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Roscosmos re-inspecting all Progress/Soyuz capsules

The Russians are going to give all Progress and Soyuz capsules being prepared for launch a new inspection following the discovery that the airleak on the Soyuz docked with ISS had been caused by a technician on the ground prior to launch and covered up.

The consequences to Russia’s space industry because of this incident are going to be difficult to measure. It surely signals that they have still not got a handle on their quality control problems. In fact, it provides further proof that the technical work coming out of Russia is shoddy, sloppy, and filled with many forms of corruption, all circumstances that should give pause to anyone thinking of flying a product or themselves on a Russian-made product.

Worse, the centralized government-run space industry created by Putin is exactly the wrong thing for fixing these problems. Russia does not have a competitive and free aerospace industry. Everything is run by the government and based on the ability to wield political power rather the ability to demonstrate skill and quality in how you do your job.

With only five launches expected in 2019, Russia’s space program is sinking to the level of a third world country. This airleak disaster will only help it sink further.

One last note: I predicted this kind of disaster back in 2013, when the consolidation of Russia’s aerospace industry was announced by the Putin government. My prediction was not very difficult, nor especially brilliant, since disasters like this always occur from government-run top-down socialist/communist systems. One only has to be patient. It is only a matter of time before the system fails, and fails badly.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • pzatchok

    I work for a sub contractor in this inductry and my work is checked a dozen times by several different people than me. Before it leaves out plant.
    Then ALL paperwork and records of everything we do is kept for 7 to 10 years.
    If I have to make a change for any reason everyone knows and if I screw up a job everyone knows.
    And I have screwed up a big job or two. But I have owned up to it right then and there. And restarted the job.

    I could see how this could happen but not how it was NEVER caught after the incident and before the flight.

    Back in the 50’sand 60’s guys used to leave beer cans in the fenders and doors of new cars during manufacture.
    Are the Russians that far behind the rest of the world?

  • Orion314

    Another flavor of the story is that a Cosmonaut/ Astronaut? may have committed sabotage in order to come home early.
    Sounds as those long stay durations in mico=gravity is not all that fun after a while. This mythos that Cosmo/Astronauts are next to godhood has to go. Time to get rid of government “workers” draining the tax-dollar tit bone dry. As bad as corporate is, fed workers is fine example of oxymoron. Can’t be fired , work is optional.

  • Phill O

    While this can be attributed to the human condition, how people are managed can reduce this quality issue. If the penalty for drilling a hole, where it should not be (in an expensive piece near the end of its manufacture), is getting fired, the the coverup will also be done. If the management is taking a cut from the profits, they will ensure workers do little or no “rework” as the buffer has already been taken: by management.

    I suspect both scenarios are at play here.

  • Localfluff

    Now Russians suggest the leak might’be been a sabotage!
    “A Russian MP who is a former cosmonaut suggested that a psychologically disturbed astronaut could have done it to force an early return home.”
    (A pretty timid sabotage in that case)

  • OM

    Orion 314, should everybody on the space station be fired because they are federal workers and may have committed this sabotage? What if some of them are Republicans?

  • Lee S: You realize this is a comedy site, don’t you?

  • Lee S

    @bob…. Of course I do…. ( Its English humour!) I just found it bloody hilarious….. And it’s fun to have a spot of satire poked at very serious matters from time to time ..
    If you would rather I didn’t, I won’t… But let’s be honest …. It’s funny!

  • Lee S: No problems. I sometimes get the exact same question when I post links to other satirical articles. I have found it necessary to give a hint that I know it’s a joke.

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