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Thread: 10 Rocket Launch Failures That Changed History

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    10 Rocket Launch Failures That Changed History

    They missed out China's Long March 5 failure which has delayed China's space ambitions.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...unch-failures/

    Launching rockets to space is a high-stakes, unforgiving business, with razor-thin margins between success and failure. Here are 10 examples from recent history that reminds us of how tough this business can be—and how we can learn from our mistakes.
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    From the third item, "rusty nuts":
    Later, analysis will show that air rusted the aluminum,
    Rust is specifically a corrosion product of iron, not aluminum.

    And other than Challenger, I'm not sure how any of those were so historic.

    How about the Soviet N-1 moon rocket, whose failures gave the race to the USA? Or the US Vanguard, whose failures let the Soviets orbit the first satellite?
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    I like this Scott Manley video on The Dumbest Mistakes In Space Exploration
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    From the third item, "rusty nuts"
    I know in air races it is typical for some things to be "double nutted."
    Put two on a bolt and it helps hold things down. Wide washers help.

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    "Double nutted" is usually jam nuts. They are a thinner nut used under the regular one. You torque the two against each other and the tension induced in the bolt keeps everything tight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    From the third item, "rusty nuts":

    Rust is specifically a corrosion product of iron, not aluminum.
    So what is the term for corrosion of metals other than iron?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    So what is the term for corrosion of metals other than iron?
    "Corrosion".
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    When in the aero industry, I recall various stiff nuts are preferred to double nuts. They test out better. Not the ones with nylon inserts but integral metal collars that are sprung against the threads. It was shown decades ago the correctly torqued single nuts do not shake loose, but to choose the correct torque you need to know the environment and the stiffnesses of your joint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    So what is the term for corrosion of metals other than iron?
    "Corrosion".
    Or oxidation (if the corrosion is actually by reaction with water or oxygen to make an oxide).

    If the corrosion is caused by something else (road salt reacting with the metal, acid rain, etc.) then the description may get more complicated.

    With rockets, I suspect it is much more complicated, since you are dealing with some very atypical materials (rocket fuels, cryogenic fluids).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Or oxidation (if the corrosion is actually by reaction with water or oxygen to make an oxide).

    If the corrosion is caused by something else (road salt reacting with the metal, acid rain, etc.) then the description may get more complicated.

    With rockets, I suspect it is much more complicated, since you are dealing with some very atypical materials (rocket fuels, cryogenic fluids).
    ThAt’s true but it’s all electron transfer, metals lose electrons in oxidation, and the agent might be Oxygen, chlorine or others. When metals are mixed, including in alloys, electrochemical transfer is a big problem. Corrosion also increases when bonds are stretched mechanically. Many protections are temporary so time comes into it too. There is a Dutch engineer ironic joke, “god is kind to engineers because steel is strong and brass does not corrode” plastics corrode too, just to be pessimistic, and they creep.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    ThAt’s true but it’s all electron transfer, metals lose electrons in oxidation, and the agent might be Oxygen, chlorine or others. When metals are mixed, including in alloys, electrochemical transfer is a big problem. Corrosion also increases when bonds are stretched mechanically. Many protections are temporary so time comes into it too. There is a Dutch engineer ironic joke, “god is kind to engineers because steel is strong and brass does not corrode” plastics corrode too, just to be pessimistic, and they creep.
    Yep. And the point about mechanical and structural failures are well taken. Sometimes these are connected to chemical processes (stress corrosion cracking, for example), sometimes they are more purely mechanical or thermomechanical.
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    In the OP reference it was an aluminum or aluminium nut. This metal or almost certainly alloy, would be OK by itself in wet salty air but I guess there were other metals forming an electrical connection. Aluminum has no lower fatigue limit either, so vibration can kill nuts.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Not a launch failure--but what happened to poor Buran was unforgivable. They were supposed to be fixing the bloody roof.
    http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question...ft/q0153.shtml

    Some Buran related items survive
    http://www.fanwave.it/en/space/720-b...tely-lost.html

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