Scroll down to read this post.

 

Please consider supporting my work here at Behind The Black by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:

 

1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.

 

2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:


5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


Rocket Lab launch fails

Rocket Lab’s launch yesterday of its Electron rocket failed when the upper stage began tumbling right after stage separation and engine start.

This was the second Electron failure in twenty launches. The last, in July 2020, was also caused by a problem in the upper stage, though far less dramatic. In that case an electric failure caused the upper stage engine to shut down prematurely before it had reached orbit.

Though the launch was a failure, the recovery of the first stage as part of Rocket Lab’s effort to make it reusable appears to be proceeding as planned. According to the company’s statement:

Electron’s first stage safely completed a successful splashdown under parachute and Rocket Lab’s recovery team is working to retrieve the stage from the ocean as planned.

I have embedded below the fold the Rocket Lab live feed, cued to just before the failure. You can see that as soon as the upper stage fires it begins to tumble.

Share

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

4 comments

  • mkent

    This was the second Electron failure in twenty launches.

    Third. And the second within the past year. That puts Electron reliability down in the classic Atlas range, which wasn’t all that good even back in the day. It’s well below classic Delta, Titan II, Scout, and even Thor.

    I hope they can recover from this. With their second failure in less than a year after a longer string of successes, I’m beginning to wonder if their focus on recovery has caused them to get sloppy. They need to focus on reliability first, launch rate second, and recovery a very distant third.

  • Jeff Wright

    Upper stages, being smaller, can get away from you quickly. The computer being faster than the plumbing, as it were.

    That’s where old space comes into its own. I remember footage of a kinetic kill vehicle hovering rock steady over a net when Armadillo rocketlings were freaking out all over the place. KKV and Clementine where where JPL got some of their thruster tech, we’re I to hazard a guess.

    At a small scale, the weight of a bead of welding might be all it takes to throw things off.

  • Chris

    Jeff Wright – For a smaller rocket would a spin test post production and pre launch be a possibility?

  • Tom

    At the 1:31:05 mark you can see the second stage engine bell “gimbled” over to one side (the right) when it should have been straight. Scott Manly did a comparison using a the image of an earlier successful flight taken just before stage separation and you can see the difference. The second stage was doomed before the engine lit off.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.