Soyuz Failures & the Risks of Manned Space to ISS. Bib Zimmerman,



(Photo: Soyuz ISS Resupply; Progress 59P, April 28)

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Soyuz Failures & the Risks of Manned Space to ISS. Bib Zimmerman,

Due to what appears to be the failure of the third stage of its Soyuz rocket, a Russian Progress freighter bringing supplies to ISS was lost.

The Russian space agency — Roscosmos — confirmed the demise of the Progress MS-04 cargo craft in a statement, saying the automated spaceship was lost as it flew nearly 120 miles (190 kilometers) over the Tuva Republic in Southern Russia. Engineers lost telemetry during the Soyuz rocket’s third stage engine burn, and most of the vehicle’s fragments burned up in the atmosphere, Roscosmos said.

The consequences of this failure are numerous:

The cargo failures to ISS have been a continuing problem. Despite significant redundancy, every single cargo freighter has had failures or delays in the past two years.

The failure of the Soyuz rocket is a major concern, since this is the rocket that we depend on to bring humans to ISS. Nor is this the first time this year that the third stage had issues. In May the third stage cut off prematurely.

This failure, combined with the other quality control problems Russia has experienced in the past few years with the Soyuz capsule and the Proton rocket, adds to the concerns.

It now becomes even more imperative for the U.S. to get its own manned spacecraft capability back.

Dec 02, 2016, 07:22 AM
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