System failure: why has postponed the first launch from Vostochny

System failure: why has postponed the first launch from Vostochny


Wednesday at 5:01 MSK was scheduled to launch the first rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome (11:01 in Blagoveshchensk). At the launch site was attended by President Vladimir Putin. However, automation has allowed to rebound of the missile launch in two minutes before the start, said Roscosmos, noting that a backup launch date, April 28, is maintained.

Champagne is not needed

The observation deck near the East began to fill up three hours before the start. Workers gathered in groups and were looking for the best view of the rocket. Three employees of “Roscosmos” and two of their colleagues from the space industry have assured the correspondent that all equipment is regularly and repeatedly checked and there is no reason to expect failures.

At the entrance of the spaceport pay attention to the railway embankment of rubble. This is especially held branch from the TRANS-Siberian railway, which runs through the Eastern. It brought the rocket to the launch site. First, in a huge Assembly building, and then on the launcher.

“This spaceport in the world is no more! The whole technical complex under one roof!” — talked for a few minutes before the start makrinenko, Leonid, General Director of “Scientific production enterprise “all-Russian research Institute of electromechanics with plant named. Iosifian”. According to him, in 2017 on the East of the planned four launches in 2018 — seven. He said that the launch services worth more than RUB 1 billion and at full load the capacity of the East will be about 20 launches, and revenue — about 30 billion rubles per year.

The start was scheduled for 11:01 local time. Dignitaries invited in advance on a specially equipped for this occasion the roof of the observation point and offered champagne. The speaker reported about a half-hour readiness.

According to the employee of security service of the cosmodrome, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived at 10:15. Five minutes before launch from the speakers sounded team: “the Key to start!” Cosmonaut and state Duma Deputy Roman Romanenko peered at the launch complex with undisguised excitement. “First smoke, then hear the sound”, — said Romanenko three minutes before the start. But before she could finish the sentence, as from the loudspeaker rang out: “to Lead the launch complex to its original state”. The run was interrupted at the last minute before the start.

The human factor is excluded

The first few minutes no one understood what happened and why. “Maybe the drain valve drip”, — says the employee of the Russian space Agency” in a few minutes after the incident. He recalled that before the cancellation of the launch heard the command: “Key to drainage,” which means closing the drain valve.

“Two and a half minutes before the lift-off was automatic release timeline. After “boost” has been automatic stop start interruptions of the operation of the automated control systems”, — said the head of Roscosmos Igor Komarov.

The head of Roscosmos Igor Komarov and the first Deputy head of Roscosmos Alexander Ivanov (left to right) at the cosmodrome East

Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS

He later reported that the cause of the launch abort localized, work is underway to fix the problem. “Managed accurately enough to localize a problem place where all could happen, and now work is underway to practise and use the spare set and to ascertain more precise reasons,” — said Komarov.

“To work mobile tower or the starting system is irrelevant”, — said the first Deputy head of “Roscosmos” Andrey Ivanov. He also ruled out the human factor and infrastructure of the cosmodrome of the possible causes of the launch cancellation.

Press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Putin decided to stay at the spaceport until the moment when it will be clarified by the prospect of implementation of the launch through the day.

A failure in the control system

Later on 27 April, the Agency TASS citing a source in the rocket and space industry reported that the transcript of the telemetry suggests that automation before the start revealed a malfunction in one of the devices of the control system responsible for switching on and off of the engines, the staging, the direction of flight.

According to the interlocutor of Agency, now the “experts versed in the telemetry to determine the specific node to “ping” and understand, about whether it was a false positive or actually some kind of device out of order”. If you need parts don’t appear, the “possible transfer” for the long term, he said.

In the evening on Wednesday “Interfax” citing a source at the spaceport said that specialists replaced the faulty equipment in the control system booster. “The faulty block in the ground control system replaced”, — quotes Agency the words of his companion.

According to “Roskosmos”, the decision to launch on the backup date (28 April) should be taken later on Wednesday, at 23:30 GMT.

What the President said

Vladimir Putin, commenting on the failure of start-up, called for a timely response to such situations. According to the President, failure is not associated with the status of the spaceport, and with the very missile system. The President’s statement was made at a meeting of the state Commission, which considers the reasons for postponement of the start of the carrier rocket “Soyuz-2.1 a”.

The President of Russia Vladimir Putin, head of Russian presidential administration Sergei Ivanov and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin (right to left) at the meeting of the state Commission, which considers the reasons for postponement of the start of the carrier rocket “Soyuz-2.1 a” with three satellites on Board

Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/press service of the Russian President/TASS

The head of state drew attention to the “large number of failures”, which take place in the missile industry. “Russia remains leader in the number of launches is good, but the fact that we are faced with a lot of failures — it’s bad, and should be timely reaction”, — quotes the words of Putin TASS.

He noted that with the development of new technology possible failures, and “it’s natural”. “But we need to support people who encounter them” — he said, promising that “such support will”.

“If it [the failures] is due to sloppiness, lack of control over important processes, I want to understand, to see how the debriefing in such cases”, — Putin said, stressing the need “to draw conclusions”.