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Massive rocket explosion due to technician putting sensors in upside down
Electronic Products ^ | Jeffrey Bausch

Posted on 07/18/2013 10:55:28 AM PDT by null and void

Human error to blame for blast

A few weeks back, a Russian rocket called “Proton-M” exploded over a spaceport in Kazakhstan a few seconds after it launched.

[scary video at link]

The rocket was carrying three navigation satellites into space and fortunately was unmanned (no one on the ground was injured either). It reached a height of 1 km before disintegrating and then falling back to the Earth, piece by piece. 



An investigation into the who, what, and why behind this massive blast was launched and this past week, it was closed. The result?

Human error.

Investigators found that the rocket’s angular velocity sensors had been installed upside down. An easy mistake to make, one would suppose, except for the minor fact that they had arrows on them showing which way was up and which way was down.

As a result of the misplacement of these sensors, the flight control system was getting the wrong information about the rocket’s position. When it tried to correct things, it swung out of control and exploded. 

The person responsible for this mistake was an inexperienced technician. What’s more, his work, records indicate, was never double-checked. Even if it had been fixed, however, the rocket was still doomed, as the report also details an engine fire started when the rocket first took off. No indication as to why that happened has been determined yet.

As if all of this isn’t already bad enough, the three satellites that burned up were not insured. Barring any setback, Russia plans on simply moving forward from this mess, having since announced plans to launch two replacement satellites this fall from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

Story via: americaspace.com


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS:
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No one checked the novice's work?
1 posted on 07/18/2013 10:55:28 AM PDT by null and void
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To: null and void

Do their engineers smoke pot?


2 posted on 07/18/2013 10:57:00 AM PDT by miserare (Fire Eric Holder!)
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To: null and void

More wadka, camrade?


3 posted on 07/18/2013 10:57:24 AM PDT by grobdriver
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To: miserare

Maybe...but I’d bet that technician will be smoking some Siberian tundra for the rest of his life.


4 posted on 07/18/2013 10:58:17 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: null and void
A few weeks back, a Russian rocket called “Proton-M” exploded over a spaceport in Kazakhstan a few seconds after it launched.


5 posted on 07/18/2013 10:58:24 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: null and void

And these guys launch our astronauts into space these days...


6 posted on 07/18/2013 10:58:45 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: null and void

7 posted on 07/18/2013 10:59:07 AM PDT by b4its2late (A Liberal is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own.)
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To: null and void

I would blame this on the engineer not the technician. If there is a specific orientation required for a piece of hardware, the device should be designed and constructed to only fit in one way.


8 posted on 07/18/2013 10:59:26 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: dfwgator
I don't speak Russian, but the commentater's last remark, just before impact sounded like .. "It's the rip"

Fitting.

9 posted on 07/18/2013 10:59:55 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: taxcontrol

The government way.


10 posted on 07/18/2013 11:00:16 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: null and void

And some people think the Chinese can conduct aircraft carrier operations?


11 posted on 07/18/2013 11:00:45 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: null and void

Back in the 1960s, a missile was launched out of Vandenberg AFB with an improperly-installed inertial-nav system.

Instead of heading south, as was intended, it headed east towards Los Angeles.

Due to the improperly-installed sensor, it scraped the self-destruct package off the missile as it came out of the silo, so the Range Safety Officer was unable to destroy it.

Fortunately, as it was shedding its self-destruct package, it also damaged itself badly-enough that it disintegrated on its own shortly thereafter, before it got to LA.


12 posted on 07/18/2013 11:02:22 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: null and void

The part that terrified me, was there was no action taken by the Range Safety Officer.

They do have a Range Safety Officer, don’t they? Don’t they???


13 posted on 07/18/2013 11:04:20 AM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: null and void

14 posted on 07/18/2013 11:04:42 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: taxcontrol

Agree, it should have a (Russian fool proof) keyed assembly.

Up and down arrows can get real confusing in other applications when the larger part isn’t in its natural orientation.


15 posted on 07/18/2013 11:05:06 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: null and void

I understand that kind of error was caught early in the Minuteman development program. Someone must have realized which end was the pointy end.


16 posted on 07/18/2013 11:05:54 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Unindicted Co-conspirators: The Mainstream Media)
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To: null and void

Oops!


17 posted on 07/18/2013 11:06:33 AM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: null and void
An easy mistake to make, one would suppose, except for the minor fact that they had arrows on them showing which way was up and which way was down.

I would point out that it's possible that the rocket was on its side when this was installed, meaning the mistake is easier to make.

18 posted on 07/18/2013 11:06:38 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: null and void

Ah. The old “upside-down” trick. I know it well.


19 posted on 07/18/2013 11:06:51 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama: the bearded lady of Muslim Brotherhood))
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To: null and void

Turns out it was an EV error on the sensor bank.

(EV = Excessive Vodka)


20 posted on 07/18/2013 11:07:36 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: Gaffer

“The government way.”

We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us.

Same old, same old.


21 posted on 07/18/2013 11:08:14 AM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us about 0bama's America)
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To: null and void

Maybe the tech and the inspector had to bend over to read the label, so from that perspective, it look right.


22 posted on 07/18/2013 11:08:32 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: reed13

Bfl for root cause analysis and keyed assemblies


23 posted on 07/18/2013 11:10:19 AM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: shove_it

That’s actually (or was) a saying in Czechoslovakia......


24 posted on 07/18/2013 11:12:07 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: null and void
The person responsible for this mistake was an inexperienced technician. What’s more, his work, records indicate, was never double-checked.

Has this hapless person been executed?

25 posted on 07/18/2013 11:12:55 AM PDT by Menehune56 ("Let them hate so long as they fear" (Oderint Dum Metuant), Lucius Accius (170 BC - 86 BC))
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To: null and void

Looks like my modified bottle rockets on the fourth of July.


26 posted on 07/18/2013 11:15:17 AM PDT by 11th Commandment (http://www.thirty-thousand.org/)
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To: miserare
Do their engineers smoke pot?

No. They were too concerned with muslim outreach.

27 posted on 07/18/2013 11:17:11 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (A Quiet Rage is Building All Across America!)
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To: TigersEye

but the sensor only fits in one way ,LOL


28 posted on 07/18/2013 11:17:52 AM PDT by molson209
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To: null and void

Not being a rocket scientist and all, what could the range safety officer do if the destruct package was ripped off during launch? Aren’t they radio triggered or something? Scramble jets to shoot it down? What? - Just asking.


29 posted on 07/18/2013 11:20:03 AM PDT by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral.)
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To: null and void

Looks like my modified bottle rockets on the fourth of July.


30 posted on 07/18/2013 11:20:25 AM PDT by 11th Commandment (http://www.thirty-thousand.org/)
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To: molson209
Sensors only fit one way in automobiles. More expensive projects have more flexibility! lol
31 posted on 07/18/2013 11:22:53 AM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: null and void

They should be very afraid. Czar Vlad will not be amused.


32 posted on 07/18/2013 11:26:09 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: null and void
No one checked the novice's work?

Design 101: it should not be possible to insert a component in an orientation other than the correct one.

33 posted on 07/18/2013 11:26:19 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Izzy Dunne
"I would point out that it's possible that the rocket was on its side when this was installed, meaning the mistake is easier to make."

It must have been pointing to the door when it was on it's side. ;-)

34 posted on 07/18/2013 11:27:17 AM PDT by Average Al
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To: null and void
One Russkie screwup. A similar NASA/JPL screw-up involved more people. From a 1999 Radsafe post:

'SI Oops' - A short 3-act play

ACT I - A $125 million spacecraft completes a perilous 10-month journey through space to arrive at the planet Mars. The NASA spacecraft receives its maneuvering instructions that should put it into orbit around the red planet, but, instead, it proceeds to do a flaming swan dive into the Martian surface.

ACT II - NASA convenes three different investigating panels including an internal panel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Along the corridors at the Pasadena laboratory, late into each night, hundreds of engineers in their offices huddle over their computer terminals reviewing, bit by bit, all of the computer codes, electronic schematics, test data, and telemetry dumps trying to find the cause of this terrible scientific loss. Suddenly, echoing through the corridors, up and down the stairwells, around the corners, a single agonizing scream -

"Aaaawwwwww sssshhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeettttttt....!!!!!!!!!"

ACT III - Excerpts from a CNN News release, September 30, 1999 -

"(CNN) -- NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used English units for a key spacecraft operation, according to a review finding released Thursday. For that reason, information failed to transfer between the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft team at Lockheed Martin in Colorado and the mission navigation team in California. Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft."

"'People sometimes make errors,' said Edward Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science in a written statement.'

"'Our inability to recognize and correct this simple error has had major implications,' said JPL Director Edward Stone."

No cast party was planned.

35 posted on 07/18/2013 11:27:20 AM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: PapaBear3625
Design 101: it should not be possible to insert a component in an orientation other than the correct one.

Never underestimate the resolve of a technician who wants to leave work on time on a Friday. Or more simply put: "Don't force it...get a bigger hammer!"

36 posted on 07/18/2013 11:33:00 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: Carl Vehse
Offhand... photo Offhand.png
37 posted on 07/18/2013 11:38:25 AM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: Gaffer

It was widespread throughout the USSR ...

https://www.google.com/webhp?source=search_app#sclient=psy-ab&q=we+pretend+to+work+they+pretend+to+pay+us&oq=we+pretend+to+work+they+pretend+to+pay+us&gs_l=hp.12..0j0i22i30l3.106063.106597.1.110802.3.3.0.0.0.0.97.272.3.3.0....0.0..1c.1.20.psy-ab.yaD_-gNR1q8&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.49478099%2Cd.eWU%2Cpv.xjs.s.en_US.c75bKy5EQ0A.O&fp=203013f02c81ca57&biw=1163&bih=593

... and coming soon to the USSA.


38 posted on 07/18/2013 11:40:04 AM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us about 0bama's America)
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To: null and void

Here, hold muh vodka.


39 posted on 07/18/2013 11:43:28 AM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: null and void
Investigators found that the rocket’s angular velocity sensors had been installed upside down.

That's interesting, because the rocket flew upside down.

40 posted on 07/18/2013 11:45:03 AM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: null and void

"Reach for the sky!"

41 posted on 07/18/2013 11:45:34 AM PDT by Alex in chains
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To: null and void

Human stupidity. Do they fire the novice or his supervisor?


42 posted on 07/18/2013 11:47:03 AM PDT by I want the USA back (If I Pi$$ed off just one liberal today my mission has been accomplished.)
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To: null and void

Many of them rich folk cancelling their rocket trips on Russian rockets.


43 posted on 07/18/2013 11:52:53 AM PDT by chemicalman (The more support I see,the harder I want to work,and the more determined I am not to let folks down.)
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To: null and void

NASA’s Genesis spacecraft crashed on its return back to earth in 2004 for the same reason.


44 posted on 07/18/2013 12:06:51 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: null and void

45 posted on 07/18/2013 12:23:08 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (- : Tagline for rent ; -)
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To: taxcontrol
I would blame this on the engineer not the technician. If there is a specific orientation required for a piece of hardware, the device should be designed and constructed to only fit in one way.
But Russians are smart. They don’t have to take precautions like that, because they don’t do “human error” like Americans. </hubris>

It’s human nature to sucker for that kind of thinking.

. . . and Murphy’s Law strikes yet again.

46 posted on 07/18/2013 12:24:06 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (“Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: taxcontrol
the device should be designed and constructed to only fit in one way

It's amazing how often designers DON'T do that. You want to PREVENT errors, not find them, often the hard way.

47 posted on 07/18/2013 12:47:50 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Red Badger

It is up. If it was down we wouldn’t be able to read the words!


48 posted on 07/18/2013 1:23:52 PM PDT by B4Ranch (AGENDA: Grinding America Down ----- http://vimeo.com/63749370)
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To: B4Ranch

Well seeing that it was probably written in Russian with Cyrillic letters, it was an honest mistake......

49 posted on 07/18/2013 1:39:04 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: miserare

Supervisor: Do you like skiing, comrade?

Technician: Why, Yes! I love skiing!

Supervisor: Good. Then you won’t be too bored in Siberia for the rest of you life...............


50 posted on 07/18/2013 1:41:20 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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