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Russian investigators pin down cause of Luna-25 failure

Though the investigation is not yet complete, reports out of Russia indicate that the cause of the failure of Luna-25 during an engine burn while in orbit around the Moon has been identified.

The article at the link provides the details, which involve problems with two “BIUS-L accelerometers” during the flight, which for reasons not yet understood were switching from the primary to the secondary randomly during the journey to the Moon, apparently because of some failure.

However, ahead of the fateful lunar orbit correction on August 19, both accelerometers worked correctly, but once the maneuver started, one set failed again, while the flight control system never switched to data from the second set. As a result, onboard computers were not receiving data about critical parameters required for properly completing the orbit correction, such as orientation of the spacecraft in space, velocity and altitude.

If confirmed, this crash scenario would likely implicate deficiencies in the development or testing of the flight control system and its software rather than any mechanical problem of the propulsion system, which was implied in the initial statement about the incident. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted sentence says it all. The serious quality control problems that have hampered Russia’s space efforts remain, and in fact appear systemic throughout its entire aerospace industry. In fact, this failure of a planetary probe helps explain the many difficulties Russia has been having in its war in the Ukraine, attributable to these same issues.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Col Beausabre

    Russia is a Fourth World country

  • pzatchok

    If they did not have legacy nuclear weapons they would be openly laughed at world wide.

    The country is so corrupt that they can not even import consumer goods reliably to keep the people happy.
    It takes them years to get the latest cell phones even if the infrastructure could handle them. Its not even worth it for the richest to go out of country and buy those products.

  • Andi

    Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in those Soyuz ferry flights

  • Questioner

    Col Beausabre:

    A “fourth world country” that is currently defeating the USA and NATO in Ukraine. Your hatred prevents you from thinking clearly.

  • Jeff Wright

    Those are largely unchanged.
    I just think some wiseacre has been drilling holes.

    Put chewing gum in it and when it gets cold soaked—it crumbles.

  • Questioner: Be very careful. I am still moderating your comments and approving them one by one, manually. Col Beausabre was stating an opinion that is in many ways strengthened by facts. To call that “hatred” is simply using insult and emotion as a debating tactic. If you return to this tactic too much I will simply stop approving your comments again.

    As for Russia defeating the USA and NATO in the Ukraine, I will have more to say about that later this week. What I will say is that your statement is simplistic and fails entirely in describing the actual situation in the Ukraine, based on events during the past ten months.

  • mkent

    ”A ‘fourth world country’ that is currently defeating the USA and NATO in Ukraine.”

    The USA and NATO are not fighting in Ukraine. If they were to enter the war they’d roll up the entire Russian army in a month.

    As it stands now, the Ukraine is making slow and steady progress destroying military equipment Russia can’t replace. Just in the past week they damaged two missile-launching ships that had to be towed back to port and destroyed three or four S-400 Triumph air defense systems, an amphibious landing ship, and a submarine (!).

    Getting back to the topic at hand, Russia has not had a successful lunar probe since Luna-24 in 1976 or a successful planetary probe of any kind since Vega-2 in 1985. Their space science program trails not just the United States’s and Europe’s but those of China, Japan, and India as well.

    What they do in space now is primarily by inertia. They have great difficulty doing anything new. Much like their military.

  • Questioner

    Mr. Zimmerman: Please not another status report from the infamous Institute for the Study of War, a well-known neoconservative institution right behind Ukraine and closely linked to Victoria Nuland, the woman who was instrumental in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014. This woman hates Russia to death. Please try to find someone neutral on this matter. If you want, I can recommend a few. You may not want to give the impression that you are affiliated with ISW.

  • Questioner: I am well aware of ISW’s biases. However, unlike the sources you have previously recommended, which favor Russia, its opinions continue to be based on actual events, not pure fantasy. It remains a good source of information for what is actually transpiring, as long as one recognizes that it is reporting the war from a pro-Ukraine perspective.

  • Questioner

    John Mearsheimer – Russia is Too Strong in Terms of Manpower and Military Equipment.

    Jeffrey Sachs Interview – The Biggest Mistake Imaginable.

  • Questioner

    Mr. Zimmerman,

    in addition to the two American gentlemen I linked above, I can also recommend “weeb union” (a Dane?) as a neutral commentator. Recently it was seen on American television that even the Pentagon, in the presence of General Milley, was watching his contributions! That completely knocked me off my feet.

    So Many Losses For So Little

    Since June 4th, Ukraine has been sacrificing many tens of thousands of soldiers for minimal terrain gains. That is the complete truth. The offensive failed spectacularly. This is slowly seeping into the Western mainstream media.

  • Col Beausabre

    Questioner, OK, I apologize -Russia isn”t even a Fourth World country. Maybe Neolithic. As for “defeating NATO and the US” excuse me, while I role on the ground laughing. The Russian military is a joke, hanging on desperately by use of mercenaries swept up from the prisons and sent to die.

  • pzatchok

    Now the rumor is that Cuba has sent over ten thousand troops (as workers) to the Russian front. Supposedly to dig trenches but somehow they are given guns and ammo for the task.
    But thats ok because I remember that Cuba had to send Russia troops back in their Angola confrontation.

    I just found out that Russia has removed over half of its troops from the Finish border. Supposedly to move them into the Ukraine to replace losses.

    By ALL accounts Russia should have taken all of the Ukraine inside a week. A month at most. But they did not. Buy that metric alone Russia has already lost.
    It has lost far far far more equipment and personnel than it could ever afford to replace.
    But there is a good side to this. They have found out exactly how many of their tanks and armored vehicles actually work.(less than half)
    They count vehicles ready for combat different that the west does. For years they counted ships ready for combat that were 25% manned and simply capable of movement.

    Russia is asking Iran for drones and NK for artillery shells and small arms ammo. We will see if NK can supply them with anything. By my last check NK can not even afford fuel for its few operational jets. You NEVER hear of NK flying planes around their borders.
    China is obviously not giving Russia much of anything other than lip service.

    If Russia is asking those nations for help they have obviously scraped bottom on their ammo stocks also.

  • pzatchok

    Their solders and sailors are trained to a far different standard that the west does. Almost not at all.

    The west trains all its sailors in some firefighting and damage control along with simple first aid. Russian sailors are not trained in any of this unless it is their specific job.
    Remember when the Moskva sank. There was little evidence the Russian sailors even tried to put out the fire, I am sure a few did but to no avail. That ship should never have sank.

    The Russian conscript is trained just as badly.
    Russia just forced the Wagner mercenaries who stayed to swear allegiance to the Russia flag and join the army. If they are not paid and treated like they are used to I see no reason why they would fight as hard as they used to.
    The ones who quit and left are now being looked for and asked or begged to return.

    Yeh Russia looks like its winning.

  • Questioner

    Col Douglas Macgregor: “We Don’t Want War With Russia (speech at Ron Paul Institute)”

    Colonel Douglas Macgregor Straight Calls – Analysis of breaking news and in-depth discussion of current geopolitical events in the United States of America and the world.

    17. Sep 23

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