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Antares launch/failure discussion.

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

Doesn't have to be an engine failure; if something exploded on the rocket and blows up the engine they're not going to go up anymore.

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There was a lot of interesting science experiments riding on that rocket besides Arkyd :( Not to mention a batch of cubesats someone pieced together with loving care. I guess even if we laugh, it's through gritted teeth. Hopefully it was not too heavy blow for Orbital Sciences, and the company will recover and improve.

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Just now heard about the launch failure.

[bad joke] Looks like physics decided to prove that destructible buildings is a very real concern for a space program [/bad joke]:rolleyes:

Anyway, I'm just glad that nothing critical was aboard, an my two cents is on it being a falure of the turbopumps, as the AJ-26/NK-33 has a downright wonky design for them.

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The rocket was blasted 6 sec. after lunch from missioncontrol they blasted it by them selfs because of a first explosion in one fueltank

its a statement from Frank Culbertson Vice president Orbital Sciences

Edited by whaaw

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The rocket was blasted 6 sec. after lunch from missioncontrol they blasted it by them selfs because of a first explosion in one fueltank

its a statement from Frank Culbertson Vice president Orbital Sciences

I can't google this statement. Help needed :)

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The rocket was blasted 6 sec. after lunch from missioncontrol they blasted it by them selfs because of a first explosion in one fueltank

its a statement from Frank Culbertson Vice president Orbital Sciences

I wonder why they didn't allow automatics to execute the launchpad withdrawal maneuver.

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I can't google this statement. Help needed :)

its german:

http://www.20min.ch/wissen/news/story/Ungluecks-Raumfrachter-wurde-gesprengt-13971126

Nach den Worten des ehemalige NASA-Astronaut Frank Culbertson, der jetzt Vizepräsident der privaten Firma Orbital Sciences ist, war nach einer ersten Explosion der Befehl zur völligen Zerstörung des Fluggeräts gegeben worden. Mit einer solchen Massnahme soll etwa verhindert werden, dass Raketenteile auf bewohntes Gebiet einschlagen. Nach Angaben der US-Raumfahrtbehörde NASA gab es weder Tote noch Verletzte.

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Man, there goes millions of dollars in just a few seconds... I hope they had insurance

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Yes, it was stated in the press conference that they noticed a fault both visually and on telemetry and hit the self-destruct. If I remember rightly the timings were T+6s they spotted the issue and T+15 hit the button. Which would make the big explosion in the air the self-destruct system. That's a bit concerning actually because it didn't seem to fully destroy the rocket.

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Watching the cloud advance over the NASA Social guys did make me think of that. I wonder how much hydrazine was in it, I imagine just for manoeuvring as the rocket runs on kerosene.

Don't think it'll be as bad as the Proton rocket last year, which basically runs on two forms of liquid poison. Hundreds of tonnes of the stuff.

It shouldn't be bad. In this case, dillution is a solution to pollution. :)

NASA confirmed in a press conference people shouldn't try to collect any "souvenirs" because there might be hydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide tanks. Pierced or not, they're hazardous.

Cygnus has them for maneuvering and changing orbit.

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is it only me reacting to it being so many buildings next to the launchpad?

is this common, most launchpads look like they stand pretty separate and you have to move the rocket kilometers from assembly.

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They sent a destruct command, but the actual timing isn't clear. There's a good chance it was simply too late.

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is it only me reacting to it being so many buildings next to the launchpad?

is this common, most launchpads look like they stand pretty separate and you have to move the rocket kilometers from assembly.

I think that's an effect of using a tele lense. It tends to flatten the perspective, making things appear closer than they really are.

If it was a self-destruction then I'd say that failed as well...

At that altitude, it doesn't make much of a difference.

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As I look at the pad fire stills, the pad does not look severely damaged, more than that, the platform and exhaust tunnel are intact.

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From my amateur analysis, and listening to last night's press conference:

At about T+6 seconds, one of the first-stage engines, for whatever reason, suffered a Rapid Unplanned Disassembly, resulting in the first explosion and, with total loss of half the rocket's thrust, the start of a "pad fallback" accident.

Following this, at about T+15 seconds, the Range Safety Officer sent the ARM command to the Flight Termination Package, which also sent a shutdown command to the remaining engine; following protocol, the RSO then waited until about T+20 seconds to send the DESTRUCT command, venting the propellant tanks and blowing out the side of the second stage to ensure that A) the liquid propellant would be somewhat dispersed at ignition instead of all being concentrated directly on the launch pad, and B) that the solid-fueled second stage would not "cook off" and ignite in a propulsive manner after impact. This is the bigger explosion you see, and the chunks of flaming debris that shower outward are parts of the second stage, broken apart by the combination of the FTS linear shaped charges and the blast from the first stage deflagration. That first-stage blast is also why, despite the rocket having started to fall back onto the pad, the solid fuel chunks also head *upwards* initially.

Accidents are never good, but both NASA and Orbital have to be feeling very lucky that this one happened at such low altitude; while it did do a lot of damage to the pad (although, in the press conference, they mentioned that instrumentation showed that the various tanks at the pad were still maintaining pressure (which means that the damage is superficial and relatively minor!), a low-altitude failure means that the debris field is much smaller and easier to recover (for analysis) and clean up (for environmental remediation)--plus, on a purely economic note, it means a smaller security cordon/perimeter that needs to be maintained, and thus a smaller security *force* that needs to be maintained, which, of course, means lower costs in keeping the scene secure.

This one happened low enough that damage appears to be confined solely to WFF/MARS LP-0A, and the remaining fires should have burned themselves out by this time, allowing the investigators to head in and start documenting and collecting the debris.

The classified crypto gear mentioned as being on board is almost certainly simply communications equipment for secure communications with the ground from the USOS. Those sorts of secure radios are all over, but are all classified simply to protect the details of the encryption scheme they use. Hardly a military "toy," it's just a way to talk to the ground about (for example) how Bill's motion sickness is slowly improving and he only puked twice today, *without* the public listening in. US manned spacecraft have all had those since the later part of the Apollo era, after the astronauts on Apollo 8 had to use a rather roundabout secondary communications method (normally used for engineering data only) to privately discuss Frank Borman's motion sickness with the ground. (And no, it's not about trying to keep secrets; it's about the fact that sometimes, they have to discuss personal matters with the ground that various privacy acts say the government cannot allow to be broadcast to the world...)

The ISS program is very conservative about the chances of a failed supply mission; they generally keep enough consumables on board the station for 4-6 months to ensure that a failed supply mission will not be critical. The current stockpile (with both a Dragon and a Progress having just left the station in the past week) is at the high end, and even if the new Progress had failed and the December Dragon launch was scrubbed, the crew could stay aboard into March or April without any further resupplies. The biggest effect this will have on ISS operations is a reduction in the experimental work that the crew will do for a few months, pending the next Dragon flight.

Of course, this sort of thing WOULD have to happen on the very day I "cut the cable" on my TV...

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That has got to be the most Kerbal launch by NASA I have ever seen! :kiss:

The Delta II / GPS-2R failure is the one I use to capture students' attention when we talk about launch failures. Incredibly dramatic--almost magical (WC3 Starfall, anyone?). Technically, though, I suppose it was an Air Force launch, so your statement stands.

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“It’s a shame that guitar-playing hippy isn’t still up there. I suspect that would have made the whole process much simpler.â€Â

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While this one was unmanned, some of the crypto gear is for comms, but critically it is for the Destruct sequence itself, you wouldn't want your average hacker or terrorist if inclined to try sending a destruct signal.

I'm sure it's a engine turbopump (a critical part with tight tolerances and no forgiveness) or other high speed component failure that tore apart one engine, and then you have the rest of the sequence right in full view.

I've only had one turboshaft engine toss its blades on me, luckily we hadn't pulled pitch into a hover yet ... "Bang! and it's raining tinsel all over the ramp ...."

Hopefully pad damage is minor, as OS doesn't have another considering if the investigation concludes early and they wish to resume launches.

I kinda laugh as they all keep referring to it as a NASA rocket, it's OS's under contract TO NASA ... but I digress.

Edited by RW-1

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I'm so sad to have missed the live stream :(

It would be a greater surprise to see it live rather than just discovering it in the news.

do you think NASA could make another rocket explode for those who missed this one? :P

seriously tought, where can I be informed of the futures live stream?

Each time, I miss a launch because I didn't even knew that a rocket would be launched :(

Edited by goldenpeach

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