Apr 282015

Thank Odin we’re finally coming to an end on our complete reliance upon Russian transport to the ISS…

In short: the Progress 59 spacecraft, launched yesterday to resupply the ISS, has tumbled out of control and ground control has had trouble contacting it. Wheeeee!!!!

 Posted by at 3:32 pm
  • Jim R.

    Christ… long overdue to dump the Russians.

  • mzungu

    1st Progress failure in like 60 flights to ISS, that’s not a bad record at all. Can’t say that to some certain other space transport system.

  • Brianna

    That’s not fair Scott. We all lose some in this business.

    • Scottlowther

      More to the point… we all lose when important missions are single-sourced to unreliable foreign powers with wildly different interests than ours.

  • Phil

    I agree with Brianna and mzungu. These things are bound to happen, and Progress has worked pretty well. This just shows you need to have more than one system working for you.

    I will be glad when the crewed version of Dragon and the Boeing CST-100 are available. Soyuz hasn’t had a fatal accident in 44 years, and of course I hope it never happens again, but nothing is perfect and redundancy can be a very good thing.

  • se jones

    >>finally coming to an end on our complete reliance upon Russian transport to the ISS

    Nyet good buddy.

    Transporting fish paste, borscht and toilet paper isn’t the only function of the Progress. Progress is also a “tanker” with propellant to transfer to the Zvezda module for station re-boost and the occasional orbital maneuver (three times last year) to dodge orbital junk or whatever.

    With the retirement of the ESA provided ATV, the station is now totally dependent on Progress for propellant (also the Progress usually gives a nudge with its own engine before separation, depending on how well the rendezvous went, how long the Progress is scheduled to be attached and so on).

    Believe it or not, at the end of the final ATV mission, they actually turned ISS around 180deg and used the ATV engines to *lower* the ISS altitude. This was to increase the available payload up-mass for Dragon & Antares.
    So, the US can haul up more stuff, but we’re even *more* dependent on regular Ruskie Progress vehicles now.

    I would hope (and guess) that behind closed doors, Musk is sketching out a modified Dragon V2 with a Russian compatible docking adapter and over-sized fuel tanks in the trunk, for ISS re-boost – – in case s#*^.

    • publiusr

      Wasn’t there a dedicated re-boost module of some size once proposed?

      • se jones

        Well…kinda, yes, no, maybe, not really.
        back when the station was first building actual flight hardware (after it was saved by the skin of its teeth by turning it into a jobs program for ex-Soviet rocket scientists) NASA paid the NRL to build the ICM (Interim Control Module). The ICM was a cobbled together thing to keep the first US modules in orbit just in case the Russian service module wasn’t ready in time. But Zarya did fly on schedule and the ICM was left in storage (at Stennis I presume).

        If Putin goes too far with his military adventures and we get a divorce from the Russians, it would be nice to have the ICM to save the most expensive and grandest scientific project in history from an inglorious fiery entry.
        But, the ICM was designed to be launched by the Shuttle…so bummer.

        Yes, it is literally insane to be investing in the Commercial Crew Program so we are not depending on the Russians for crew transport – but *not* be investing in a Commercial or US Gov propulsion module for the station.

  • B-Sabre

    ::Watches video::

    Friend: It’s not manned, is it?

    Me: If it was manned, there’d be more screaming.

  • Egor Petrov

    Just too many jokes about trampoline and etc from guy in our goverment. At that time we have second hunger-strike on well-monitored by same Rogozin Vostochny spaceport.
    Nice coub: http://coub.com/view/65wgn