Experts in rocketry question the publicly made claims concerning the Antares launch “mishap” that occurred on 29-October 2014 from Wallops island Virginia, USA.
Vice President Orbital Sciences Corporation Barron Beneski (Barron Beneski), who oversees the company’s corporate communications, in an email to CNN American reported that his firm operators themselves rocket blasted Antares («Antares”) a few seconds after the start.
Not all experts believe this.
The accident occurred at night on October 29 (Moscow time) in 2014. Booster Antares, which was to deliver the truck Cygnus into orbit exploded a few seconds after the start.
Cygnus was carrying on board food and scientific equipment for astronauts to the International Space Station. The loss of the payload and spacecraft prompted NASA and its partner – Orbital – to accelerate the search for a new engine supplier for Antares. After the accident, the president of Orbital Sciences Corporation David Thompson (David Thompson) said that his company is already defined. As reported by “Izvestia”, the supplier may be the Russian Scientific and Production Association “Energomash”.
AJ-26 engines used in private US missiles constitute a reworked version of the Soviet NK-33 produced in Kuibyshev (Samara) over 40 years ago for the Soviet lunar program. In the development of Antares except Russian and American sides took part and Dnepropetrovsk rocket scientists from the design office “Southern”. Together with their Ukrainian counterparts, they designed a fuel supply system and associated equipment.
Summary to date version of the causes of the accident indicates a malfunction of the engine. On the other hand, as the vice-president of Orbital Beneski his company blew itself booster as noticed irregularities in her work and was afraid that Antares will fall on nearby communities.
Statement by the Vice-President of Orbital commented former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly (Mark Kelly). “They activated the self-destruct system to avoid possible falling missiles on the territory inhabited since realized that not rocket will orbit” – quoted Kelly CNN.
Russian experts to doubt.
“We should not be too competent person to issue the command after a few seconds after launch, when the rocket is still on the starting complex, since it is obvious that it will fall back. So first there was an explosion due to a critical problem, and then later, or in the same moment the operator can press the stop engine “- told RIA Novosti Andrew, son of John, a member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after Tsiolkovsky.
Meanwhile, the Russian and American systems Missiles are fundamentally different from each other.
“In the Russian launch vehicles (unlike the US – approx.” Heathcliff “) do not apply so-called system of undermining in emergency situations because the flight path and impact areas of exhaust stages are laid in deserted places. Under the legislation, all the flight path and impact areas separable parts are pre-approval procedure. Moreover, if affected, for example, the areas of shipping, then before starting the launcher of the closed areas will certainly inform marine vessels “, – reported” Lente.ru “the press service of the Joint Rocket and Space Corporation (ACCD).
As the representatives of ACCD in Russian missiles in case of emergency situations undermining not conducted. “If the booster has deviated from the desired flight path to the maximum allowable value, the control system immediately gives a command to shut down the engines, but not to undermine”, – explained in the corporation.
Russian Plesetsk Cosmodrome and removed from the settlements, while American spaceport on Wallops Island, which exploded Antares, is located in a fairly densely populated part of the US state of Virginia (US East Coast). On the other hand, the Americans launch their missiles from coastal launch sites in the Atlantic, which reduces the risks for the population.
The US also paying less attention to the control of air space during the launch of space objects. Suffice it to recall that the original launch Antares planned for October 28 (Moscow time), but, according to the official version, was postponed due to the ship, caught in the flight of the rocket. Skilled Baikonur failed to communicate with his crew, and the start was postponed.
To investigate the causes of the disaster in the US created a special commission. November 4, 2014 the meeting of heads of space agencies of Russia and the United States. Probably on its results will be known what really happened at the spaceport in Virginia before the explosion, but officials call the preliminary results of the investigation.
Research on Energomash
Serial engine production of “Kuznetsov” (part of the United Engine Corporation of SC Rostec) RD-107A / RD-108A successfully worked at startup carrier rocket “Soyuz-2-1A” transport cargo spacecraft “Progress M-25M”.
Launch vehicle “Soyuz-2-1A” before starting
Preparation and launch took place in a normal mode. October 29, 2014, at 10:09 Moscow time, on site 31 Baikonur cosmodrome “Progress” went to the ISS on a rocket “Soyuz-2-1A,” earlier start is made only on the “Soyuz-U-PVB.” Engines of “Kuznetsov” installed on the I and II stages of the rocket worked without comment.
In total, the flight tests of the rocket-space complex consisting of “Soyuz-2-1A” transport cargo ship “Progress” is scheduled four starts. The next two planned in 2015, another one – in 2016. After this, it is planned to transfer cargo and launches manned spacecraft to “Soyuz-2-1A.”
The docking station is scheduled for 16:09 Moscow time. It will deliver to the ISS more than 2.5 tonnes of cargo, including fuel for orbit correction station, scientific equipment, equipment for operation, water, air, and food parcels for astronauts and other consumables loads.
According cyclogram flight, spent stage space rocket must fall in the Karaganda region (Kazakhstan, stage 1); East Kazakhstan region (Kazakhstan), Altai Krai and Altai Republic (Russian Federation, 2 gear, tail, nose fairing). The third stage of the launch vehicle to remain in orbit. The rocket must bring the ship into orbit with an apogee altitude of 240 +/- 5 km; perigee – 193 +/- 2 km. In the future, the ship must rise to the height of the International Space Station – about 400 km through its own propulsion.
On board the ISS are six people: the commander of the expedition ISS-41 Maxim Suraev (Russia), ISS 40/41 Reid Wiseman (Reid Wiseman, USA), and Alexander Gerst (Alexander Gerst, ESA), the ISS 41/42 Alexander Samokutyaev (Russian ), Elena Serova (Russia) and ISS-41 / Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore (Barry Wilmore, USA).
Propulsion system RD-107A / 108A equipped with RD-I and II stages of carrier rockets of the “Union”. They are the most reliable in the world. Works to improve the reliability and improve the engine continuously maintained their developers (JSC “NPO Energomash them. Academician VP Glushko”) and specialists “Kuznetsov”. Also at JSC “Kuznetsov” conducted a program of reconstruction and technical re-equipment of missile production, provides the transition to a single number RD-107A / RD-108A.
Rockets launched from production engines are made with three spaceports: Baikonur, Plesetsk, Kourou (French Guiana). Another start for Samara “Unions” will be built at the Baikonur East.
By the end of the year is scheduled to perform four launch rockets of the “Union”, the press service Rostec.
“RD-107” (index 8D74) – liquid rocket engine, developed for the world’s first intercontinental ballistic missile R-7 in the OKB-456.
RD-107 / RD-108 as part of the carrier raety
The engine was designed by Experimental Design Bureau. With the RD-107 “East” and its modifications were provided successful flights of artificial satellites, the Moon and the Sun, automatic stations on the Moon, Venus, Mars and manned spacecraft “Vostok”, “Voskhod”, “union”, “Soyuz T “. It is these engines for the first time in history brought into space artificial satellites and humans. Serial production of these engines at the factory in Samara under the supervision of the Volga branch of NPO Energomash. Used on the side blocks rockets “Soyuz-U” and “Soyuz-2”.
Scheme TNA RD-107
The main combustion chamber (4) still. Has two rudder chamber with 45 ° and driven by a motor.
fuel – kerosene T-1
oxidizer – oxygen
nutrition TNA – hydrogen peroxide
Propulsion side blocks rockets R-7 series.
Major upgrade options
8D728 (RD-107mm) – variant developed in 1965-1976 gg. RN for “Lightning” (8K78M)
11D511 (RD-117) – a variant developed in 1968-1973. for the “Soyuz-U” (11A511U)
14D22 (RD-107A) – variant developed in 1993-2001. for the “Soyuz-FG” (11A511FG)
“RD-108” – modification with 4 steering chambers for use in the central block.