Sign in to follow this  
Jank

Antares launch/failure discussion.

Recommended Posts

Another Antares thread (or two) (or three) merged.

Edited by Vanamonde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watched the replay several times now and I'm probably wrong but it appears to go after it cleared the water tower I wonder if it was a leak with a rouge flame chasing the rocket. Oh well at least nobody was onboard. I bet the april launch will be delay a loooong time now. I hope they have a back-up launch facility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's a good one:

1:19 at squib firing

The Antares uses squibs to release the launch clamps and they're on the base, not the side. A squib is like a shotgun shell; tiny puff of black smoke. That wasn't a clamp.

Best,

-Slashy

But that was in the daytime, and thus the flash would have been less visible, and the black smoke moreso.

Looking at the video again, it looks like something attached to both the rocket and the launch clamp detaches right after the flash. You can see something move back towards the clamp after the flash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Watched the replay several times now and I'm probably wrong but it appears to go after it cleared the water tower I wonder if it was a leak with a rouge flame chasing the rocket. Oh well at least nobody was onboard. I bet the april launch will be delay a loooong time now. I hope they have a back-up launch facility.

Wallops just has the one pad and who knows how long it'll be shut down for the investigation before repairs can even be started. But there's a SpaceX resupply launch scheduled for the end of the year from the Cape, so it's not like they're out of options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a layman, it might be a stupid question: wouldn't a failure in the turbopump (catastrophic in this case, if that small explosion is the turbopump) prevent the rocket from actually climbing? The explosion happened before liftoff, and the rocket looked normal in acceleration (to me anyway, and, well, to the point where it kinda blew up) - wouldn't that be impossible without one of the turbopumps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a layman, it might be a stupid question: wouldn't a failure in the turbopump (catastrophic in this case, if that small explosion is the turbopump) prevent the rocket from actually climbing?

If it was a catastrophic failure, then the pump would no longer be doing anything, this is true.

If it's a small burn-through, it would develop a leak and might function at reduced capacity for a short time, but the leak would cause further damage and complete failure would will follow fairly quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If it was a catastrophic failure, then the pump would no longer be doing anything, this is true.

If it's a small burn-through, it would develop a leak and might function at reduced capacity for a short time, but the leak would cause further damage and complete failure would will follow fairly quickly.

My mistake then, i assumed that an exploding turbopump (that small pop is an explosion, not a burn through, in my eyes - then again, as i said, layman) is out of the picture no matter what. Just looked at some "schematics" of a turbopump, and they seem decently fragile (relatively). On the other hand, in the HQ version of the launch, you can actually hear something properly pop. As i said, that pop, if it was on the turbopump, should've taken it out in my mind. Not to mention that a kerosine-leakage (or LOX, i'm too dumb to figure out which of the pumps it was) would be visible, wouldn't it? You actually would see leakage/flames?

The thing that makes me wonder about the pump though, apart from the obvious thing that the rocket actually lifted pretty well to a certain degree - roughly 0.5 seconds before the antares exploded, there's a considerable jolt in the rocket, and the exhaustflame changes color/form. From light blueish to glaring golden (and it doesn't look like a blowtorch, but a flamethrower at that point). Couldn't that be due to a nozzel problem?

Again, i'm the most basic layman there is, trying to wrap his head around things. Coming to think of it, the "jolt" and colorchange could be because of a fuel not being injected but just burned "on the outside" (english isn't my native language, i hope i made that point at least nearly understandable), no?

Edit: nevermind. After watching the HQ version over and over, i'm pretty sure it wasn't a turbopump blowing up. In the HQ version, if you look closely, you see/hear the pop, and something drops off (one of the tubes/cables). Also there appears to be darker smoke (can't tell if black, but not white). Now i don't know if those tubes would be "popped off" via small explosive bolts or something (but i bet somebody here can help me there), but it certainly looks like it.

Edited by m4inbrain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. My xkcd-inspired theory is; fire came out from the wrong place in the rocket and you are not going to space today.

I think it's broadly speaking accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets hope the russians dont have any drama's

from spaceflightnow.com

"Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is set for 3:09:42 a.m. EDT (0709:42 GMT) Wednesday, or 1:09 p.m. local time at the Central Asia spaceport"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a rocket scientist but it looks like 100% engine failure to me. Reminded me of the second N1 launch:

http://youtu.be/TqUG5NnHlCs?t=5m45s

If the engine is indeed the reason of failure, I definitely would like to know if it is an engineering error or fundamental design flaw. Also, how did this engine pass all Aerojet QA?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Probably because I dont see how sitting overnight would break some part of the rocket

Well, sub-freezing temperature are what broke the O-ring that lead to the Challenger mishap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



The in-video timecode, 22:22:39 to 22:22:40. Fullscreen and 1080p, you can see/hear the small explosion pretty well (including the smokepuff). I hope i don't make myself look stupid though. :/

edit: the video was posted earlier in one of the now merged threads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, sub-freezing temperature are what broke the O-ring that lead to the Challenger mishap.

Not to mention an important part being dropped lead to the Apollo 13 mishap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The in-video timecode, 22:22:39 to 22:22:40. Fullscreen and 1080p, you can see/hear the small explosion pretty well (including the smokepuff). I hope i don't make myself look stupid though. :/

I made screenshots of this moment, watch them from top to bottom:

http://i.imgur.com/dS6979Y.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/2ga1NXM.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/fKvO2zj.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/XZWfhwh.jpg

Looks like an explosive bolt (?). Also, as someone has already said, flame color changed a couple of seconds before the explosion:

//top to bottom

http://i.imgur.com/tPlyvtT.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/C94SJry.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ZNog7AB.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well just to chime in in the video between 1:03-1:04 is when the incident happens they are talking about main engines are at 108%, at the same time someone says 'avionics power nominal'. At that time the exhaust colour and shape changes. The explosion seems to be at 1:04-1:05, exhaust brightens and grows then the fireball occurs, you can see the rocket fall back upright, so...I wonder if the engine bell failed, it would explain the change in exhaust colour and shape as it burned up/blew up. Also the fireball seems to be behind the rocket. Defect of the material or cooling failure of the bell? It's my guess.

Regards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a last, brief question before i go to bed - what would an "abort" look like? I actually only know what that looks like for SRBs. Just wondering: if the bell/nozzle failed, the rocket would not be able to produce enough thrust to keep itself in the air - and be subject to the big red button, no? I get the feeling that this "idea" is kinda not the solution to what happened there, i still wonder since i like learning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading about abort buttons firing a length of detonator cord running the length of both tanks to unzip them, letting the exploding fuel blast everything into enough small pieces to not endanger anyone on the ground.

It doesn't look to me like that happened here. I'd say the concrete launchpad did the unzipping. I'm no more an expert than the rest of us but to me it seemed like everything else was still working but (1)they lost an engine, (2)TWR went below 1.0, (3) the Antares settled back onto the pad under control, and (4) the fuel tank ruptured.

On the soundtrack, the engine sound from before the explosion is still there afterwards. I'm interpreting that as engines still firing. Plus the ship stayed in the correct attitude perfectly under what had to be skewed thrust. I think that means guidance and the other engines' gimballing had to be working, right? At least that's the way it works in KSP. :)

My sympathies to Orbital Sciences. It's a fact of life that rockets blow up sometimes, but it still must hurt. A whole lot of work, love and pride goes into building these ships, working right on the bleeding edge of what humanity can do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It certainly looks like an engine failure as it sort of just stalled then fell backwards but i guess we will know soon enough

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this