Third stage separation focus of Progress failure investigation


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The circumstances behind the failure of Russia’s Progress freighter this week are now pointing to the moment when the freighter separated from the Soyuz rocket’s third stage.

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One comment

  • Gealon

    Given all the chatter about abnormal burn time on the third stage and a cloud of debris, I wouldn’t be surprised if something in the third stage propulsion system failed/exploded. This would account for damage to the Progress that might have prevented deployment of the Kurs antennae and ruptured the Progress’ own propellant tanks, further accounting both for the uncontrolled spin and the talk about the flight controllers inability to pressurize the system.

    It makes me wonder though, since this brings their modernized rocket into question, could they not fall back on the older design until the problem is traced? I can’t imagine that the Russians who have been flying this design for so many years would be as stupid as Congress was with the Saturn program and actually scrap the hardware used to build the stages. Naw, couldn’t be. In any case, this is a prime opportunity for Space X to pull everyone’s collective butts out of the fire.

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