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Why do the Russian Command Pods have so little Ablator?


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6 hours ago, The Dunatian said:

It realistically represents the USSR's level of commitment to crew safety. :D

huh, never thought of it like that xd

5 hours ago, Gapone said:

To go from LKO safely a Mk1 pod with a parachute doesn't even need a heat shield. Think about it.

Good point, although with my luck, the Mk1 pod would explode

Edited by The Spac
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  • 1 month later...
On 2/20/2019 at 3:23 AM, The Spac said:

If i'm going at 2km/s and reentering Kerbin's atmosphere, that much Ablator is going to go quick. Am I supposed to slow my craft down to absurdly low reentry speeds?

Well, Soyuz pods are shaped and specified based on real life utilities. The stock 1.25 - 3.75m ablator heatshields have max universal ablator protection because you can use it to do a interplanetary re-entry at very high speeds.

Soyuz pods are made for Low Orbit and Translunar return trajectories for which you don't need that much ablator.
In fact, using a Mk1 or Mk2 command pod without heavy attachment and you wont need any ablator to do a re-entry while the soyuz pods have less exterior and interior heat resistance so there is that for difference me thinks. There is no realistic comparison to make because the stock mk1, mk2 pods are custom based.

Edited by Aeroboi
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  • 2 years later...
On 2/21/2019 at 7:21 AM, Gapone said:

Really? I never had any problems if reentry heating is set to 100%.

FYI, they can still withstand a Minmus return at 120% reentry heating.

And to answer the OP, the KV pods have less ablator because they also use up that ablator at a much slower rate than standard heatshields. At 120% reentry heating, a KV-2 pod can ride out a Minmus return at 35 km Kerbin periapse with slightly more than half of its ablator remaining. The pod will get hot enough to display the overheating bar, but it will not explode because once the pod is running at about 80-90% of its maximum heat capacity, the ablator will be cooking off fast enough to keep up.

 It's not as good as a dedicated heatshield but as long as you're not returning from Jool or something, it'll keep you alive.

Quote

The Russian pods also create lots of Drag, which assists in slowing down, but as a trade-off, difficult to launch.

Depends on how you're trying to launch. As I've said elsewhere, the key to launching KV pods without a fairing is to keep AoA low and have the stage your rocket's fins are on pack enough fuel to last you until about 50 km altitude. Anything below that, you'll flip the instant you drop that stage. Once you get that down, KV pods are a godsend to have for the "post-LKO, pre-interplanetary" stage of the game due to being so darn efficient with crew space and reentry survivability.

Edited by Fraktal
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Nice necro. BTW talking about commitment to crew safety, many more astronauts than cosmonauts have given their life in the line of duty. Mostly because of Challenger and Columbia. Statistically, you had a much higher chance of getting killed flying on the shuttle than on the Soyuz which has an operational record of no fatalities in the last 50 years (since Soyuz 11 depressurized on re-entry in 1971). 

And yea you don't really need ablator in LKO. I still add heat shields but usually remove 90% of the ablator if the mission is a return from Mun/Minmus.

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On 3/21/2019 at 7:50 AM, Aeroboi said:

There is no realistic comparison to make because the stock mk1, mk2 pods are custom based.

Uh, the stock Mk1 pod is based off of Mercury, and the Mk2 pod is based off of Gemini (as of 1.11, making history required)

Edit: I might try one from Eve, but I think it’ll explode if it’s not on top of a medium heat shield with Small Radiators clipped in...

Edited by Richmountain112
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On 2/20/2019 at 4:14 PM, Mr. Peabody said:

It realistically represents the USSR's level of commitment to crew safety. :D

The USSR killed fewer astronauts in mission than the Americans. 

America=17

URRS=4

(I count Apollo 1's accident as in a mission)

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5 minutes ago, Le Lynx said:

The USSR killed fewer astronauts in mission than the Americans. 

America=17

URRS=4

(I count Apollo 1's accident as in a mission)

First, Apollo 1 was not a mission, it was a test that obviously failed.

Second, raw numbers are meaningless, until you compare the total flights/hours in space. 

 

 

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Please don't turn this into an argument about whose space program is better. 

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I think we can all agree that Kerbin's space program is much superior to the Soviet and US one.

Well, maybe not all - the RO/RSS crowd may have their own take on that :)

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22 hours ago, linuxgurugamer said:

First, Apollo 1 was not a mission, it was a test that obviously failed.

Second, raw numbers are meaningless, until you compare the total flights/hours in space. 

 

 

The Soyouz is the most safety manned vessel.

And, the only fatal re-entry accident was American (Columbia).

I don't want to say that Roscomos is better than NASA, but that it is unfair to falsely accuse Russia of being negligent for the health of its astronauts

Edited by Le Lynx
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8 minutes ago, Le Lynx said:

The Soyouz is the most safety manned vessel.

And, the only fatal re-entry accident was American (Columbia).

Ummm, what about Vladimir Kamarov, also in 1967, in Soyuz 1, when the parachutes failed to deploy, among many other failures during that mission?  

What about, on 7/30/1971:

  •   Georgy Dobrovolsky
  •  Viktor Patsayev
  •  Vladislav Volkov

who all died from decompression in space, on Soyuz 11?

Soyoz had two fatal accidents.  The Space Shuttle had two fatal accidents.  

 

Apollo1 1 was a training accident, not a mission.  There were also a number of other fatal training accidents, both US & USSR.

Space is dangerous.  Spaceflight is dangerous.  Claiming one craft is "safer" than another, without proper analysis, is bogus

Edited by linuxgurugamer
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I agree.

But on the heat shield, the russians have never had any problems. 

In contrast to the Americans.

Edited by Le Lynx
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58 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

Claiming one craft is "safer" than another, without proper analysis, is bogus

The Space shuttle ave make 134 flights and be retired of the service for reasons of cost and SAFETY.

The Soyouz (the manned vessel) have make 143 flights and be still in activity...for a long time.

Also, the Soyouz have a LES, not the Space Shuttle, which caused the death of 7 people on board Challenger.

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1 hour ago, Le Lynx said:

The Space shuttle ave make 134 flights and be retired of the service for reasons of cost and SAFETY.

The Soyouz (the manned vessel) have make 143 flights and be still in activity...for a long time.

Also, the Soyouz have a LES, not the Space Shuttle, which caused the death of 7 people on board Challenger.

As of 2018, the US had 339 astronauts who have been in space, the USSR had 121.  And, other countries had 33, most of whom flew on the space shuttle.  So the US has flown more than 3x as many astronauts as Russia/USSR.  As I said, you need to do a good analysis, which includes the number of passengers.  Just like if a plane crashes, most people on it will die, doesn't make planes unsafe.  On the contrary, planes are the safest form of transportation.

The numbers are roughly equal:

  • 4 Russians died in space
  • 7 people died on the Space Shuttle (most  if not all Americans) during reentry.  5 died on Challenger.  

12 US, 4 Russian, is a 3:1 ratio.  But, given that the US has had 3x as many astronauts flying, the odds are about the same

I'm not going to argue this in this thread any more, I've asked the moderators to split this into a new thread. 

Edited by linuxgurugamer
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