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Sporally
2008-Dec-25, 07:37 PM
I am looking for a few record holders i hope you experienced guys can help me with.

1) What spacecraft (rocket), which has never failed except in tests, has been launched the most?

2) ... same question but for currently operational spacecrafts only.

3) Question 1 and 2 for private launches only.

I know you guys have some good sites for this kind of information:lol:

Nicolas
2008-Dec-25, 10:30 PM
3) that would be hard, since -depending on the way you define "private" and "launch" you have only SpaceX, and they've only done test flights. And a few of them went kaboom or failed in a less loud manner.

1) The SaturnV never had a total failure (it had single engine failures, but those didn't endanger the mission goals), but it wasn't used that much. So it likely isn't the record holder.

2) Don't know.

We're talking both manned and unmanned right? And launchers as in "capable of putting a payload into orbit", right?

MaDeR
2008-Dec-30, 06:58 PM
SpaceX has done one operational flight (thrid). Unsuccesful.

Argos
2008-Dec-30, 07:08 PM
3) that would be hard, since -depending on the way you define "private" and "launch" you have only SpaceX, and they've only done test flights. And a few of them went kaboom or failed in a less loud manner.


Isn´t Sea Launch (http://www.boeing.com/special/sea-launch/) private?

(*)They´ve had failures.

ravens_cry
2008-Dec-30, 07:39 PM
He he, looking at the image of the sealaunch platform, what with the massive rocket and the old oil derrick makes me feel all villeinesque.
*rugs hands together deviously*
Mu-haha-HA-HAHAHAHA! ! !

Sporally
2008-Dec-30, 11:21 PM
Isn´t Sea Launch (http://www.boeing.com/special/sea-launch/) private?

(*)They´ve had failures.
I knew there weren't many private companies operating with launches today, but i thought about Sealaunch aswell. Isn't that private held and is that the only one? Then we've got the answer for the question 3.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-30, 11:25 PM
He he, looking at the image of the sealaunch platform, what with the massive rocket and the old oil derrick makes me feel all villeinesque.
*rugs hands together deviously*
Mu-haha-HA-HAHAHAHA! ! !
Uh oh.
*Takes cover*

Nicolas
2008-Dec-31, 08:13 AM
Isn´t Sea Launch (http://www.boeing.com/special/sea-launch/) private?

(*)They´ve had failures.

Their rocket uses Russian (Energia) and US (Boeing) stages. The company is private indeed. The launch vehicle development wasn't really private. I don't know whether that matters for the OP's question.

Nicolas
2008-Dec-31, 08:14 AM
SpaceX has done one operational flight (thrid). Unsuccesful.

What do you mean with this statement? They have successfully brought a payload into orbit after a series of failed tests.

JeDi
2009-Jan-01, 07:43 PM
Their rocket uses Russian (Energia) and US (Boeing) stages.
The Zenit rocket stages are actually Ukrainian (1st and 2nd) and Russian (3rd).

slang
2009-Jan-01, 10:05 PM
What do you mean with this statement? They have successfully brought a payload into orbit after a series of failed tests.

I guess Mader means that the 3rd flight (http://www.spacex.com/F1-003.php) had an actual payload, instead of just some mass simulating a functional payload. I'm not sure if that qualifies it as an official operational flight rather than an opportunity to get something up cheap in a test launch.

Larry Jacks
2009-Jan-01, 11:18 PM
Flights 1 and 2 also carried payloads.

BPCooper
2009-Jan-02, 06:31 AM
I am looking for a few record holders i hope you experienced guys can help me with.

1) What spacecraft (rocket), which has never failed except in tests, has been launched the most?


Ariane 4 retired with a 100% success rate on 74 launches. Atlas 2 retired with a 100% success rate on 63 launches. The Atlas series (2,3,5) reached 80 straight successes before suffering a glitch in 2007.

The Delta 2 now holds the ELV record with 84 straight successes and counting since 1997.

JonClarke
2009-Jan-02, 07:52 AM
The R7 also has had at least one stretch of more than 100 launches without failure. The SRS system has also reached its ton too.

MaDeR
2009-Jan-02, 03:16 PM
What do you mean with this statement? They have successfully brought a payload into orbit after a series of failed tests.
Yes, flight 4 was succesfully launched on orbit, but it was test flight and with dummy payload. Flight 1, 2 and 3 had real payload, and third flight was declared by SpaceX as "operational". As we know now, too early...

AFAIK there will be flight no. 5 (operational) in Q1 2009 and first, maiden launch (test) of Falcon 9 is set tentatively at March 2009.

Nice photos of integrated Falcon 9: http://www.spacex.com/updates.php

BPCooper
2009-Jan-02, 04:11 PM
The R7 also has had at least one stretch of more than 100 launches without failure.

Do you have a source for this, because I have never seen that. They talked about the Atlas and Delta strings when they happened as if it were a new record.

Larry Jacks
2009-Jan-02, 05:31 PM
From this article (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/soyuz_fails_021015.html), there were 150 straight successful launches of the man-rated Soyuz booster from 1983 through 2002. The Soyuz 11A511U (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/soyuz.htm) (most used version) had a record of 699 launches and 18 failures (over 97% reliable). That's a remarkable record both in terms of the number of launches and the success rate.

BPCooper
2009-Jan-02, 05:37 PM
The line says there were 150 successful launches of the Soyuz since 1983...but not the word straight. They are counting manned missions and Progress missions it says as well.

http://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d326/

This details the new record but they use the terms current era.

I don't think you can count the manned Soyuz and Progress Soyuz as one vehicle and not the other Soyuz/R-7 types; that would open another can of problems for other vehicles and their different configurations like upper stages and strap-ons.

Larry Jacks
2009-Jan-02, 06:27 PM
There are several versions of the Soyuz booster, including the Molynia version with an additional upper stage. It has been the most widely produced and launched booster of any type ever made. It's history goes all the way back to the R-7 that launched Sputnik I. They had their share of failures early on but it has proven to be a real workhorse for decades. I consider it the most successful booster ever made just by the sheer number of launches.

Nicolas
2009-Jan-02, 08:00 PM
You can't count manned soyuz launches with unmanned ones indeed. Even the Russian space agency itself said something along the lines of the unmanned ones not being as stringently built and checked as manned ones (in a response to a failure of an unmanned one a few years ago). Sorry, I don't have a source for this but unless my memory is failing, I read this. Not in a scientific journal, but media. Not Pravda though ;).

Larry Jacks
2009-Jan-02, 08:27 PM
Offhand, I know of two manned Soyuz booster failures. Still, I consider the Soyuz family of boosters to be the most successful based on the sheer numbers launched (over 1600) and the high reliability rate. From what I read, once they got past the early teething problems, they didn't mess with the design very much. Back in the 1980s, the Soviets were launching about 60 boosters a year and a high percentage of them were Soyuz/Molniyas. If one failed, they simply rolled out another one with a new payload. The booster itself was considered so reliable that they didn't see the need for a lengthy grounding and accident investigation.

mugaliens
2009-Jan-03, 04:23 PM
What do you mean with this statement? They have successfully brought a payload into orbit after a series of failed tests.

Exactly. I'd much rather have 9 failures during testing and 3 successful launches than 1 failure during testing but 1 failed launch.

ravens_cry
2009-Jan-03, 06:56 PM
They have a big o' list of Soyuz launches at Astronautix (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/soyuz.htm), along with a lot of other useful and fascinating information. According to that website, it had a sucess rate of 97.5 for production models. The Soyuz may never have been a good ICBM, but it makes a fine space rocket.

Doodler
2009-Jan-03, 07:47 PM
I am looking for a few record holders i hope you experienced guys can help me with.

1) What spacecraft (rocket), which has never failed except in tests, has been launched the most?

2) ... same question but for currently operational spacecrafts only.

3) Question 1 and 2 for private launches only.

I know you guys have some good sites for this kind of information:lol:


I'm betting the answer to question 1 and 2 is going to be the current generation of Soyuz spacecraft, IF you allow the caveat that incremental generations of the same spacecraft can be counted separately.

Otherwise, probably the Saturn series, as mentioned here.


I'm putting money on question 3 being "none".

JonClarke
2009-Jan-03, 10:43 PM
Do you have a source for this, because I have never seen that. They talked about the Atlas and Delta strings when they happened as if it were a new record.

Wikipedia has a list of launches of the R-7 family (note the word family, as there are several variants in use). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_R-7_launches . I count 195 successful launches in succession between 1981 and 1996.

The failure of some sources to mention Russian achievements does not surprise me. It is par for the course, unfortunately.

Jon

BPCooper
2009-Jan-03, 11:32 PM
It doesn't list Soyuz T-10a as a launch (blew up at liftoff). I am a little skeptical of the Soviet-era records, plus wikipedia.

I'm not saying it's not the record holder, just that the records may be hard to find. It's almost hard to believe.

The original question here was about if there was a vehicle that never failed in operational use, and the answer is definitively Atlas 2 and Atlas 3 at the least.

JonClarke
2009-Jan-04, 01:24 AM
It doesn't list Soyuz T-10a as a launch (blew up at liftoff). I am a little skeptical of the Soviet-era records, plus wikipedia.

I'm not saying it's not the record holder, just that the records may be hard to find. It's almost hard to believe.

As your observation shows, no source is 100% accurate But the Soviet era is long gone and the real records have been available for nearly 20 years. There are not many surprises there. Plus launches are hard to hide, even unsuccessful ones. Include the S-Ta failure the R-7 family still had a record run of 170 missions between failures.

Jon

JonClarke
2009-Jan-04, 01:31 AM
They have a big o' list of Soyuz launches at Astronautix (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/soyuz.htm), along with a lot of other useful and fascinating information. According to that website, it had a sucess rate of 97.5 for production models. The Soyuz may never have been a good ICBM, but it makes a fine space rocket.

The Soyuz never was an ICBM, only the original R-7. Soyuz is simply a name given to one group of variants in a family of more than a score of them.

Jon

Sporally
2009-Feb-19, 11:39 PM
Sorry i've been away for so long since i was the original posters of this thread, but here is what i found according to Gunter's Space page.

http://space.skyrocket.de/

I did some research entirely based on his site full of statistics and consider both F (for failure) and P (for particular failure) as not good enough for me:lol: I see there are some problems or things we probably can't all agree on. First of, what is a particular failure, the launcher itself or maybe just something with the payload? Where's the line between family and one launcher. It's not as easy as saying that Al Capone has killed 20 men while Al Capone's family has killed over 50:lol: But beneath are the results, and i will gladly listen to your comments and talk about it (as far as i can from what i know) and i would also be interested in knowing if some of this is directly incorrect even just from looking at Gunter's page.

Successes i a row:
93: Voskhod - 14 October 1983 - 26 Marts 1986 [Soviet]
74: Arianne 1, 2, 3, 4 - 15 Februar 2003 (unused >3 år) [Europe]
33: Long March-2 - 1 December 2008 (running) [China]
29: Arianne 5 - 12 Februar 2009 (running) [Europe]

Total launches:
719: Soyuz-U -18 Maj 1973 - 10 Februar 2009 (running) [Soviet]

Never failed launches:
17: Long March-4 15 December 2008 [China]

Launches from start without failure:
22: Voskhod 16 November 1963 - 6. april 1966 [Soviet]

So according to Gunter's Space page, these are incorrect - can't say what this actually mean, if the launcher worked but the payload failed to get into operation, but entirely information taken from Gunter's page. No offense to your statements.


http://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d326/

This details the new record but they use the terms current era.


Ariane 4 retired with a 100% success rate on 74 launches. Atlas 2 retired with a 100% success rate on 63 launches. The Atlas series (2,3,5) reached 80 straight successes before suffering a glitch in 2007.

The Delta 2 now holds the ELV record with 84 straight successes and counting since 1997.


The R7 also has had at least one stretch of more than 100 launches without failure. The SRS system has also reached its ton too.