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Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 25th 18, 12:08 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,816
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

As expected, Russia returned the Soyuz launch vehicle to flight in a
startlingly short amount of time.

Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight with Lotos-S1 mission
written by William Graham October 24, 2018
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...ight-lotos-s1-
mission/

From above:

Thursday's launch had originally been scheduled to take place
last week but slipped a few days in the immediate aftermath
of the MS-10 launch.

Naturally, this schedule slip of just a few days indicates how
thoroughly Russia investigated the failed crewed launch of Soyuz and how
diligently they inspected this Soyuz launch vehicle for any other
quality control problems. /s

Of course, NASA Spaceflight rarely paints less than a perfectly rosy
picture of anything that NASA does, so I didn't expect them to be openly
critical of Russia's launch operations. After all, NASA keeps telling
us that everything is fine and that we'll continue to fly NASA
astronauts on Soyuz. Nothing to see here, just move along.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
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  #2  
Old October 25th 18, 01:41 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Rocket Man
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Posts: 23
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

They're taking a calculated risk. On one hand, Soyuz has flown for half a
century with only a few mishaps. On the other hand, not flying means risking
the $100 ISS in case something goes wrong and there's no crew on board to
fix it.

So I believe the risk taking is justifiable.

"Jeff Findley" wrote in message
...
As expected, Russia returned the Soyuz launch vehicle to flight in a
startlingly short amount of time.

Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight with Lotos-S1 mission
written by William Graham October 24, 2018
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...ight-lotos-s1-
mission/

From above:

Thursday's launch had originally been scheduled to take place
last week but slipped a few days in the immediate aftermath
of the MS-10 launch.

Naturally, this schedule slip of just a few days indicates how
thoroughly Russia investigated the failed crewed launch of Soyuz and how
diligently they inspected this Soyuz launch vehicle for any other
quality control problems. /s

Of course, NASA Spaceflight rarely paints less than a perfectly rosy
picture of anything that NASA does, so I didn't expect them to be openly
critical of Russia's launch operations. After all, NASA keeps telling
us that everything is fine and that we'll continue to fly NASA
astronauts on Soyuz. Nothing to see here, just move along.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.



  #3  
Old October 25th 18, 06:05 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,881
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

Jeff Findley wrote on Thu, 25 Oct 2018
07:08:05 -0400:

As expected, Russia returned the Soyuz launch vehicle to flight in a
startlingly short amount of time.

Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight with Lotos-S1 mission
written by William Graham October 24, 2018
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...ight-lotos-s1-
mission/

From above:

Thursday's launch had originally been scheduled to take place
last week but slipped a few days in the immediate aftermath
of the MS-10 launch.


Note that this is not a manned launch, so it's a different model of
Soyuz (but has the classic R-7 Stage 1 and Stage 2 configuration).
This launch (and two others) are part of their mitigation strategy.
They want three successful launches before a return to manned service.


Naturally, this schedule slip of just a few days indicates how
thoroughly Russia investigated the failed crewed launch of Soyuz and how
diligently they inspected this Soyuz launch vehicle for any other
quality control problems. /s


Not a crewed launch. The next two won't be, either. Note that SpaceX
only did a four month pause to investigate a much more serious issue
that was, at least initially, much less understood.


Of course, NASA Spaceflight rarely paints less than a perfectly rosy
picture of anything that NASA does, so I didn't expect them to be openly
critical of Russia's launch operations. After all, NASA keeps telling
us that everything is fine and that we'll continue to fly NASA
astronauts on Soyuz. Nothing to see here, just move along.


They seem to have a pretty good handle on what happened and why and it
sounds like a 'one off' issue.


--
"Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to
live in the real world."
-- Mary Shafer, NASA Dryden
  #5  
Old October 26th 18, 11:36 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,816
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

In article ,
says...

Of course, NASA Spaceflight rarely paints less than a perfectly rosy
picture of anything that NASA does, so I didn't expect them to be openly
critical of Russia's launch operations. After all, NASA keeps telling
us that everything is fine and that we'll continue to fly NASA
astronauts on Soyuz. Nothing to see here, just move along.


They seem to have a pretty good handle on what happened and why and it
sounds like a 'one off' issue.


Look at the totality of the "one off" issues they've had in their launch
vehicles over the last 20 years. That looks a lot like a systemic
quality control problem to me. One of the reported causes of this
failure was that the crane crew installing the failed booster bent a
connecting pin on the top connection point. Instead of fixing the
issue, they used lubricant on it and forced the booster onto the launch
vehicle. If this proves to be the cause, it's looking like the Russian
"safety culture" is horribly flawed.

R-7 and Proton type vehicles have been flying since before I was born.
We really should not be seeing so many "one off" failures in such mature
designs. As much as I despise ULA for not innovating, their success
rate has been absolutely stellar over the very same time period.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #6  
Old October 26th 18, 12:07 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,881
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

Jeff Findley wrote on Fri, 26 Oct 2018
06:36:37 -0400:

In article ,
says...

Of course, NASA Spaceflight rarely paints less than a perfectly rosy
picture of anything that NASA does, so I didn't expect them to be openly
critical of Russia's launch operations. After all, NASA keeps telling
us that everything is fine and that we'll continue to fly NASA
astronauts on Soyuz. Nothing to see here, just move along.


They seem to have a pretty good handle on what happened and why and it
sounds like a 'one off' issue.


Look at the totality of the "one off" issues they've had in their launch
vehicles over the last 20 years. That looks a lot like a systemic
quality control problem to me. One of the reported causes of this
failure was that the crane crew installing the failed booster bent a
connecting pin on the top connection point. Instead of fixing the
issue, they used lubricant on it and forced the booster onto the launch
vehicle. If this proves to be the cause, it's looking like the Russian
"safety culture" is horribly flawed.


Yeah, but we kind of know that and don't have a lot of choice but to
live with it. Should I point out to Mayfly that this lines up exactly
with my 'guess' that he was trying to excoriate me for?


R-7 and Proton type vehicles have been flying since before I was born.
We really should not be seeing so many "one off" failures in such mature
designs. As much as I despise ULA for not innovating, their success
rate has been absolutely stellar over the very same time period.


Yeah, but then you wind up with silliness like the year slide in the
Vulcan schedule out to April of 2021. I knew they wouldn't be able to
meet their original schedule when it took them so long to select an
engine.

I'll just note that on this year's launches there has been one R-7
failure and one Ariane 5 failure. It looks like they've been running
one R-7 failure a year for the last several years.


--
"Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to
live in the real world."
-- Mary Shafer, NASA Dryden
  #7  
Old October 27th 18, 12:57 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,816
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

In article ,
says...

Jeff Findley wrote on Fri, 26 Oct 2018
06:36:37 -0400:

In article ,
says...

Of course, NASA Spaceflight rarely paints less than a perfectly rosy
picture of anything that NASA does, so I didn't expect them to be openly
critical of Russia's launch operations. After all, NASA keeps telling
us that everything is fine and that we'll continue to fly NASA
astronauts on Soyuz. Nothing to see here, just move along.


They seem to have a pretty good handle on what happened and why and it
sounds like a 'one off' issue.


Look at the totality of the "one off" issues they've had in their launch
vehicles over the last 20 years. That looks a lot like a systemic
quality control problem to me. One of the reported causes of this
failure was that the crane crew installing the failed booster bent a
connecting pin on the top connection point. Instead of fixing the
issue, they used lubricant on it and forced the booster onto the launch
vehicle. If this proves to be the cause, it's looking like the Russian
"safety culture" is horribly flawed.


Yeah, but we kind of know that and don't have a lot of choice but to
live with it. Should I point out to Mayfly that this lines up exactly
with my 'guess' that he was trying to excoriate me for?


R-7 and Proton type vehicles have been flying since before I was born.
We really should not be seeing so many "one off" failures in such mature
designs. As much as I despise ULA for not innovating, their success
rate has been absolutely stellar over the very same time period.


Yeah, but then you wind up with silliness like the year slide in the
Vulcan schedule out to April of 2021. I knew they wouldn't be able to
meet their original schedule when it took them so long to select an
engine.


Vulcan is a different story. ULA didn't design Atlas V or Delta IV.
They were designed by the parent companies before ULA was formed. So
ULA, as a company, has zero experience designing a new launch vehicle.
Now, they should have at least some the people to do so (engineers which
came from the parent companies who did help design Atlas V and Delta
IV), but it's also been a very long time since those two vehicles were
developed. So, it's going to be interesting to see how successful
Vulcan is from a reliability point of view. I'd hate for them to have a
"Soyuz 2" type of reliability.

I'll just note that on this year's launches there has been one R-7
failure and one Ariane 5 failure. It looks like they've been running
one R-7 failure a year for the last several years.


True. Unfortunately, the Russians have continued to have "random"
failures of both R-7 type launch vehicles and Proton launch vehicles
year after year.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #8  
Old October 28th 18, 08:13 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,881
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

JF Mezei wrote on Sun, 28 Oct 2018
13:43:54 -0400:

On 2018-10-26 06:36, Jeff Findley wrote:

connecting pin on the top connection point. Instead of fixing the
issue, they used lubricant on it and forced the booster onto the launch
vehicle. If this proves to be the cause, it's looking like the Russian
"safety culture" is horribly flawed.


On the surface, one couldn't disagree with above. But digging deeper you
could find that this wasn't "safety culture" problem.


No, you cannot find that. Something like this would ALWAYS be a
safety culture problem, whether or not 'it always worked before'.


What if this "fix" had been done countless of times and worked
flawlessly and was thus considered safe?


That's not how you determine whether something is 'safe'; try it and
see if anything blows up.


Now that they have seen that it isn't, will they use statistics to say
"ok, we can continue as before, just be more careful", or would they
change the mechanics of assembly to ensure that pin can't get bent?


I doubt anyone but individual workers knows when or how often this
occurred, so they can't do 'statistics' on anything. Your other
possibility is probably not possible. So they'll do the third thing
that you never think of. They will absolutely prohibit the
'lubrication' procedure and if things don't fit you back up and start
over (with new hardware if necessary).


Or would they just issue guidelines on how bent the pin can get before
something must be done to rectify ?


Where the 'guideline' is 0% bent.


Ideally, the hardware that is used to mate the booster to the core would
ensure that the pins cannot get damaged/bent. (for instance, add laser
alignment or something similar to increase precision and not let it down
to some worker who had a few too many vodkas at lunch do the alignment
by eyesight)


No such thing and it ALWAYS eventually comes down to a human being.


This issue doesn't appear to be too different from the foam issue that
brought down Columbia: they knew of an issue but didn't think it would
cause problems.


I suspect this is nothing like the foam issue. For that engineering
and management were aware. I doubt anyone but the local assembly
worker knew anything about the "if it don't fit, force it" approach to
R-7 assembly.


Having said this, if this bent pin was common but hadn't caused problems
before, the "safety culture" should have resulted n changed practices or
improved mating hardware because they would have know that despite
being "acceptable", bending pins during mating shouldn't happen so they
should have found ways to mate without the risk of bending pins.


No. The initial "if it don't fit, force it" was a "Zen of Motorcycle
Repair culture" and I doubt anyone knew about it other than the local
assembler. A "safety culture" approach is "if it don't fit, back
everything up, inspect it all, then try to reassemble".


This si especially true considering the longevity fo the program and the
fact that they have been assembling these rockets for decades, so you'd
think that by now, they would have experienced problems and found ways
to prevent them from happening.


Yes, and we know that the lower level workers who are working out all
these 'work arounds' are poorly paid and treated and thus are unlikely
to report anything to the higher ups.


--
"Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to
live in the real world."
-- Mary Shafer, NASA Dryden
  #9  
Old October 28th 18, 08:45 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,881
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

JF Mezei wrote on Sun, 28 Oct 2018
13:46:10 -0400:

On 2018-10-26 07:07, Fred J. McCall wrote:

Yeah, but we kind of know that and don't have a lot of choice but to
live with it. Should I point out to Mayfly that this lines up exactly
with my 'guess' that he was trying to excoriate me for?


1- You remind me of the bully in Back to the Future.


You really don't read or comprehend simple declarative English
sentences, do you?


2- You agree here that it was a guess you were making,


Yes, the WHY for the separation failure was a 'guess' on my part, but
it was an educated guess. The WHAT (that there was a collision
between at least one strap-on and the core stage) was NOT a guess, but
a reported fact.


At the time, you
disagreed with my argument that you were making guesses and were stating
it had been confirmed.


False. I said that WHAT was a fact released almost immediately.


And you played with time, disparaging a comment
of mine made before a press release had been made to add more info on
the accident.


Liar. I played with NOTHING and the press release I cited was on the
day after the accident and was easily found by googling based on the
information I gave you. You insist on ignoring that, obfuscating
things, and focusing on things you FAILED to find because of your
defective research skills and deficient intellect.


--
"You take the lies out of him, and he'll shrink to the size of
your hat; you take the malice out of him, and he'll disappear."
-- Mark Twain
  #10  
Old October 29th 18, 03:21 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,881
Default Russia returns Soyuz rocket to flight

JF Mezei wrote on Sun, 28 Oct 2018
16:31:01 -0400:

On 2018-10-28 15:13, Fred J. McCall wrote:

that you never think of. They will absolutely prohibit the
'lubrication' procedure and if things don't fit you back up and start
over (with new hardware if necessary).


How do you know that lubrication wasn't permitted by the higher ups as
standard practice?

How do you know that a certain amount of bending wasn't considered
tolerable?


How do you know that it was? My answer is much more likely than yours
given the culture of the organization, but you go ahead and engage in
all the bootless speculation you care to. Just don't be surprised
when you get no answers or are told you're full of ****.


Where the 'guideline' is 0% bent.


Your perfectionist guideline.


God, I hope you never wind up in a safety critical job!


The actual guideline may have been
different, allowing a certain play as long as merely applying lubricant
was enough.


Yes, and monkeys might fly out your butt.


And if that guideline has worked for a long time, it
becaomes established as safe. This incident will obviously cause them to
rethink this.

ex-post safety instead of ex-ante safety.


And how do you decide it's 'safe' the first time you do it? Or the
second? How many times do you need to bend parts of the rocket before
you decide it's 'safe' and how the **** did you get to that point?


No such thing and it ALWAYS eventually comes down to a human being.


But which human being? If the mating people were told a certain bend is
normal, then they accept vehicles with a certain bend and mate them and
launch them. The real problem might be with the design of the cradle
that is use to hold the equipment during transport or even during
manufacturing. Going back to the source is important.

And if the equipment the mating peopole use is inadequate and causes the
bending, then that equipment need to be improved to prevent the problem.
How do you know that the employees haven't been complaining for years
but uppoer management unwilling to soend the money on new mating
equipment to perfectly align the 2 items to avoid the problem ?


I know because complaining by low level workers just isn't part of the
culture. Why do you think the guy who drilled the hole in the Soyuz
spacecraft didn't report it?


If management has been told this has been a long standing problem and
need X$ to fix, but this never actually caused a crash, then prioority
to fix it is less. Now, that priority has just gone up because they
know it causes a problem.


And the way you 'fix it' is to direct that they must NEVER BEND THE
ROCKET PARTS.


NASA allowed faulty foam on the ET until it caused a problem. So the
Russians aren't the only ones whose safety practices aren't perfect.
The difference is that with each accident, NASA improved their quality
assurance significantly, whereas for the Russians, it appears to be on a
downward curve.


No, they're nothing alike.


I suspect this is nothing like the foam issue. For that engineering
and management were aware. I doubt anyone but the local assembly
worker knew anything about the "if it don't fit, force it" approach to
R-7 assembly.


How do you know that the folks assembling it don't often receive the
equipment with pin already bent and have been told this is normal, just
add lubricant? In such a scenario, the quality assurance problem isn't
located there, it's located elsewhere.


How would the pin get bent?


yes, in hindsight, it is a problem. But if bent pins were common in the
past and lubricant fixed the problem every time, can you really blame
the folks doing the mating ?


These things don't bend themselves, you know.


You seem to draw conclusions too early to assign fault.


You seem to flap your arms and squawk and think you are flying.


IF the specs allow a bend of x degrees that can be fixed with lubricant,
then you can't blame the crews for doubting the specs. Go back to
whoever drew the specs to accept such bends. If those specs never caused
a problem in the past, they would become accepted practice with everyone
thinking they are safe.


And perhaps the whole thing was caused by a unicorn ****ting magic
pixie dust on the pin.


NASA engineers didn't think the foam from the ET could cause problems
and didn't prioritize its fixing until an accident happened.


You know that foam shedding was never 'fixed', right?


Once they conclude that bent pins are unacceptable (which is likely
happening now) then it becomes easier to document this such athat if the
mating people receive equipment with pins already bent, they can signal
this up the chain. (think about a pin being bent during transport where
railway workers aren't trained to detect bent pins, so it isn't really
their fault, but if transport causes it, then the cradle holding the
parts might need an upgrade).


You're an idiot. Perhaps the pin was bent by a bunch of monkeys
flying out of your butt?


A top-down safety culture would spread to all parts. But if the specs
accepted a certain amount of bending, then the safety culture wouldn't
stop this because it is part of the specs.


If monkeys flew out your butt your asshole would be THIS big.


So while you quickly reach conclusions, I don't because I see many ways
in which this problem can occur.


That's because you're an ignorant git.


No. The initial "if it don't fit, force it"


Applying lubricant isn't "forcing it".


You're an idiot. If it's going to slide on without forcing it you
wouldn't need to lubricate it.


Your attitude is not constructiuve because you seek to assign blame
(lack of safety culture) instead of trying to find out why this happened.


You're an idiot.


Yes, and we know that the lower level workers who are working out all
these 'work arounds' are poorly paid and treated and thus are unlikely
to report anything to the higher ups.


Drilling a hole in the wrong place in the capsule is a clear error by
the worker and it is very unlikely that the specs call for a worker who
drills a hole in the wrong place to just plug it with chewing gum.


And yet he didn't report it when it happened. THAT tells you what the
culture among lower level workers is like and puts paid to all your
arm waving and squawking.


But what if the specs document how to handle a hole drilled in wrong
place and document how to plug the whole with what compound and it was
those specs that were faulty since evidently that coumpound didn't hold ?


I'm pretty sure the specs say not to drill holes in random locations.
Then you don't need to plug them up.


The fact that you and I know about a hole having been drilled in wrong
place on a Soyuz seems to point to it having been documented at some
point.


It was 'documented' by going back and interrogating the workers.


What if "how to handle a leak/hole" was documented in the safety
procedures and the staff performed te procedure as documented and used
the documented compound to plug the hole ?


What if the hole was made by a monkey that flew out your butt?


It may simply turn out that years before some engineer didn't test that
compound well enough and now we know it doesn't last the 6 month mission
in space. The falt would not be on the worker if he followed procedure
properly.


It may simply turn out that a magic unicorn gored the spacecraft.


(We can however study the workflow and masks used that resulted in him
drilling in the wrong place to begin with).


It is very easy to just blame lax quality assurance with Russians, and
"big picture" this is what transpires. But when you dig deeper, you may
find a different story, especially if each faulure points to procedures
that were followed and it was the procedures that were wrong.


Yes, it IS very easy to blame lax quality assurance and a poor safety
culture BECAUSE THAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE.


I don't claim to know whether handling of a bend pin with liubrican is
documented as a procedure or whether it was pure initiative of the
workers on that day. I don't claim to know whether this was common or if
this was first time it happened.

But neither can you.


Flap ... flap ... flap ...


--
"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the
truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
-- Thomas Jefferson
 




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