Roskosmos completes investigation into deadly post launch debris fire


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Russia’s space agency Roskosmos has completed its investigation into the brush fire that caused two deaths at the impact site of the first stage of Soyuz rocket on June 14.

The report reveals several interesting details. First, it appears that the impact sites for abandoned first stages of Russian rockets are considered “planned.” This is not hyperbole. If the launch proceeds as intended, it should be possible to calculate with some accuracy where the abandoned first stage will hit the ground.

Second, it appears the deaths occurred when high winds caused the flames from the impact brush fire to engulf the two workers, one of whom died immediately, with the second dying several weeks later in the hospital.

Third, the agency will do more thorough reconnaissance of impact sites, before and after impact, before sending crews there. It will also augment the equipment and crews, depending on need.

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One comment

  • Dick Eagleson

    The Russian steppe is grassland. One would think that fire suppression gear would be routinely deployed to “crash-down” sites in grassland during at least the hot and dry months of the year. If the impact points of the boosters can be known to reasonable accuracy before flight, it seems someone should also be able to check on the dryness of the grass there beforehand too. The government of my home state of California isn’t good at very many things, but controlling grass fires is one of them. Perhaps Gov. Jerry Brown could make himself useful, for a change, by offering some expert assistance to the Russians.

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