Massive rocket explosion due to technician putting sensors in upside down

Atomic Fireball

Well-Known Member
Donator
Jul 26, 2005
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#1
In Soviet Russia subject noun doesn't verb object noun; object noun verbs subject noun!
A few weeks back, a Russian rocket called “Proton-M” exploded over a spaceport in Kazakhstan a few seconds after it launched.

The rocket was carrying three navigation satellites into space and fortunately was unmanned (no one on the ground was injured either). It reached a height of 1 km before disintegrating and then falling back to the Earth, piece by piece.

An investigation into the who, what, and why behind this massive blast was launched and this past week, it was closed. The result?

Human error.

Investigators found that the rocket’s angular velocity sensors had been installed upside down. An easy mistake to make, one would suppose, except for the minor fact that they had arrows on them showing which way was up and which way was down.

As a result of the misplacement of these sensors, the flight control system was getting the wrong information about the rocket’s position. When it tried to correct things, it swung out of control and exploded.

The person responsible for this mistake was an inexperienced technician. What’s more, his work, records indicate, was never double-checked. Even if it had been fixed, however, the rocket was still doomed, as the report also details an engine fire started when the rocket first took off. No indication as to why that happened has been determined yet.

As if all of this isn’t already bad enough, the three satellites that burned up were not insured. Barring any setback, Russia plans on simply moving forward from this mess, having since announced plans to launch two replacement satellites this fall from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.


http://www.electronicproducts.com/E...echnician_putting_sensors_in_upside_down.aspx
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
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#3
The person responsible for this mistake was an inexperienced technician. What’s more, his work, records indicate, was never double-checked. Even if it had been fixed, however, the rocket was still doomed, as the report also details an engine fire started when the rocket first took off. No indication as to why that happened has been determined yet.

As if all of this isn’t already bad enough, the three satellites that burned up were not insured.
Just take the $100M+ loss out of his paycheck.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#4
The person responsible for this mistake was an inexperienced technician. What’s more, his work, records indicate, was never double-checked. Even if it had been fixed, however, the rocket was still doomed, as the report also details an engine fire started when the rocket first took off. No indication as to why that happened has been determined yet.
So if they had double-checked his work, the rocket would have safely been guided into orbit with a flaming fireball raging around the faulty engine?

I think it was Yeager's book that told about P-38 Lightnings sometimes locking the elevators in a dive and the planes would crash. They finally discovered a bolt installed upside down on some planes and traced the problem to one old fart on the assembly line who knew good and well a bolt is installed pointing down, not up.