SPEC docs are pretty dang funky (White Boy....).

Dare I ask: did autocorrect spell-bomb you or have you never seen the correct word in print?

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#47018239)

Relavant info from the WIKI Gods: Airline safety revolution[edit]With these superior, safer aircraft matched to greatly increased and more public government inspection and regulation of aviation, crash rates plummeted to a tiny fraction of those of the wooden airliner years.[12] Today, the legacy of the Flight 599 crash is simply that the most dangerous way to travel in 1931â"airlinesâ"radically transformed into what has now become the safest way to travel.[2]

Re: More government control, that's the ticket (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 4 months ago | (#47018351)

Uh... are you trolling or just have no idea what you are talking about? Wilbur Wright died from Typhoid fever almost 10 years after the first flights, and after he had made many, many flights.

Orville died from a heart attack 35 years+ after Wilbur died.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017783)

Holy fucking crap you're a nutcase.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#47017929)

Moron - not everything in the world exists on google. Look up the history of the Air Commerce Act, Air Mail Act the CAA, etc. in the 1920s and 30s.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017257)

Seems to have worked for Boeing.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (-1, Troll)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47017383)

It's similar to the way private control has completely fucked up the US healthcare system.

<sarcasm>Fortunately, the ACA has made great strides in fixing what's wrong with US healthcare.</sarcasm>

My wife's medications that used to cost $5 now cost $60. A bunch of people who had exactly the health insurance that met their needs saw it canceled, and are forced to buy stuff they don't want. I would say "thanks Obama" but it's more like "thanks Democrats" since the ACA disaster was passed on a 100% partisan basis. And the worst is still yet to come with the ACA rollout, as the president has been (illegally) delaying its most draconian provisions -- to translate into plain English, a bunch of people will lose their jobs as business are forced to tighten their belts. So getting back to the topic at hand -- no, the government is not likely to improve things.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#47017571)

This is easy to demonstrate. Just look at the health statistics from the rest of the 1st world where government more or less runs it and see how much better off we are then they are. Oh wait.....

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (5, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about 4 months ago | (#47017827)

This is easy to demonstrate. Just look at the health statistics from the rest of the 1st world where government more or less runs it and see how much better off we are then they are. Oh wait.....

Yes, please do look at the statistics of health and life expectancy for countries like Sweden, Norway and Canada.
It's way way above what it is in the US.

I have a surgical joint replacement that doctors here see on the X-rays. More than once they've told me they don't have the expertise to check it out, because US insurance companies would not allow such expensive parts to be implanted in US patients. The US way is to use cheaper parts not built to last, and rely on enough patients dying of other causes before needing replacements for this to pay off.
Also, the US healthcare system is very reactionary and slow to adopt new techniques based on the fear of lawsuits. Treatments can be available for dozens of years other places before you can get it in the US. Laser eye corrections is a good example. It took some 20 years before the US finally got them like other parts of the world.
It's about the dollar, not about the quality of life.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (-1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47018323)

US healthcare is competitive with the best healthcare around the world. There are a few metrics in which a few countries rate higher, but most of the comparisons you'll see are misleading. In particular, looking at life expectancy is not really fair. Does your doctor follow you around and stop you from eating Twinkies or smoking?

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#47018485)

If you mean biggest bills, longest wait in the ER, and most medical bankruptcies, then yes. If you mean quality of care, then no. The U.S. is well down in that ranking. Even if you have billions in the bank, the U.S. system is too busy running expensive tests to practice any real medicine anymore.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47018727)

Those comparisons are still somewhat apples to oranges. The cost of living is cheaper in Mumbai than New York City, but most people would rather live in NYC. Here in the USA we have a lot of business startups that burn through piles of cash that would make the third world turn pale -- and of course most startups fail. So does the USA have it worse than third world countries? Of course not. Our failed entrepreneurs laugh, chalk it up to experience, and try again.

With medicine I grant that some of your criticisms are true in a sense, but a fair evaluation is more complicated than you let on, and in fact our healthcare is the envy of almost all of the world. We burn through a lot of cash in our healthcare system, but we also have more cash to burn. The lower classes had many options (even before the ACA) to make sure that the most essential needs get met. The USA is a great place to live in terms of healthcare, and those who claim otherwise have some kind of agenda they're trying to push. (Not saying things can't be improved further, because there's always room for improvement.)

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019161)

The US a terrible place to live in terms of healthcare. One of the fun reasons is that US healthcare is focused around all that "cash to burn" you have. Billing and the endless threat of lawsuits doesn't just mean more expenditure it means worse health outcomes. Because cancer does not wait, patiently, not growing or mutating, while a clerk in an office building checks that the paperwork matches what they expected, and because "let's run some more tests first" may be the legally prudent thing to do even when it's not medically the most effective thing to do.

Mostly though the reason is good old inequality. Even today, even with ACA, a big portion of the burden is on the poor. America treats the poor very, very badly, mostly by pretending they deserve to suffer as a way of excusing itself of any responsibility. It's part of the American dream, "I'll get mine and everybody else will get bent". Nice.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018665)

It's a shame I don't have the link available, a solid study found out that in private health systems patients die more, simply because they won't do what's necessary to keep people alive due to costs. You pay more, you live less. This study is cited every time Europeans discuss about budget cuts and it is always ignored because politicians are sold to the banks and insurance companies (yeah, Europeans have a shit class too!).

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

router (28432) | about 4 months ago | (#47018715)

Also, the US has a huge first generation immigrant population. That skews our national numbers pretty badly in things like life expectancy, child mortality, etc.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47018767)

What a shock. The world is actually a complicated place that doesn't easily align to partisan talking points. :)

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#47019031)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/healt... [npr.org] TL;DR We suck and the suckage is increasing.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (5, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47017593)

Yes, it should be the case that any modification to health coverage in the U.S. should not alter any one person's coverage.

Get a grip, of course changing health coverage over a large swath of the U.S. economy is going to generate winners and losers. So you lost, how about the ones who couldn't get coverage before due to cherry picking by the insurance companies that can now get insurance?

Personally, I'd have broken the insurance companies knees. By the way, most of the provisions in the ACA where Republican notions before they became Democrat notions. And the the insurance companies were free to direct that legislation, all in good Republican free market theory. If you didn't get what you expected, blame both parties.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47017619)

I would say "thanks Obama" but it's more like "thanks Democrats" since the ACA disaster was passed on a 100% partisan basis.

Nevermind that it's virtually identical to the plan that Romney implemented in his home state.

If you still think there's any meaningful difference between Democrats and Republicans, you're hopelessly ignorant of the world around you.

Pull your head out of your ass, stop throwing your vote away, and support an independent or third party next time around.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1, Troll)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47018013)

Nevermind that it's virtually identical to the plan that Romney implemented in his home state.

There's an important difference -- Romney signed legislation that the people of Massachusetts (a very liberal state) wanted. In the case of the ACA, the Democrats of Congress pushed it down the throats of an unwilling American public.

If you still think there's any meaningful difference between Democrats and Republicans, you're hopelessly ignorant of the world around you. Pull your head out of your ass, stop throwing your vote away, and support an independent or third party next time around.

I know the arguments for voting for a third party, and I also know the arguments against doing so. It's all very depressing.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (3, Interesting)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47018143)

Romney signed legislation that the people of Massachusetts (a very liberal state) wanted.

Don't try to distance him from this legislation. While the Massachusetts legislature did make a number of changes to Romney's original proposal before it was passed, it was Romney's proposal. It wasn't some ballot initiative or invention of the legislature.

Additionally, you'll find that there was widespread support for healthcare reform at the national level as well. Much like the Massachusetts healthcare reform, national healthcare reform was also something that the people wanted. And much like the Massachusetts healthcare reform, the national healthcare reform also had its share of opposition. You make it sound like the American public was united against the ACA, when it is plainly obvious to any honest person that there was in fact extensive support for an overhaul of our healthcare system. Obama had made healthcare reform a large part of the platform that got him elected. This wasn't something that was snuck in or pushed down anyone's throat. It may be hard for some people to believe it, but there's actually a whole range of different opinions on this issue. Just because it was pushed down the throat of an unwilling sideslash doesn't mean the rest of the country was opposed to reform.

That being said, I believe the ACA sucks ass and that single payer was the way to go. I suppose you'd count me alongside yourself as part of the "unwilling American public"?

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47018251)

Right, I completely agree that everybody wants "healthcare reform" in some shape or fashion. That's why I specifically referred to the ACA as being pushed down Americans' throats. Not one Republican in Congress voted for it (though I concede that some parts of it have been supported by Republicans from time to time).

The ACA was only passed by means of telling some really bold lies, and shutting out the opposition in the most major act of extreme partisanship that Capitol Hill has seen in a long time.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47018431)

Not one Republican in Congress has voted for any bill supported by Obama. That's more an indication of hyperpartisanship than merit of the legislation itself. The ACA was pushed down Republicans' throats, for sure. Americans in general, however, supported it to various extents. I myself supported it, despite thinking it's shitty, because it's still less shitty than the alternative. Despite being a part of the "hates the ACA" statistic, I still supported its passage, and I wouldn't say it was pushed down my throat any more than our previous shitty healthcare system was pushed down my throat.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0, Troll)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#47018625)

Not one Republican in Congress has voted for any bill supported by Obama.

That's a silly thing to say, and it's obviously false. Obama has signed legislation for which Republicans voted.

That's more an indication of hyperpartisanship than merit of the legislation itself. The ACA was pushed down Republicans' throats, for sure. Americans in general, however, supported it to various extents.

According to polls, many Americans were opposed to the passage of the ACA; sometimes a majority. Some Americans liked the sound of the promises attached to it, and when it turned out later that Obama was just telling baldfaced lies about the ACA in order to get elected, people were disappointed. The "Republican/Tea Party wave" election of 2010 could be seen as a referendum on the popularity of the ACA, and it will be very interesting to see what happens this year.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (4, Insightful)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47019181)

That's a silly thing to say, and it's obviously false.

*sigh* [google.com] . You're right, we're living in an era of unparalleled cooperation between the two dominant political parties. The Republicans in the legislature haven't been obstinate for the sake of obstruction at all, no. *sigh* [google.com]

According to polls, many Americans were opposed to the passage of the ACA; sometimes a majority.

And so this is your rationale for claiming that it was pushed down Americans' throats? That for the most part a minority of Americans were opposed to it? I suppose you're similarly opposed to any other legislation that falls short of unanimous support?

Sadly, it's unlikely that anything interesting will happen this year. I don't see the Democrat/Republican control over our government weakening any time soon. If you expect any meaningful change to come from either side of the same coin, you haven't been paying attention.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 4 months ago | (#47018187)

Nevermind that it's virtually identical to the plan that Romney implemented in his home state.

Romney signed the bill with 8 gubernatorial vetos, of which 6 were overridden by the state legislature. The state legislature at the time that bill was passed, by the way, was 6 Republicans and 34 Democrats in the Senate and 21 Republicans and 139 Democrats in the House. It did pass with near unanimous support (only 2 dissenting votes in the house). That said, the bill was introduced and pushed and presented by Democrats and what they had put out was different from what Romney proposed. Given Romney's specific vetos and that the legislature was Democrat controlled, I doubt that the "Romneycare" plan was close to the plan he had suggested.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47018385)

See my other response here. [slashdot.org]

The bill was Romney's. He campaigned for it. The legislature made a number of changes, but it was his bill. That it was also supported by Democrats has no bearing on this fact. After the bill's passage, Romney engaged in extensive self-congratulatory behavior. He did not grumble about the terrible healthcare reform bill that was passed against his wishes.

Also, can you please clear up what you mean by "Romney signed the bill with 8 gubernatorial vetos, of which 6 were overridden by the state legislature." I was under the impression that Romney was the governor of Massachusetts at the time. Are you saying he vetoed and signed the bill simultaneously? Or that he didn't sign it because he didn't need to because the bill was passed with a veto-proof majority of the legislature? Or that Romney was battling himself to veto/sign the bill?

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 4 months ago | (#47018849)

Line item vetoes.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018067)

"My wife's medications that used to cost $5 now cost $60."

Every day? Once a year? Context, please.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 4 months ago | (#47018015)

Well, right now Spacex is only shipping cargo, and they have competitors. The cost to launch includes insurance on the cargo, wich is set by the success rate. If they have more failures than their competitiors, the insurance cost will go up.

The problem would be if they were a monopoly on launches, where the cost of a failure would go down if they didn't have any competitiors.

If they do start ferrying people, well then they open themselves up to higher liability with a failure. Worse reputation, higher payouts to families.

That's not to say it couldn't happen, but there are some monetary things working in their favor to prevent it. You just have to make sure that who ever in the compnay might profit from a successful launch will also suffer for a failure.

Re: More government control, that's the ticket (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 4 months ago | (#47018205)

Last I checked, when we as a civilization are launching satellites into orbit some costing in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars, the payouts to a family for "my Timmy died in a fiery explosion" would probably be one of those "phew! Thank god it wasn't last weeks rocket that blew up!" moments for their insurance company. The cost of human life just isn't that high to a typical actuary.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017107)

This is funny to me because even though the Russians beat you in most the early space milestones, the USA finally put a man on the Moon ... by making one giant government-backed project...

While the Russian approach was to set up various competing design bureaus.

Like I said, hilarious.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Scud (3015185) | about 4 months ago | (#47017191)

Right, as if Russians did not make one giant government-backed Moon project of their own -- the project that failed spectacuarly.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017235)

You don't understand how the Russians set up their design bureaus, do you?

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 4 months ago | (#47017921)

The thing is Korolev, Chelomei and Yangel were all competing on that project and it wasn't funded until it was way too late. Plus the funding was way below US funding. So... no wonder it fail.

Korolev was the designer of Soyuz. He had a lot of issues in the beginning. At one point he was sent to a Gulag in Siberia where he had to work as forced labor on a mine. They broke several of his teeth there.

Chelomei had a lot of clout when Nikita Khrushchev was in power because he employed one of his relatives. Chelomei was the designer of the Proton rocket.

It did not help that Korolev died in the middle of the N1 project.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 4 months ago | (#47017931)

Oh nearly forgot. Yangel designed the R-36 rocket NATO designation Satan i.e. the largest MIRV ICBM in the world.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017229)

Um, yeah, I see your knee-jerk reaction and raise you mine.

The original poster has no idea what the Russian government's response to this incident will be, and doesn't understand the meaning of the word "certainly". Yay for editorializing where it's not needed, and yay for expressing supposition as certain fact. I guess it keeps the comment trolls busy though, coz now your std.libertarian can have a rant about government vs commercial control that's completely unrelated to the story. Bravo everyone on this one.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (4, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 months ago | (#47017323)

It often comes as shocking to many people in the West, but Soviet aerospace industry was pure cutthroat capitalism to the extreme. Competition between respective bureaus was brutal, far more so than current climate in Military Industrial complex in US for example. That is how they ran away several decades ahead of the West in many aspects of that industry. As a result, comparison to current situation with same industry in the West and assuming that what is suggested here is going to Western style "government lead" model is just nonsense.

Going back to that from the current situation seems like a good plan for the industry in fact. Right now it's massively inbred and corrupt, very similar to industry in the West in the same sectors. This is better than space-x model, this is what it should be - government lead industry that is driven to fierce competition within itself, without the massive overspending that results from need to corrupt government to get contracts and produce profits.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017435)

Yes, it's a simple logistic curve thing: some things you can do faster by trying to kill each other, at first.

But as everyone who works in engineering knows, eventually you hit that part of the curve where if you want just 10% more performance, you need 100 times more people than it took to get the first 90%.

At that point, you *need* to cooperate and share. But people want to focus on the "first" part I highlighted and think that just by killing each other more, you'll keep getting results.

I'm always endlessly amazed by Americans who want a "team player" but at the same time have the me myself and I attitude.

No wonder it's such a neurotic country filled with murderous depressives.

Re:More government control, that's the ticket (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 months ago | (#47017505)

That is also why governmental control is a good thing. When governing body that stands over bureaus sees progress being hamstrung by competition, it can order the cooperation, as was the case in USSR.

at least they are trying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47016997)

The Russians do "Muslim outreach" via BTR-80 instead of with their space programs.

Read that ITAR-TASS article. That's a LOT of stuff the Russians have going on. They "DO WORK" when it comes to space. WTF are WE doing? Sitting around, remembering the good-old-days while NASA fine-tunes its diversity statement.

Also, I am sad that the rocket in question is not in fact propelled by directed proton emissions.

Re:at least they are trying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017021)

Which "we" are you talking about? If the US government, "we" are making sure that Shuttle era pork spending can continue in the same congressional districts even after the Shuttle is gone! MURRICA!

Re:at least they are trying. (3, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | about 4 months ago | (#47017031)

They "DO WORK" when it comes to space. WTF are WE doing? Sitting around, remembering the good-old-days while NASA fine-tunes its diversity statement.

Meanwhile the USA is building up quite a portfolio of images from the surface of Mars and shit. Russia's got a gig driving a space limousine.

Re:at least they are trying. (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#47017581)

They "DO WORK" when it comes to space. WTF are WE doing? Sitting around, remembering the good-old-days while NASA fine-tunes its diversity statement. Meanwhile the USA is building up quite a portfolio of images from the surface of Mars and shit. Russia's got a gig driving a space limousine.

Not a limousine, I'd call it more of a small truck, like a Ford ranger king cab with a manual transmission and a 4 cylinder engine. Crude way to travel, but if it's the only ride that stops when your thumb is out, you are just happy not to be walking or riding in the cargo bay.

Could this be (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017055)

American sabotage?

Re:Could this be (1)

Scud (3015185) | about 4 months ago | (#47017217)

Oh right, everything that's failing in Russia (and that's just less than EVERYTHING), fails because of American sabotage...

Re:Could this be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017453)

'cause what you see you might not get
And we can bet so don't you get souped yet
You're scheming on a thing that's a mirage
I'm trying to tell you now it's sabotage

Re:Could this be (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#47017615)

American sabotage?

LOL

Like everything bad that happens in Russia is due to the Americans... Um, I hate to say it but they have enough home grown issues to account for this. In fact the cold war loss was more about internal issues than anything else...

Slashdot Beta Crashes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017077)

Or at least it sucks a lot.

Go SpaceX! (1)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 4 months ago | (#47017087)

I wish that every launch was a success, and that humanity expanded into space faster. But the recent issues come just in time to help SpaceX win the much needed first contracts. They only need to finish their man rating and first stage return, and they are golden.

Re:Go SpaceX! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017635)

Someone needs to do a bit of reading!

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the... [ucsd.edu]

"Humanity" eh? In a thread full of knee-jerk "us vs. them" childish paranoia?

Russian lift platform crashes (5, Funny)

Chas (5144) | about 4 months ago | (#47017097)

Russia: Maybe you should use trampoline to get into space.
*BOOM*
America: You know what Yuri? That sounds like a damn smart decision!

Someone (2)

heezer7 (708308) | about 4 months ago | (#47017125)

is going to Siberia.

Re:Someone (2)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 4 months ago | (#47018321)

is going to Siberia.

They're already in Baikonur, so Siberia wouldn't be a huge downgrade.

Re:Someone (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 4 months ago | (#47018345)

is going to Siberia.

maybe they should start practicing this dance routine, https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Different problem (5, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 months ago | (#47017135)

Last year's failure occurred immediately - it was clear there was a major issue with one of the first stage engines from ignition. This latest failure was in the third stage. That's actually worse, because it's showing problems across the board with different engines in different stages, which would be because of totally unrelated issues. Sounds like either fundamental engineering issues or major quality and control problems (probably the latter).

Re:Different problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017227)

due to insufficient quality of blessing by cosmodrom's priest rocket smashed into empyrean

Re:Different problem (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#47017841)

Last year's failure occurred immediately - it was clear there was a major issue with one of the first stage engines from ignition.

Not to anyone with any actual knowledge of rocketry - to them it was clear there was a major problem with the guidance and control systems. (Which in fact turned out to be the case [wikipedia.org] .)

Re:Different problem (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 months ago | (#47017999)

They're claiming the rocket malfunctioned after entering a region of intense gay-waves emitted from western Europe.

I should probably stop watching Russian news.

Re:Different problem (1)

SLot (82781) | about 4 months ago | (#47019055)

I wish I had mod points. This had me laughing out loud.

Re:Different problem (1)

technology_dude (1676610) | about 4 months ago | (#47018609)

Wonder if they had any Siemens equipment installed? :)

Elon should launch for Baikonur (2)

Thagg (9904) | about 4 months ago | (#47017141)

After all, the first stage could land safely in the uninhabited steppe to the east.

Shadenfreude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017157)

Couldn't happen to a nicer country.

in soviet russia (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#47017171)

in soviet Russia we crash your rocket!

Re:in soviet russia (1)

robinsonne (952701) | about 4 months ago | (#47017241)

In theoretically-democratic Russia, Russian rocket crash jokes tell you!

Re:in soviet russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017247)

No, in Soviet Russia, the rocket crashes YOU.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017197)

What goes up.. must come down!

Vodka (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017205)

We drinks too much vodka Fridays! Or not enough Mondays!

Channeling Joe Pesci (1)

Smerta (1855348) | about 4 months ago | (#47017439)

CIA: "Hey Putin, nice rocket you got there. Sure would be shame if something happened to it in flight."

A little more to the story... (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 4 months ago | (#47017477)

The telecommunications satellite that blowed up was the Astrium (Airbus) Express AM4R [eads.net] , which was to have replaced the Express AM4, which was lost [nbcnews.com] (injected into the wrong orbit) in August 2011.

Re:A little more to the story... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#47017667)

The telecommunications satellite that blowed up was the Astrium (Airbus) Express AM4R [eads.net] , which was to have replaced the Express AM4, which was lost [nbcnews.com] (injected into the wrong orbit) in August 2011.

So they've done nearly the same thing before? Wow.

So are we *sure* the Russians are really launching these things and not just hiding them away for their use later?

Re:A little more to the story... (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 4 months ago | (#47017857)

Well, they are for Russian usage, so probably no.

Firs7 post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017587)

Has bben my only [goat.cx]

Russia never upgrades (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 4 months ago | (#47017753)

It's amazing to me just how ancient most Russian rocket designs are. The Soyuz launcher is literally based on the same design that launched Sputnik, with the addition of a second stage. And even after fifty years of iteration, they still have only a 97.5% success rate with the current Soyuz launchers (Soyuz-U, Soyuz-U2, and Soyuz-FG). That's a full point worse than the Space Shuttle (98.5%), which was a completely new design that didn't have several decades of production testing on basically any of the parts.

Proton is almost as old, dating back to the Soviet lunar program. It was actually first intended as an ICBM, to launch ridiculously heavy warheads (think Tsar Bomba on an ICBM). The changes since then have been fairly minimal, compared to the design changes American rockets went through. One of the biggest features of the latest Proton-M design is "uses less parts made outside Russia". Counting this latest failure, Proton-M has only an 88.9% success rate.

The oft-repeated engineering mantra is "quality, reliability, cost - pick two". Russia's antiquated designs don't give you quality (in terms of efficiency or even lifting power), and they really aren't as reliable as you'd expect from such well-established designs. I can only hope that they're cheap enough that it's worth it - and when you're launching multi-million-dollar satellites, maybe cheaping out on the launcher isn't such a good idea.

Re:Russia never upgrades (1)

msauve (701917) | about 4 months ago | (#47018169)

The oft-repeated engineering mantra is "quality, reliability, cost - pick two".

What does one give up if they pick reliability and (low) cost? If you can have high reliability without quality, what exactly constitutes "quality," and what does it matter?

Re:Russia never upgrades (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018307)

It's supposed to be "good, fast, cheap - pick 2".

Re:Russia never upgrades (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 4 months ago | (#47018415)

The oft-repeated engineering mantra is "quality, reliability, cost - pick two".

What does one give up if they pick reliability and (low) cost? If you can have high reliability without quality, what exactly constitutes "quality," and what does it matter?

As gman003 noted, quality can include "efficiency or even lifting power." If you let me set the quality metric as "can lift zero kg zero meters off the ground," I can build you a rocket that will do that 100% of the time, and very cheaply.

Re:Russia never upgrades (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 4 months ago | (#47018553)

The oft-repeated engineering mantra is "quality, reliability, cost - pick two".

Make that the "oft-misremembered..."

The proper 3 ingredients are
1) quality
2) time to develop/deliver
3)Cost

(obligatory)
4)...
5) Profit!

Sabotage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47017973)

most likely caused by external interference with the vehicle's electrical systems. The amount and severity of these failures are sudden and abnormal.

Shot Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018221)

Just what is the little white dot that enters from the right (moving left) of the screen and arriving at the rocket precisely when it explodes? The white dot seems to then proceed rightward. Look for the object at 0:47 (approximately 90 degrees/center-right screen) of the video until you see it – it's definitely odd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrnOnnzYLU4

Maybe they should just (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#47018503)

...use trampolines.

Check out the Exhaust Trail (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#47018663)

Starting at about 1:30 [youtube.com] the exhaust trail starts to waver a bit, and over the next fifteen seconds it becomes really wild (just before the craft disintegrates). You have to watch before that to compare.

I wonder how many bolts need to break to cause an engine to shear off or shake the thing apart?

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