Updates Orbital Sciences' Cygnus CRS Flight 1 through Flight 8 updates.

N_Molson

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N1-5L: Rocket lifts off, engine explodes, control system shuts down all but one engine, rocket falls back and destroys launchpad.

Cygnus Orb-3: Rocket lifts off, something explodes near bottom of rocket, rocket falls back and seems to have caused severe damage to the launch pad.

Which isn't flattering for Orbital is that the Soviets in 1970 had no computer simulations available for the N1, and couldn't even afford to build proper test rigs.
 

DaveS

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Only a few tried.
The facts come down to that NASA would not hear of it. They buried and redesignated the SRM field joints criticality just so that they could continue flying. They did the same with the ET TPS after STS-112 in October 2012 where a similar sized foam debris impacted the LSRB aft IEA box and caused a big dent in it.

Yet they didn't delay STS-113 or STS-107 and we all know what happened.
 

Donamy

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ISS crew were watching live.
 

Astro SG Wise

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So, I agree DaveS that Orbital is qualified to send cargo. They have done a great job with their other launches, but still, SpaceX and Orbital have sprung up just recently. How safe does NASA want to be? I absolutely think that NASA is trying to be safer with their SLS project, but then again, space is risky. Apollo 1 was said to have a spark that caused a fire because of exposed wires. The astronauts new that they were there, but they did not say anything because they would get fired. I may be going in a circle, but what about the future? I don't know...
 

GLS

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Not a tank failure, the explosion definitively comes from 1 of the engines.

Yes, it was the engines, and the vent/relief valve would prevent the tank from failure. But that venting, if abnormal, could indicate the pressurazation system had some sort of problem. Don't know how those tanks are kept pressurized, but it could be engine related.
 

Astro SG Wise

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Orbital Lead Engineer just said on NASA TV not to communicate at all to the press. He just made a speech of not allowing it to get out.

---------- Post added at 11:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

(Paraphrased) "Let's execute this as professionally as we do our countdowns."

---------- Post added at 11:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

Weird, NASA is giving live views, like they are supporting the spread . . . ? :idk:
 

Urwumpe

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Every launch vehicle will eventually suffer something like this. It has nothing to do with the contractor.

Exactly. We are talking about technology where only microseconds are the difference between successful launch and complete disaster. It will happen, and IMHO, it is better to happen, when it does not involve astronauts.

I am more concerned about "impossible to fail"... that usually ends really bad.

---------- Post added at 12:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:21 AM ----------

Yes, it was the engines, and the vent/relief valve would prevent the tank from failure. But that venting, if abnormal, could indicate the pressurazation system had some sort of problem. Don't know how those tanks are kept pressurized, but it could be engine related.

Depends on which tank. The engine provides (most of) the ullage gases after ignition.
 

DaveS

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Orbital Lead Engineer just said on NASA TV not to communicate at all to the press. He just made a speech of not allowing it to get out.

---------- Post added at 11:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

(Paraphrased) "Let's execute this as professionally as we do our countdowns."

---------- Post added at 11:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

Weird, NASA is giving live views, like they are supporting the spread . . . ? :idk:
Well, they did it for STS-51L and STS-107(well, that was only MCC-H). They got burned pretty badly for behaving like the DOD following 51L in terms of media relations.
 

ISProgram

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Kind of in a shock that this just happened. But engine faults do happen, just like SpaceX found out on CRS-1. Of course, they had engine out capability and it was high altitude.

Still.

Hopefully, Orbital can pick up the pieces and fly Antares again next year once the root case is established. Wishing them luck.
 

Donamy

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Luck wasn't with them tonight.
 

cr1

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Orbital Lead Engineer just said on NASA TV not to communicate at all to the press. He just made a speech of not allowing it to get out.

---------- Post added at 11:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

(Paraphrased) "Let's execute this as professionally as we do our countdowns."

---------- Post added at 11:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

Weird, NASA is giving live views, like they are supporting the spread . . . ? :idk:

I heard that too, something along the lines of "and uh, definitely don't talk to the press [sound muted]".
 

Astro SG Wise

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Exactly. We are talking about technology where only microseconds are the difference between successful launch and complete disaster. It will happen, and IMHO, it is better to happen, when it does not involve astronauts.

Problem is, a LAS is absolutely great, but if the tech is going to explode with new things, we need to test it. You know, after Apollo 1, we tested Saturn V about maybe 5 times, right? What about now? NASA has a much smaller budget, and the new contractors are even smaller. If we will be bringing astronauts with Dragon, and using the first human Orion mission out to an asteroid (THE FIRST), will we be prepared? I would suggest, at least for the SLS program, a mission similar to Apollo 9. NASA would send humans into HEO for about 10 days to test Orion's endurance, crew psychology, mars lander tests, spacewalks, ect. . .
 

DaveS

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I heard that too, something along the lines of "and uh, definitely don't talk to the press [sound muted]".
That's SOP in any investigation. Testimony will be given to the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) and they'll make the appropriate media statements.
 

Quick_Nick

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I heard that too, something along the lines of "and uh, definitely don't talk to the press [sound muted]".

They mentioned previously that the NTSB was entitled to first interviews. Even NASA and Orbital couldn't interview their employees, much less have them be interviewed by press. However, some time after that, it was announced that the NTSB was in "monitor mode" and is allowing NASA and Orbital to talk to their employee witnesses.
 

Donamy

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Certainly picked up the Orbiter traffic.
 

Donamy

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Too bad it didn't make the water.
 
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