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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:42 am 
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An ANTARES supply rocket bound for the ISS ( International Space Station ) exploded yesterday, seconds after lift-off.
So far, OSC ( Orbital Sciences Corporation ) has successfully launched two ANTARES rockets this year, while SpaceX has sent four of its own rockets to the ISS since 2012.
"Launching rockets is incredibly difficult" said Nasa Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmiaer. OSC has said that it will carry out a full investigation into the failure.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:24 pm 
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It transpires that OSC is using Russian rocket motors from the 1960s. Definitely a lowest tender company.
Elon Musk of SpaceX was quick to make capital out of this ( the pun is unavoidable ), as his rockets are driven by new state-of-the-art engines.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Yes - but the Russian seem to still be successful with their Soyuz system - albeit undoubtedly upgraded since the 60's. I am not sure how old the European launcher is in terms of design. In fact, it seems many of the western launch vehicles are based on Russian engines.

I was watching the launch live and whilst I was certain it would go to plan - I did think, at the time, of a neighbour who said during the moon shot days -'It's a milk run'. That was just before Apollo 13.

I think the best exclamation after the explosion blast wave hit him was a reporter who shouted 'holy macaroni'!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:57 pm 
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A news report said that the Russian engines are not only a 1960s design ( which is nothing bad in itself ), but that they've been stored away for all that time.
America buys superior Russian engines to power its Atlas rocket. However, this is now subject to a trade embargo because of the Crimea/Ukraine crisis.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:21 pm 
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I think you can be sure the U.S.A. will in the near future have no need to use anything Russian, except maybe some raw materials, which are probably cornered by the Chinese anyway.

Launching rockets is easy.
There have been hundreds of successful launches near my window over the last few days.
However, once they reach their operating height they all explode.

regards, David


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:04 am 
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:lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:07 am 
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As it turned out, the ANTARES rocket was deliberately destroyed when an engine fault was detected.

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