Aethon

Blue Origin Thread (merged)

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1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

Whatever it may or may not have been supposed to do, I'm pretty sure it wasn't "blow up".

In KSP blowing up is ALWAYS an option.

Edited by PB666

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9 hours ago, Mitchz95 said:

Was the upper stage even supposed to do anything during the static test? It seems like the last thing you'd expect a problem from on the ground.

Yes - they check second stage engine gimbal operation in this test.

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1 hour ago, 1greywind said:

Yes - they check second stage engine gimbal operation in this test.

...and? Did it work?

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4 minutes ago, Lukaszenko said:

...and? Did it work?

Not anymore. 
Raises an question if the second stage engine is tested? 
Also if the upper stage gimbal is restricted because of the interstage? They don't have to test the entire range however. 

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3 hours ago, 1greywind said:

Yes - they check second stage engine gimbal operation in this test.

Power transformer could have shorted to ground, overheated, volatilized some kero then ignited it. 

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Some good news, over from the Reddit. Apparently, LC39A is supposed to be operational by November and can accommodate the 9 and the Heavy.

Also, SpaceX is currently grounded (extremely likely, but only from one source) but we don't know how long it will last. I don't know how accurate the following is (I couldn't find anything online about the Falcon 1 investigations) But according to one redditor, the investigations for the Falcon 1 failures lasted 112 days, a few hours and a few hours respectively. Now, the Falcon 9 is bigger and the investigations won't take just a few hours, but they also do have a greater incentive to launch again soon as well as experience, and more data.

Long story short, there will be delays, but they won't be as long as I thought they would be.

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17 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Also, SpaceX is currently grounded (extremely likely, but only from one source) but we don't know how long it will last.

There is no "grounding" by the FAA, but business sense dictates that there will be no more flights until they have identified and fixed the problem. After CRS-7, Falcon 9 flights resumed after 6 months, and the root cause was never identified with 100% certainty.

In the best case they will find rapidly that this failure was due to a ground equipment problem that isn't present at LC-39A or Vandenberg, and they're good to go. In the worse case, they identify a design flaw on the launcher which requires a redesign of the tanks and a requalification of the second stage. In that case, we're looking at least at a year, maybe more.

Edited by Nibb31

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Yeah, my concern would be that CRS-7 and this incident were actually the same problem, and their stated cause for the former was in fact wrong.

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Just now, Spaceception said:

Was the satellite destroyed?

Yes

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4 hours ago, Lukaszenko said:

...and? Did it work?

No idea. My answer only cover the "does test have anything to do with second stage?" part.

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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

Was the satellite destroyed?

If you watch the video, once the initial massive fireball clears you can see the payload fairing (and presumably the payload inside; trailing a cable) fall off the top of the strongback and explode in a fireball of its own

Op-Ed:    http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/we-love-spacex-and-we-hope-it-reaches-mars-but-we-spacex-to-focus/

Edited by StrandedonEarth

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He, journalists. "I heard that ...", "Someone (who knows) told me ...", "They should now ....", "It would be a mistake to ....", "What they must not do ...", "It is really time that ..."

Cute, isn't it ?

I hope they soon find the error and it is not a principal design-flaw.

 

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On 9/2/2016 at 7:52 AM, kerbiloid said:

Imagine, if it bursts when booster gives 4g, so effective acceleration of the capsule relative to the fairing is 1-2 g...

Here we can get that T/W of LES should be not 6, but 6+4 = 10 at least. (Usually 12..18)

Either the booster blew up, in which case it's not giving 4g, or when they hit the "abort" button, the booster simultaneously turns off. In this post-moon-landing-rockets-returning-and-landing-by-themselves era, this shouldn't be too hard to conceptualize and implement. 

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3 hours ago, tater said:

Yeah, my concern would be that CRS-7 and this incident were actually the same problem, and their stated cause for the former was in fact wrong.

Highly unlikely. CRS-7 was overpressure. Rupturing destroyed the structural integrity of the booster without causing a blast.  This was straight-up ignition. It is fairly unlikely to almost certainly not the same problem, and will probably be 'minor seal failure followed by static event'.

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4 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

After CRS-7, Falcon 9 flights resumed after 6 months, and the root cause was never identified with 100% certainty.

ack not entirely true.  SpaceX said it was the strut and that is it. NASA (who has most of the data from SpaceX) said it was probably the strut but they cant be 100% sure.  I would tend to agree with SpaceX on this one and say it was the strut overs NASA's well it seemed like the strut but could have been a couple of other things. 

 

------------------------

 

Also PLEASE try to keep speculation to a minimum.  Well informed guesses with sound science and engineering behind them are fine.  and to be totally honest the one video that we have was being filmed from 2+ miles away which is really too far to be doing sound analysis on.  

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2 hours ago, B787_300 said:

ack not entirely true.  SpaceX said it was the strut and that is it. NASA (who has most of the data from SpaceX) said it was probably the strut but they cant be 100% sure.  I would tend to agree with SpaceX on this one and say it was the strut overs NASA's well it seemed like the strut but could have been a couple of other things. 

Orbital were certain they'd found the root cause in the OCO-1 failure, over NASA's objections. Didn't exactly work out well for them.

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11 hours ago, Lukaszenko said:

Either the booster blew up, in which case it's not giving 4g, or when they hit the "abort" button, the booster simultaneously turns off.

Here we have a nice sample when bursts the top of the upper stage while abort button would try to switch off something below it.
I.e while they are pulling the emergency brake, the locomotive friendly says "knock-knock" into the bottom.

Edited by kerbiloid

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12 hours ago, B787_300 said:

ack not entirely true.  SpaceX said it was the strut and that is it. NASA (who has most of the data from SpaceX) said it was probably the strut but they cant be 100% sure.  I would tend to agree with SpaceX on this one and say it was the strut overs NASA's well it seemed like the strut but could have been a couple of other things. 

SpaceX's conclusions were based on sample testing. There were no forensics on actual debris. So, yes, it's likely that some struts had QA issues. But the investigation couldn't confirm that the struts on the CRS-7 were actually defective, nor could it confirm whether a failed strut was the root cause of the failure, a contributing factor, or something totally unrelated. That's why NASA wasn't 100% satisfied with SpaceX's results.

In this case, they will be able to recover debris and perform some forensic analysis on the materials, so the investigation has more material to work with and identifying the root cause should be somewhat more affirmative.

 

Edited by Nibb31

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Is there really much debris to work with? How do they tell what is damaged from the explosion and what broken part actually caused it?

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8 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

SpaceX's conclusions were based on sample testing. There were no forensics on actual debris. So, yes, it's likely that some struts had QA issues. But the investigation couldn't confirm that the struts on the CRS-7 were actually defective, nor could it confirm whether a failed strut was the root cause of the failure, a contributing factor, or something totally unrelated. That's why NASA wasn't 100% satisfied with SpaceX's results.

In this case, they will be able to recover debris and perform some forensic analysis on the materials, so the investigation has more material to work with and identifying the root cause should be somewhat more affirmative.

 

IIRC, CRS7 actually relied on telemetry from vibration sensors to identify the pressure bottle breaking loose, then impacting the forward bulkhead, triggering the event.

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1 hour ago, Frozen_Heart said:

Is there really much debris to work with? How do they tell what is damaged from the explosion and what broken part actually caused it?

You'd be surprised how much information can be gleaned from a seemingly-random collection of burnt, bent, and broken parts, when coupled with an intimate knowledge of how the system is supposed to work and how the event actually unfolded. It really helps if that collection of parts is nearly the complete system.

The NTSB does this all the time with airplanes. And it's almost never single-failure anymore, it's always disaster dominoes.

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1 hour ago, pincushionman said:

And it's almost never single-failure anymore, it's always disaster dominoes.

swiss_cheese.jpg

When all the holes line up, there'll be pieces to pick up.

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4 hours ago, Frozen_Heart said:

Is there really much debris to work with? How do they tell what is damaged from the explosion and what broken part actually caused it?

You can tell a lot actually. Fatigue stress cracks look different than something failing due to overstress. Or compression. Or an explosion. Or getting stressed in a completely different manner than its used in (such as due to an explosion). How fast the failure occurred also results in different looking debris. There's so many clues left behind even when the debris is barely recognizable.

Remember, information cannot be destroyed. Except in a black hole...and even that's debatable I think.

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3 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

swiss_cheese.jpg

When all the holes line up, there'll be pieces to pick up.

I swiped this description of a "safe" turbine failure/explosion from a bit of social media:

"Basically, engine designed not to fail. If fails, casing is supposed to contain the bits, if casing fails, fairing is designed to slow down the exploding bits enough to save plain, if fairing fails, bits should be of small enough size and velocity as to cause little to no damage. If that fails, there are no windows or seats in the likely zone of explody bits coming into plane. (Notice the window that is not there, parallel to the N1 rotor)
Basically 4 of 5 systems failed, but in whole, they all died protecting the plane as they are designed to die doing."

4/5 bits of swiss cheese were penetrated, and the pilot had to earn his pay landing with only one engine (and a presumably wildly imbalanced plane.  I seem to remember Rutan designed the Boomerang for a reason).  But no injuries, and after the last "slice of cheese" succeeded, no real danger.

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