Russian Hand-Wave Takes Place of Traditional Anomaly Resolution?

Posted: August 31, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , , ,

The Russian launch queue must be deep because they’ve cleared the Breeze-M upper stage to return to flight in record time.  Money talks and Russian space needs the dues.

From Space News:

In a remarkably quick end to a launch failure investigation even by Russian standards, a Russian state board of inquiry on Aug. 30 announced it had determined the cause of an Aug. 18 failure of a Proton rocket upper stage, ordered corrective actions and cleared the vehicle to resume operations, according to the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

“Remarkably quick” is an apt (and perhaps generous) description; the return to flight timeline is reminiscent of the developmental ICBM failures during the early space-stage of the Cold War when national survival was thought to be in play.

In its Aug. 30 announcement, Roscosmos said the interagency board of inquiry determined that the Breeze-M failure was due to a badly programmed sequence for its guidance system.

“This resulted in an off-nominal orientation of the Breeze-M and, as a consequence, in injecting the [Express-AM4] into an off-design orbit,” Roscosmos said in its statement.

In this case, off-nominal is code for catastrophic failure.  Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Think NASA will buy off on this sort of anomaly resolution for the Soyuz failure?


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