Friday, July 22, 2005

Cosmos 1 a Victim of Soviet Era QC

The probe revealed there was enough telemetry data to determine that the Volna's first stage engine did not complete is planned 100-second burn before jettisoning from the rest of the vehicle. Instead, the engine -- powered by nitrogen tetroxide and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine -- shut down 82.86 seconds into flight, and the planned separation of the first and second stages did not occur. Officials deemed the engine problems were caused by a "critical degradation in operations capability of the engine turbopump."

That's what you get for trusting Soviet Navy technology. I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time, but they've been having trouble keeping their ships afloat. It might not have been the best idea to trust rockets that have to be lower on the maintenance list.
Sigh. Another blow to the private space industry. I still intend to stand on the Earthside of the moon and watch a solar eclipse before I die.