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Fraser
2007-Feb-07, 01:51 AM
After last week's rocket explosion, the Sea Launch facility is making its way back to the home port in Long Beach, California. The latest photographs show how the Odyssey Launch Platform is blackened by the explosion from the Zenit-3SL rocket that was supposed to carry the NSS-8 satellite into orbit. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/02/06/blackened-sea-launch-heads-for-home/)

Jerry
2007-Feb-07, 02:30 PM
The most glaring problem is the investigation into the rocket failure: A failure on land leaves a lot more clues. A sea launch system betrays a confidence in basic rocketry that is unwarrented.

Spacemad
2007-Feb-10, 10:17 AM
This news came as quite a surprise to me, after all, as far as I can recall, this has been the only rocket that has exploded on Sealaunch since they began operations.

I have visited their website on quite a few occasions & even use one or two images of theirs on my Space Page.

They have had an unprecedented success story - until now that is! An investigation into what went wrong & how to prevent a recurrence in the future is a must.

JonClarke
2007-Feb-17, 05:55 AM
The most glaring problem is the investigation into the rocket failure: A failure on land leaves a lot more clues. A sea launch system betrays a confidence in basic rocketry that is unwarrented.

In terms of recovery of debris there is little to chose between launching from an floating platform and launching over water, which happens at almost every launch site except those of Russia and China. Most failure determination comes from telemetry analysis anyway, not recovery of debris.

It is your conclusion that is unwarrented, not Sea launch's confidence.

Jon

Jerry
2007-Feb-20, 06:17 PM
In terms of recovery of debris there is little to chose between launching from an floating platform and launching over water, which happens at almost every launch site except those of Russia and China. Most failure determination comes from telemetry analysis anyway, not recovery of debris.

It is your conclusion that is unwarrented, not Sea launch's confidence.

Jon
Telemetry provides information about probable cause, but the smoking gun is often found under a microscope or in the thermal lab. Many important parts from NASA failures have been recovered from the shallow continental shelf...including a couple of chard O-rings.

Telemetry can tell us when there is a pressure drop in a fuel line. Physical analysis of the line and its environment are usually necessary to determine the root cause: Was it was kinked, plugged, cross threaded, corroded, out-of-spec, the wrong material, missing an o-ring, miss-aligned, connected to the wrong port, fitted with the wrong burst disk. Was there a stuck or frozen valve, missing thermal protection, unexpected thermal penetration, contaminated, cross-wired, shorted, not tightened. Did designers fail to allow for thermal expansion? Vibrations? Large tropical insects?

One of the problems with space probes after orbit is achieved is that the root cause of a failure is most often a best guess, even if there is good telemetry.