back to article Russian rocket snafu may have just violently dismantled 19 satellites

A Russian weather satellite and 18 micro-satellites are right now thought to be at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean after a Soyuz rocket carrying the birds malfunctioned shortly after launch. The launch of the Soyuz 2-b rocket – the latest addition to Russia's venerable line of boosters – took place at the new Vostochny …

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Oh well, just when I commented that the village bus has 97%+ success ratio.

Nothing to do with Vostochnyi by the look of it - this is a rocket failure. Could have happened from any of the other 3 launch sites (Plesetsk, Baikonur and Guiana)

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Early suggestions are that the Soyuz rocket performed its job and a flight control programming error in the Fregat upper stage (which is used with multiple launch systems) is likely to blame.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/11/28/russian-weather-satellite-and-18-secondary-payloads-feared-lost/

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i reckon they let a kerbal put it together. Or maybe the Kraken got it.

They should have put more struts on (I dont trust new fangled autoroot).

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Does someone really have to mention bloody kerbels every single time any aerospace topic is being discussed?

Every time someone relates something in the real world to a game, or to fiction, all it does is advertise that they don't have any direct experience or anything to add.

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Obligatory xkcd.

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Does someone really have to mention bloody kerbels every single time any aerospace topic is being discussed?

There's few better ways to gain a visceral understanding of rocket failures and orbital mechanics than Kerbal Space Program. In this case, staging errors due to incorrect flight controller programming are common in new Kerbal booster design.

Every time someone relates something in the real world to a game

Aladdin Sane's XKCD reference is worth a look.

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Lovely launch but a bit of a failure on the whole-rockety-delta-v-place-it-gently-in-the-right-place sort of thing. Still, on the plus side nobody died, unless Putin gets really upset and channels his inner-Blofeld.

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advertise that they don't have any direct experience or anything to add

Or just being sociable.

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Anonymous Coward

Oversimplifying the simple.

I would like to think that Register readers can understand this sentence perfectly well:

"Instead, it fell back to Earth, possibly still carrying its payload, and was destroyed by air friction, with the debris falling safely into the sea, we're told."

And do not need this sentence to explain it to them "in other words":

"In other words, it sounds as though the rocket didn't do its job of getting the stuff up into space, and keeping it there."

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Boffin

Re: Oversimplifying the simple.

"Instead, it fell back to Earth, possibly still carrying its payload, and was destroyed by air friction, with the debris falling safely into the sea, we're told."

As a red-blooded Reg reader it would be remiss of me not to also point out that on re-entry from orbit, the heat and mechanical stresses come largely from compression of the air in front of the object rather than friction.

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Re: Oversimplifying the simple.

And it wasn't a snafu either; whilst it seems to be afu, it's certainly not sn.

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Re: Oversimplifying the simple.

one hopes it's not an sn

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Mushroom

Re: Oversimplifying the simple.

Or, "obviously a major malfunction"

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Re: Oversimplifying the simple.

"You will not go to space today."

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Re: Oversimplifying the simple.

Maybe this might be better (for some value of better): "What goes up has to come down. In this case, it just came down way too soon."?

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly this is just western fake news.

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Kerbal Space Program

Check yo staging!

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Mushroom

Re: Kerbal Space Program

I believe we call this a RUD: Rapid Unplanned Disassembly.

Source: I play a bit too much KSP

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Not RUD at all, just plain LOOSE: Lack Of Orbital Speed Error

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

Or just a simple "off by pi" error

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

I believe we call this a RUD: Rapid Unplanned Disassembly.

If it was an RUD, where was the kaboom?

This sounds more like an RUR.

(That is, Rapid Unscheduled Re-entry, not Rossum's Universal Robots)

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Re: Kerbal Space Program

with moar boosters they wouldnt have needed to stage. Moar boosters fixes most issues. That and not accelerating physics time during launch.

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Mushroom

Re: Kerbal Space Program

I thought it was a Kaotic ABort Of Orbit Manoeuvre

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Re: Moar boosters

And much strutting

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FAIL

Obviously this was caused by inferior potassium in the rocket fuel.

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I think I am tired... I read this as a Possum in the rocket fuel......

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Animal fuel additives

This is the first I have heard of possum power, but NASA did a small scale animal fuel test, presumably to prepare for this.

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Coat

I read it as potatoes initially.

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Coat

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

As the Silastic Armourfiends of Striterax could tell you

Doffs hat (black fedora again) to the late, great Douglas Adams

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Mushroom

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

Well, in addition to the potatoes you need LOX and something closely resembling a V2 to even be able to start thinking about solving problems, and then only a particular category of problems, really. There is also the fact that previous attempts have not shown this to be a viable approach in the long run.

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Pint

Watney...

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

Oh I don't know, Mark seemed to do alright. PP

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Coat

Perhaps ..

... they could borrow one of Kim's ballistic rockets? Those seem to be working just fine.

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Anonymous Coward

"Those seem to be working just fine"

Well, if you want them to go up and then land in the sea, then yes. I don't think that was the plan here.

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Re: "Those seem to be working just fine"

Whether Kim's ballistic rockets carry any payload at all is a good guarded secret. The Soyuz is designed to lift some 7000 kg to LEO.

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Re: "Those seem to be working just fine"

Well, if you want them to go up and then land in the sea, then yes. I don't think that was the plan here.

There's the problem. Simply redefine the plan as being 'to go up and then land in the sea' and the mission was a roaring success. This used to be SOP for TASS back in the day

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Re: "Those seem to be working just fine"

Or simply split the launch up into different sub-contractors, each responsible for a different phase.

Then you can claim 'n' times as many successful launch activities, claim 'n' times as much investment in the local economy and close down the one which fails

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Anonymous Coward

Well, if you want them to go up and then land in the sea

But if it was the plan, it worked flawlessly. Most plans do, if you suitably modify the planned objective after the fact.

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Re: Perhaps ..

But Kims rockets came from Russia, sorry correction an Old Soviet factory located in Ukraine and nothign to do with Russia at all!!

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Angel

Soyuz 2-b

Or not to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Soyuz 2-b

Alas, poor Florida! I knew him, Horatio; before he was beaten to death by enraged English majors...

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Re: Soyuz 2-b

Alas, poor Florida! I knew him, Horatio; before he was beaten to death by enraged English majors..

Once more into the beach, dear micro-sats, once more;

Or close the wall up with our Soyuz dead.

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Re: Soyuz 2-b

Here's an English Major for you, though he is not normally enraged:

English Major

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Re: Soyuz 2-b

Not as good as Major Major Major Major.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Soyuz 2-b

re: Not as good as Major Major Major Major.

errr .. badger, badger, badger, badger ....

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Re: badger, badger, badger, badger

The lesser known hit by Chas 'n' Dave.

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"That said, we already have hardware on the International Space Station waiting to launch so there's plenty to be getting on with."

Wow... How to be completely dismissive of the loss of 10 of your customers hard work and endeavours!?!

Considering even a microsatellite takes 2-3 years to develop, I'm sure the scientists and engineers who have now lost their work and the opportunities for the scientific data they were hoping to collect are just as sanguine. 2-3 years down the drain, yeah fine whatever...

Remind me to stay away from that firm in future...

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personally if a customer screwed an already paid project and wanted another i'd be thrilled. Afterall ive already gotten the tooling and notes.

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They will have more than the tooling. They will already have the flight spares.

In such a risky business as spaceflight a launch failure is already well planned for.

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Customer is insured.

Likely - especially with micro-satellites - they have a lot of spares on hand.

Hassle, yes.

Rejigging of a timetable, yes.

But if you haven't accounted that "big stick of dynamite might go bang" in your business model as a satellite company, then you really don't deserve to be in business anyway. You'd have a number of other satellites, a number of other launch locations, a number of other launch companies, and the insurance to just say "Right, let's launch one from this other place to fill the gap we now have in the schedule, while we clean up the mess".

Seriously... space travel is still incredibly dangerous. If you haven't factored that in, you're going to go bankrupt very fast.

Meanwhile, likely the scientists are developing the next lot, testing on the ground units and anything that they do already have launched, etc. In fact, after a while, they'll be twiddling their thumbs and moving on - once the constellation is up - and this has probably just provided another 6 months of employment for most of them.

You really think there's a room of white lab-coats somewhere crying into their beakers, in ruins? Most likely they just ticked the Excel box that says "Launch: Failed", and moved onto the next one that's already 90% planned out for just such an eventuality.

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Happy

TITSUP

Nearly...

Total Inability To Separate UP

Total Inability To Separate UPper stage

Total Inability To Separate Upper Portion

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