Author Topic: Launch worthy of Borat: Rocket carrying satellites worth $200M in spectacular crash in Kazakhstan  (Read 975 times)

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A Russian rocket carrying three navigation satellites worth around $200 million crashed shortly after lift-off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on Tuesday after its engines suddenly switched off.

The accident led to a large spill of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, but there were no reports of casualties or of any immediate threat to nearby settlements.

State-run Rossiya-24 television showed footage of the Proton-M booster rocket veering off course seconds after lift-off. It fell apart in flames in the air and crashed in a ball of fire near the launch pad.

Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying launch-pad personnel were in bunkers when the rocket lifted off.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the accident had been caused by the emergency switch-off of the rocket's engines 17 seconds into the flight.

Russia's state-run RIA news agency said the switch-off could have been caused by a problem with the engine or the guidance system.

The rocket contained 172 metric tons (1 metric ton = 1.1023 tons) of highly toxic heptyl propellant, Kazakh Emergencies Minister Vladimir Bozhko told an emergency government meeting.

Talgat Musabayev, head of Kazakhstan's space agency Kazcosmos, said nitric oxide - a product of burning heptyl - was much less toxic for humans. He said it was raining in the area, so toxic clouds would probably not reach the town of Baikonur some 60 km (38 miles) away....


Rest of story and more photos at NY Post

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Offline EC

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Had that one open to post it.

Video here:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogUkEpBRNUg&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogUkEpBRNUg&amp;feature=youtu.be</a>
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Russian rocket explodes and crashes in failed launch
By Tariq Malik/
Published July 02, 2013/
Space.com via FOX News


A Russian rocket exploded in a massive fireball late Monday, destroying three navigation satellites after a failed launch that appeared to veer out of control shortly after liftoff and crash back to Earth.

The unmanned Proton rocket lifted off from the Central Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:38 p.m. EDT (0238 GMT), where the local time was early morning on Tuesday, July 2.

Video of the launch shows the 17-story rocket rising from its launch pad, then oscillating wildly and rolling as it pitched over and plunged back to Earth. The rocket burst into flames and began to break apart just before slamming into the ground and erupting into a colossal conflagration.

Built by Russia's Krunichev State Research and Production Center, the Proton rocket was carrying three Glonass navigation satellites for Russia. It marked the fifth Proton rocket launch of 2013.

Russia's Proton rockets have suffered five major launch failures since December 2010. The most recent failure was in December 2012, when a Proton rocket launched a telecommunications satellite into the wrong orbit.

The Proton rocket family returned to flight in March of this year and was followed by three successful flights until Monday's failed launch.

This latest Proton rocket incident will likely lead to an in-depth investigation to trace the cause of the launch failure, with further launches awaiting the conclusion of that analysis.
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Offline xfreeper

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It's kind of fascinating the way the thing tries to self correct the trajectory before going totally out of control. Can't see engine shut off but probably the guidance rockets that couldn't reel it back in once it was beyond the point of no return.

Offline EC

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It almost self corrected first wobble, then overshot. It did look almost alive, didn't it?
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Offline xfreeper

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It must be some feeling launching a rocket like that and watching as it goes haywire shortly after lift off

Offline EC

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The universe doesn't hate you. Unless your name is Tsutomu Yamaguchi

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Offline xfreeper

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yep. it takes some stones to sit on top of one of those

Offline Rapunzel

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My first thought was this could have been one of their rockets we are paying to take our men to the space station because the ass in DC killed off NASA.

Offline xfreeper

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I wonder if that makes it harder to recruit astronauts. I'm sure some of them would be thinking the same thing

Offline Ford289HiPo

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yep. it takes some stones to sit on top of one of those

Visit the JPL in Houston and see how big their stones really were. There wasn't much between the astronauts and oblivion.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline alicewonders

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Had that one open to post it.

Video here:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogUkEpBRNUg&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogUkEpBRNUg&amp;feature=youtu.be</a>


Wow. 
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Offline Atomic Cow

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At 0:09 in the posted video, you can see at least one engine fail, noted by a puff of darker colored exhaust.  The guidance system almost corrected, but perhaps another engine failed or the one which cutout reignited.  Either would suddenly throw the thrust even more out of balance for which the computer was not able to compensate.

Also, the Proton rocket is not man rated.  It is a much newer system and only used to launch unmanned payloads.  It was originally supposed to be a super ICBM capable of tossing a 50MT warhead, but even the Soviets realized how impractical it would have been.

The astronauts ride on Soyuz of which the basic design has been around since Yuri Gagarin flew into space.  The Soyuz rocket is basically an improvement on earlier Soviet manned rated rockets.  It is a very proven system which is why the Russians don't make a lot of major changes to it.  Soyuz is far, far safer than the Space Shuttle ever was if for no other reason than there is an escape system for the crew during liftoff.
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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl12dXYcUTo" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl12dXYcUTo</a>
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton


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