• Soyuz suffers booster failure in flight, capsule and crew landing downrange
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https://twitter.com/NASA/status/1050307194250555393 Crew declared they were in weightlessness shortly after seperation of the first stage. This is an ongoing situation and I'll update with news as it comes.
Well that went well, it seems.
Crew reported in "good condition" after landing.
I'm glad the Russians built their rockets to have real escape systems. The shuttles had virtually no way to survive a launch failure after ignition.
Man, imagine flying on a rocket and realizing that something's going terribly wrong. Fucking hell of a feeling. It's actually interesting that the soviet Buran shuttle did have an escape system as well. Ironically, it could save it's crew, but couldn't save itself from budget cuts and shitty politics.
Crew are loaded and on the way to Baikonur, not the most efficient route back to Moscow as originally planned.
fuck, glad everybody is alright. this is why congress should have fully funded orion and the commercial crew instead of taking the last of shuttle's money and spending it elsewhere.
While the fact that Soyuz has become the sole provider of crew rotation flights to ISS is worthy of discussion. There is nothing now that is not subject to change in regards to what happens to Commercial Crew. Orion was never going to be used for ISS. As per the above post it seems that more reliable sources are saying that one or both have minor injuries that require treatment, hence going to Baikonur for medical attention.
You know they have been crazy consistent and reliable. Sending people to space is a dangerous thing to do in it's nature. Having been on the go for so long, it's incredible that after an event like that, which looks pretty violent, the capsule came out OK. Only one incident of deaths in the 70's and that record still stands.
Although Jim Bridenstine actually was present for this launch, so the NASA administrator is on the spot and his statement says both are in "good condition". Whether that means "they aren't dead" down to "bumps and bruises" is speculation for now, but I'm more inclined to believe his initial word than that of Russian tabloids.
What do we have that is flight ready? We have 3 astronauts up there and SpaceX isn't certified for humans. Do they have a soyuz capsule up there for descent already, or was this the capsule that was supposed to be used as the next transport back to earth?
The Lifeboat Soyuz can be used for descent, that function of the system isn't in doubt after today. Commercial Crew is still over half a year away from flying the first crew, there are discussions about turning both SpaceX and Boeing crewed demo flights into operational rotation flights but nothing has come of those yet. Unless Soyuz can be reproven and the next flight moved left to around November. ISS will have to be uncrewed from January (absolutely pushing the limit on Soyuz's on-orbit lifetime) until the next crewed flight. Given some thought, it's exceedingly unlikely that Soyuz is out of action longer than 3-4 months. They'll discover what went wrong with this flight and take corrective action. It's actually a best case that some manufacturing flaw was at fault instead of some long-present failure mode that just hasn't been discovered until now. Hardware design failures are an awful lot more hard to find and correct rather than ensuring manufacturing of said hardware is back up to scratch.
originally I think obama did intend for orion to become nasa's vehicle for ISS and it certainly had a long head start in development before commercial crew but they slashed budgets and then obama shifted it to being an asteroid visiting capsule or w/e, its pretty clear though we could have gotten another capsule in space by now if we had funded it. the commercial crew program had lots of funding deficits in the early years as well.
I do doubt it, Obama's administration was not a good one for NASA, most of the cogs that started turning to open LEO services to commercial providers began in the latter Bush years. Good programs weren't cancelled but Orion as it existed before the Augustine Report was potentially viable for ISS and was cancelled in that capacity, since SLS it just isn't going fly to LEO (not even for a test mission), there is no way that NASA or anyone can justify using Orion for LEO now because the Commercial Crew program is well underway and close to the initial launches. Besides, even if Orion was ready to undertake that role the rocket required to launch it was never, ever going to be ready by the time Commercial Crew was flying already. Commercial Crew is currently a victim of post-Colombia unrealistic safety requirements and bureaucracy, underfunding contributed to the current delays on the hardware side but the last remaining obstacle is the NASA administrative busy work of qualification. NASA has been sitting on the paperwork to certify these two capsules for nearly two years now, their continued lack of diligence in lubricating the way they do business is why Commercial Crew still won't fly for another few months and why SLS is still years away. No launcher and spacecraft will keep a 100% record forever, this is very clear especially today that that thinking is what leads to the problems of Shuttle and the 100% fatality rate when they did fail catastrophically. You have to accept that things can go wrong and like today, ensure that the contingencies for failure are extensive and well designed. While the rocket failed today, the spacecraft performed perfectly at it's job of keeping the crew safe even with a failure and the response was well-drilled and effective. The Commercial Crew capsules are much closer to Soyuz with very good launch escape options than they are to Shuttle. https://files.facepunch.com/forum/upload/558/c9b811f6-569b-4703-9bfd-a22b5797f29e/image.png All said, we nearly lost two wonderful people today. Safety and Diligence are required for all spaceflight, it should never reach a point where those two things strangle progress before it can be made.
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