Proton failure diagnosed as a design flaw

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GIThruster
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Proton failure diagnosed as a design flaw

Postby GIThruster » Sat May 30, 2015 5:55 pm

"On May 29, 2015, Roskosmos announced the results of the investigation into the MexSat-1 launch failure. According to the official statement, the steering engine of the third stage failed due to excessive vibration loads, which had been caused by an increasing imbalance of the rotor in the turbopump. The problem was linked to the degradation of the material of the rotor under the influence of high temperatures and to the poor balancing system. The failure was characterized as a design flaw."

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/mexsat1.html#outcome

Must be very good news for SpaceX. Looks like the turbopump will need a full redesign and even given this, will require a great deal of testing. This should open up a lot of contract space to competitors and who knows if the Russians will even bother to update it or if they'll decide to replace the whole launch system. It is 50 years old now and there are a lot of upgrades they might consider. It was a great rocket for its day, but given an actual design flaw like this, it must be tempting to fix the pump and a redesign quite a few other things at the same time.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

rjaypeters
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Re: Proton failure diagnosed as a design flaw

Postby rjaypeters » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:14 am

Is not Angara intended as the Proton's replacement?

"Angara will primarily be launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Beginning in 2021, plans call for it to also be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome under construction in Eastern Russia.[29] This would allow the phase out of Proton, a rocket whose operation at Baikonur Cosmodrome Kazakhstan has objected to, due to its use of large amounts of highly toxic UDMH and N2O4 and reliability issues.[30]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angara_%28rocket_family%29

The Proton design flaw is a real pickle. Angara isn't ready and is already over-budget. Which Russian wants to spend more money on Proton?
"Aqaba! By Land!" T. E. Lawrence

R. Peters

GIThruster
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Re: Proton failure diagnosed as a design flaw

Postby GIThruster » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:45 pm

rjaypeters wrote:Which Russian wants to spend more money on Proton?

I have no idea. I wasn't aware of the Angara program. I may have seen it before but I don't track Russian, Chinese and Indian developments the way I should. Just so much time in a day.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

rjaypeters
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Re: Proton failure diagnosed as a design flaw

Postby rjaypeters » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:38 am

Just so much time in a day.
Just so, indeed.

The answer to the rhetorical question: No Russian wants to spend more money on Proton (well maybe the people who build it...). V. Putin certainly does not want to spend more money on the Old and Busted when New Hotness is already a cheeping mouth demanding more resources. Oh, and the new eastern launch complex is caught up in its own corruption/delay scandal...
"Aqaba! By Land!" T. E. Lawrence

R. Peters

TheRadicalModerate
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Re: Proton failure diagnosed as a design flaw

Postby TheRadicalModerate » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:30 pm

On a physics site, the title of this post was quite alarming.


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