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  Soyuz TMA-22: Viewing, comments, questions

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Author Topic:   Soyuz TMA-22: Viewing, comments, questions
Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-15-2011 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-22: mission viewing, questions, comments
This thread is intended for comments and questions about the Soyuz TMA-22 mission and the updates published under the topic: Soyuz TMA-22 mission to the space station.

TMA-22 will launch with three new crew members for the Expedition 29 crew living on the International Space Station (ISS): Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin, together with Dan Burbank from NASA.

TMA-22 will be the 111th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft since its first flight in 1967. It is also the final flight of a Soyuz-TMA vehicle, which has been replaced by the more modern TMA-M series.

Delta7
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posted 09-15-2011 07:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the current plan, the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft, carrying NASA's Dan Burbank and Russia's Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov, will launch Nov. 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and arrive at the station on Nov. 16.
Interesting footnote that Dan Burbank will take over ISS command less than a week after arriving on board, instead to the now standard three months.

MSS
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posted 11-13-2011 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crew poster — the original was the film called Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession!


Credit: Roscosmos/TsPK

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-14-2011 02:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somebody on that crew is a classic rock fan (probably Burbank) as I could here "Jump" by Van Halen playing in the background about 30 minutes before launch.

I am glad the rocket got off okay. The perfect song for this flight might be "Launching in a winter wonderland".

LM-12
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posted 11-14-2011 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Their ability to launch a manned Soyuz spacecraft in the middle of a snowstorm is rather impressive.

Lewis007
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posted 11-14-2011 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lewis007   Click Here to Email Lewis007     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MSS:
The crew poster — the original was the film called Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession!
The Soyuz crew poster reads “Crew does not change profession (экипаж профессию не меняешь); if my Russian is correct.

The original movie poster here.

MarylandSpace
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posted 11-14-2011 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Exciting to watch despite the snow on the camera lens on the NASA channel.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-14-2011 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Watched the launch and was rather appalled (but not surprised) the Russians issued a "commit" given the weather conditions. Any recovery ops pursuant to a launch abort would have placed airborne assets/rescue crew at elevated risk and imposed critical delays getting to the capsule. With an embarked American, its astonishing to see the duplicity in operational risk management being tolerated by NASA.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2011 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to NASA spokesman Josh Byerly, who has accompanied recovery crews to Soyuz landings in a variety of weather conditions including snow, last night's snow fall would not have significantly hindered rescue of the crew were an abort necessary.

Prior to launch, recovery forces, including flight surgeons, are staged downrange. Two teams are staged — airborne (helicopter) and ground (ATV) — for just such a situation when conditions prevent one or the other from reaching the Soyuz. Only one team is needed to conduct a safe recovery.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-14-2011 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Post orbital recovery is not equivalent to a launch abort. Hazmat, larger radius of uncertainty (depending on what triggered the abort), higher g-loads. Airborne assets have constraints based on visibility, winds, terrain. There are so many unpredictable variables in an abort that cannot be anticipated or reacted to in a timely manner or would be otherwise unnecessarily exacerbated by launching in that weather.

Would NASA accept the same risk under similar conditions if it were a US launch?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2011 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA makes decisions based on a set of weather criteria. If the weather criteria states that snow in the vicinity of the abort zone is acceptable, then they launch. If not, they don't.

Weather criteria is not universal. It is written to match the launch vehicle's design. The Saturn V could launch in the rain (and 42 years ago today, under the real threat of lightning); the shuttle could not fly if it was to be exposed to precipitation of any type.

NASA did approve of the weather conditions last night. If it did not, Dan Burbank would have been pulled off the vehicle. The U.S. space agency was under no requirement to go forward with the launch if it did not believe Burbank was safe.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-14-2011 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I contend NASA is compelled to accept greater operational risk because it has little choice (no other lift options and the Russians loosing face if we did yank our crew member).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2011 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos and RSC Energia are not evil; they don't set out to put their own crew members into harm's way.

Besides, U.S. crew members have been launching on Soyuz for more than 15 years. For all but a few of those flights, NASA did have another option and still felt that it was safe to fly astronauts on the Russian vehicle.

ejectr
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posted 11-14-2011 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking out Dan Burbank's window, it appears they fly head down to orbit. Is this to keep the g's positive on the crew?

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-14-2011 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw nothing wrong with them launching in snow. The winds were light, there were no lightning generating clouds in the area. This was snowfall and not freezing rain (potentially a lot nastier). Visibility wasn't necessarily a problem since nothing occuring during an abort would have required a cosmonaut to look out and see the ground anyway (weather conditions concerning visibility for RTLS or TAL abort sites were a BIG component of shuttle's launch criteria). The primary reason why launch and ascent visibility is a big concern with launches from US soil (even unmanned ones) has to do with range safety as there are fears that an out of control rocket could land on population. And the population of central Florida and California (near Vandenberg) is very dense compared to a desert in Kazahkstan (which is why the cosmodrome was built there in the first place).

The spacecraft is protected under a launch shroud that comes off high in ascent, so there is really not much of a concern about snowfall obstructing it. The boosters and core stage all ice up anyway when they fill with LOX and the launch pad can handle the harsh freezing conditions of its north latitude desert location (which they see for night launches in the summer months because it IS a desert afterall). Plus, no problems cropped up with the launch pad equipment to require a hold or a scrub and the Russians monitor their pad systems about the same as NASA does.

As for hazmat concerns, the rocket is LOX and kerosene powered, so if it blows up we aren't talking about a toxic hypergolic cloud footprint like you would get if a Titan or Proton cooked off. The Soyuz itself has some concerns about its propellants, but the orbital and propulsion modules get kicked off pretty far in the event of an abort. The DM has a small supply of propellant, but not much. The capsule itself has a location beacon to allow it to be found in the nastiest weather.

As for delays in recovery, the Russians practically wrote the book on cold weather and snow recovery operations. After three cold weather recoveries in the 70s (Soyuz 18-1 which landed in mountains, Soyuz 23 which landed in a lake during a blizzard and Soyuz 24 which also landed during snowfall), they improved the cold weather provisions on the capsules and ALL crewmembers (astronauts and cosmonauts) train for cold weather contingencies IN cold weather at places you really do not want to be in when it is cold.

Finally, if an abort had taken place, the weather at the launch site would really only have had maybe a small effect on a recovery very early in the ascent. Baikonaur is a HUGE complex and you know support manpower for a recovery after an abort would be massive. After about a minute or two of flight, the craft is going to be pretty far down range and potentially outside of the weather system causing the snow. So recovery at that phase has about the same challenges as it would have for a later abort or an off course reentry.

If space agencies had to worry about the weather at EVERY downrange site that a craft could POSSIBLY come down at, they might never fly at all. Shuttle got close to that only because the unique nature of its recovery required a pilot to fly it. But still, it was localized to KSC, the TAL sites and Edwards AFB. There is still a lot more real estate a spacecraft travels over with weather that can not be accounted for. So, if a really bad day happens, the craft is going to come down where it comes down, regardless of what the weather is like down below.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-14-2011 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Roscosmos and RSC Energia are not evil; they don't set out to put their own crew members into harm's way.

Its not about being "evil"....different cultures have differnt standards and acceptable thresholds of risk..its evident in the engineering design approach and operational tactics, techniques and procedures

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-14-2011 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
As for hazmat concerns, the rocket is LOX and kerosene powered.
The third stage is hypergolic (assumption is that a Fregat upper stage was used, otherwise you're correct).

On edit: The Fregat was not used.

Ben
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posted 11-14-2011 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Visibility has not really been an issue in the US, as launches take place in thick fog and low overcast routinely, especially at Vandenberg.

I wouldn't be so quick to assume snowfall would scrub a launch here, as it just has not come up so far. ELV launches here take place below freezing without issue. The shuttle was different, and the SRB joints and fragile tiles (read: ice) played a big role in that.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2011 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
...different cultures have divergent standards and acceptable thresholds of risk.
Agreed, but its unfounded in this situation to think that either NASA or Roscosmos compromised their own risk tolerances. There was no need to; they could have postponed the launch, if either or both felt it merited it. As stated though, they are equipped to can respond in the snow. They've built vehicles specifically for that purpose.

Ben
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posted 11-14-2011 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
On edit: The Fregat was not used.
Manned Soyuz has no third stage. The entire vehicle is RP-1/LOX.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-15-2011 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TMA-22 flew a RD-0110 powered third stage (RP1/LOX propellant)

Ben
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posted 11-15-2011 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "third stage" sometimes referenced is really the second stage. Some people seem to write the strap-on boosters as "first stage."

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-15-2011 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even if the third stage (or whatever stage) has hypergolic propellant, as soon as the craft comes loose during a launch abort and sheds its stage, propulsion module and orbital module, the descent module will likely land apart from those modules as it comes down on parachutes.

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-15-2011 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moscow, we have hard dock. Way to go!!!!!

By the way, I took another look at those blue parkas the crew wore to the launch pad. They are kind of weird with only ONE arm slit (is that because they are carrying an air conditioner in the other arm under the parka?). They almost look like they dressed up as Daleks for Halloween (using the free arm to hold onto a plunger).

All times are CT (US)

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