GSLV D3 Launch Failure

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby babbupandey » 17 Apr 2010 11:40

Singha wrote:there is a ISRO meeting in Triv tomorrow. hope the demand for such kit comes out of it
also and the PMO slaps around a few people to cough up the cash.


I have a question, does this mean that the facility does not exist in India, the reason for this obvious question is because I remember reading an article in The Hindu sometime in late 2006 that cryogenic engine had failed to run for its full duration in vacuum.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby geeth » 17 Apr 2010 11:44

>>>I doubt this cost $1b or even $500m to setup...my wild guess would be $10 mil for the
physical building and $90mil for the equipment.

I suspect that is not the complete setup. If steam ejectors are used, then the amount of steam required to maintain the vaccuum in the chamber will be huge, which in turn requires a large boiler, heat exchanger etc.

Yes, still it should not cost a lot. They should have set up these facilities during the past 18 years.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby vina » 17 Apr 2010 12:38

There are many advantages we can gain from building a vacuum test facility. The main advantage would be experience gained in designing and operating a large vacuum chamber. This would be very important if we are going for manned mission (testing the space-walk suits or space stations) and also it would give us experience for building our own nuclear fusion reactors if say for example ITER succeeds.


Building a vacuum dabba to test pressurization for stuff like space walks and space stations is easy. You just need a sealed building.

But here what you are talking about is building a vacuum chamber and firing rockets in it. You have the evacuate mass from the chamber at least at the humongous rate at which the rockets put out the gas jets and also keep the overall environmental limits like heat etc the same as what it is in space..Requires a massive heat sink and also massive pump to evacuate.. Wont be readily available off the shelf and you will need to engineer all that from scratch. A fiver year project minimum.

I stand among the four Beasts
from Sanjay's link of the P4 test stand used to test upper atmosphere engines, it looks like a small and compact building, with some part underground no doubt.
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/ESA5NUZK0TC_Ex ... l#subhead1
I doubt this cost $1b or even $500m to setup...my wild guess would be $10 mil for the physical building and $90mil for the equipment.
there is a ISRO meeting in Triv tomorrow. hope the demand for such kit comes out of it also and the PMO slaps around a few people to cough up the cash.


Right in the link, it talks about simulation codes for ignition etc and then verifying that in the chambers. That is exactly what we need to do and it can be done quickly , if we throw the toffees and sweeteners to the PIGS in the Madrassas and get them Oinking NOW.

DLR and ISRO go back a long long long way and have a great history of collaboration . If it is an ESA/DLR facility, we should debug the engine, send the stage there to the ignition test facility and get it tested or to the Roosies or whoever is willing to lend it to us.

If that cannot be done, rather than build this kind of facility, do the simulation, instrument a stage fully and mount it on top of an ASLV / PSLV booster stage and validate your simulation/ codes whatever and prove your stage, before putting it on top of the GSLV.

Of course, kick the babu monkeys in the nuts very hard and get all the "forex" and travel and other budgets "approved" and "NOC" granted and signed in triplicate and laminated and whatever, get the MTR ready to eat stuff packed and ordered in bulk ( they eat animals and other terrible stuff in Jurmany and Russhia.. no curd rice and sambar and rasam saar, what to do) , shop for moderately winter clothing bought from Commercial street in Bangalore (leave out the thermals and other things you are advised to buy as a FOB, I doubt the ISRO folks will have to take the buses in the city or ride bicycles in the snow like PIGS have to do as grad students)... But basically get cracking. Not too much time to waste and wet dream over building 1960s like facilities that will take a decade or so to come up.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Singha » 17 Apr 2010 12:54

the facility looks like it has a sliding / clamshell roof to allow the crane to hoist in
large eqpt and a set of factory loading doors for small stuff. and the adjoining smaller
building houses the observation rooms and some bunks for the poor PIG type interns the
big bosses will have live down there to gather data , and maybe some generator/pump
eqpt.

I suspect what goes inside is all low volume custom made stuff with long lead times
after orders are placed and need close interaction with vendor to understand what the
client needs are .... can't just slap together some netz sw and let the customer test it :mrgreen:

looks like we need a good travel budget and a truck of MTR packed meals...

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby lakshmikanth » 17 Apr 2010 12:58

^^^ vina
I totally agree, however we also need to see if there is merit in pursuing 1960 tech. I guess there is some merit in lookin into it

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby SSridhar » 17 Apr 2010 13:15

I would like to see an experienced Russian specialist in Cryo-engines associated with failure analysis. After so much hard work, ISRO is at the final frontier where their machine is being tested for real in the harsh, unforgiving space. There may be things that a Russian engineer may bring to the table. We need to sort out this thing real quick.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby sanjeevji » 17 Apr 2010 18:08

I was wondering why ISRO went with an actual satellite instead of dummy satellite/payload for this launch? Desi cryo engine was untested and there was not need to pair it will an actual satellite to double the failure cost. They could have tested the flight parameters equally well with a dummy payload. At least it would have saved the cost of satellite in case of failure. It appears ISRO bosses were over confident.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Apr 2010 19:25

As you guys have said, building our own full-sized vacuum test facility could impose very long delays. It might be better to go with a near-term solution of renting somebody else's facilities to solve the immediate problem, and then consider building our own full-fledged test facility for the long haul.

I wonder if we could build some joint facilities to be shared with other nations, in order to keep the costs down. Joint R&D could defray the costs, while also providing a multi-lateralist lever against exclusionary denial regimes like MTCR.

As our officials have repeatedly said, cryogenic propulsion is a very complex technology, and therefore we cannot expect to succeed in it by merely crossing our fingers and flying on a wing and a prayer while hoping for the best. The rigor and comprehensiveness of the testing has to be improved in order to overcome the challenges.

I'm just wondering how we came to believe we could do it differently, when everybody else who's come this way has done it through a fully scoped out ground testing regime. Even simulation codes need to have some basis through real world test data. Without that, it can just be garbage-in-garbage-out.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby PratikDas » 17 Apr 2010 20:32

Sanjay M wrote:....
I'm just wondering how we came to believe we could do it differently, when everybody else who's come this way has done it through a fully scoped out ground testing regime. Even simulation codes need to have some basis through real world test data. Without that, it can just be garbage-in-garbage-out.

But we here love gloating that ISRO does everything at 1/3rd the cost of other space agencies. We can't have our cake and eat it too. ISRO took a calculated risk by taking a ground tested and certified cryo engine, putting a satellite on top of it, and going for glory. Kalam took a calculated risk by bypassing the launch computer's alarm for the SLV-3 too.

Space agencies are usually prone to taking risks due to budgetary issues and time constraints. In the race to go to the moon, 3 American astronauts died in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire and investigations into the incident found "lethal" design flaws with Apollo Command Module. The point is that if they were smart enough to find multiple flaws after one incident, they probably would have found them in advance as well if they had the luxury of time to undertake the most thorough / pedantic risk assessment exercises. But the Soviets were threatening to take all the medals.

We're reminded that pedantism is necessary in hindsight.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby shiv » 17 Apr 2010 20:42

sanjeevji wrote:I was wondering why ISRO went with an actual satellite instead of dummy satellite/payload for this launch? Desi cryo engine was untested and there was not need to pair it will an actual satellite to double the failure cost. They could have tested the flight parameters equally well with a dummy payload. At least it would have saved the cost of satellite in case of failure. It appears ISRO bosses were over confident.


I recall a talk by someone who said that it was cheapest to fire off everything, payload and all. I believe that is true - just like the cheapest and most effective option for testing nukes is live testing rather than simulation and lab testing.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Apr 2010 21:24

PratikDas wrote:But we here love gloating that ISRO does everything at 1/3rd the cost of other space agencies. We can't have our cake and eat it too. ISRO took a calculated risk by taking a ground tested and certified cryo engine, putting a satellite on top of it, and going for glory. Kalam took a calculated risk by bypassing the launch computer's alarm for the SLV-3 too.


Touché, sir - our false pride in being the cheapest has gotten us caught with our pants down.
The EQ gap is greater than the technology or budgetary gap.

We want to be the Tata Nano of space travel, but I guess we have to learn where we can skimp and where we have to invest more to keep from going off the rails.

Instead of trying to be 1/3 the cost, we may have to settle for being just 2/3 the cost, or 1/2 the cost if we're lucky.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Apr 2010 22:08

vasu_ray wrote:ahem...once they fix the cryo stage, would they be willing to put it on top of a PSLV in the payload fairing for flight testing since GSLV currently has a slower rate of production, like they used a sounding rocket for the scramjet



Gee, I'd wonder if it might be possible to accomplish it with even just an ASLV, because all you have to do is get it 50 miles up in order to test-fire the cryo engine. Or what's wrong with a giant balloon rig, to float it up there for test-firing? With enough instrumentation attached, you should be able to get plenty of data back, even if you lose both the engine and balloon.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby PratikDas » 17 Apr 2010 22:23

Sanjay M wrote:
vasu_ray wrote:ahem...once they fix the cryo stage, would they be willing to put it on top of a PSLV in the payload fairing for flight testing since GSLV currently has a slower rate of production, like they used a sounding rocket for the scramjet



Gee, I'd wonder if it might be possible to accomplish it with even just an ASLV, because all you have to do is get it 50 miles up in order to test-fire the cryo engine. Or what's wrong with a giant balloon rig, to float it up there for test-firing? With enough instrumentation attached, you should be able to get plenty of data back, even if you lose both the engine and balloon.

I thought of the PSLV-with-CUS-as-payload too but I doubt all that can be achieved in time for a full GSLV relaunch next year. I think we're looking at a desktop study here, and then as Shiv says, just put the baby on another rocket and light the fire. Just don't make such a big deal of it with the media. If anyone asks, call it atmospheric phenomena :mrgreen:

I don't think the balloons will give the CUS enough momentum for stability as it ignites. I doubt the CUS is designed to accelerate around turns. The g-forces will probably break the vehicle.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Apr 2010 22:38

PratikDas wrote:I thought of the PSLV-with-CUS-as-payload too but I doubt all that can be achieved in time for a full GSLV relaunch next year. I think we're looking at a desktop study here, and then as Shiv says, just put the baby on another rocket and light the fire. Just don't make such a big deal of it with the media. If anyone asks, call it atmospheric phenomena :mrgreen:


But wouldn't even ASLV work (smaller, cheaper) to loft the cryo engine 50 miles up for test-firing?

I don't think the balloons will give the CUS enough momentum for stability as it ignites. I doubt the CUS is designed to accelerate around turns. The g-forces will probably break the vehicle.


Well, a ground test facility isn't providing acceleration/impulse either, it's just that the engine is bolted down. Similarly, any test rig suspended from a balloon would also fire from a static position, with suitable ballast. In an inertial reference frame, I doubt it would matter whether you're coasting, floating or static.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby SSSalvi » 17 Apr 2010 22:47

A few musings based on last several posts by all:

1. ISRO chief had very clearly mentioned that the Cryo fired but Verniers misbehaved ... but it was THIS FORUM which had pointed out that FIRST that the Cryo might not have fired at all .. and now( today ) ISRO is coming out with a statement that CRYO did not fire.

2. There are elaborate monitoring in telemetry than what has been suggested by many in their posts.. but from what we gather from reports is that the telemetry too failed at the time of ignition .. is it then possible that there was a failure in some other major system ( like power or structural ) which has not allowed the engine to ignite ( in addition to telemetry failure ) ..

[ The first statement of ISRO chairman was that the verniers misbehaved resulting in vibration/tumbling .. did that cause any structural failure? ]

3. There are several posts blaming the project of directly using a new technology.. but then how do you test in real-life? Nobody will put the things to real test without proper and in depth simulation .. I have personally experienced the extent to which ISRO goes in simulation .. simulation .. and again simulation .. for even a relay .. after all that component may be the weakest link which may fail.

The same people would have sung praises ( for directly using the technology instead of pilot project use ) if the mission had succeeded in the first go.

4. There are a few suggestions of using the engine on PSLV platform.. is it worth developing a scaled model of actual engine just for testing it. Ballistic experts can comment on that.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby disha » 17 Apr 2010 22:55

shiv wrote:
sanjeevji wrote:I was wondering why ISRO went with an actual satellite instead of dummy satellite/payload for this launch? Desi cryo engine was untested and there was not need to pair it will an actual satellite to double the failure cost. They could have tested the flight parameters equally well with a dummy payload. At least it would have saved the cost of satellite in case of failure. It appears ISRO bosses were over confident.


I recall a talk by someone who said that it was cheapest to fire off everything, payload and all. I believe that is true - just like the cheapest and most effective option for testing nukes is live testing rather than simulation and lab testing.


+1. In all the clamour for vacuum testing facility for cryogenic engines, people forget that setting up such a facility will be 1/10th the cost of maintaining it. And that capital investment can be utilized better.

Just to take a SWAG (Simple Wild Ass Guestimate), here is the price list:

1. Setting up a vaccum testing facility for cryogenic engine (current CUS size): 3000 crores (land, water, buildings, technology)
2. Yearly maintenance: 300 crores (Personel, Security etc)
3. Interest on capital: 240 crores (put it in a sarkari bank and just take interest)

Cost of a complete uninsured GSLV with GSAT : @300 crores. In the above costs, one can launch 12 GSLVs every year. Further the facility will be useless when when one wants to test a stage with 25 tonnes of propellants or even 50 tons of propellants.

Note ISRO was ready for a launch itself in Dec 2009, the additional reviews delayed it. Further they will review and re-launch again in an year. They are themselves looking forward to that.

We can all do backseat driving and provide arm-chair suggestions, at the end - ISRO is a mature organization and has several credits to it. They will overcome it.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby disha » 17 Apr 2010 23:01

SSSalvi wrote: There are a few suggestions of using the engine on PSLV platform.. is it worth developing a scaled model of actual engine just for testing it. Ballistic experts can comment on that.


You can do it, though the project costs will be almost same as the actual thing, if that is the case, then go for the actual thing itself. Since at the end of the day, GSLV or for that matter any other vehicle will not be successful just because a stage has performed successfully. It is the integrated vehicle that has to tested.

Note that the integrated vehicle is culmination of a complete project, it also tests the ground system integration, monitoring, gathering telemetry etc. Hence for rocket launches, it is better to launch the whole system - often (of course after a mature review and feedback), particularly when the goal is to arrive at a man-rated vehicle.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby disha » 17 Apr 2010 23:08

Sanjay M wrote:I wonder if we could build some joint facilities to be shared with other nations, in order to keep the costs down. Joint R&D could defray the costs, while also providing a multi-lateralist lever against exclusionary denial regimes like MTCR.

...
...

I'm just wondering how we came to believe we could do it differently, when everybody else who's come this way has done it through a fully scoped out ground testing regime. Even simulation codes need to have some basis through real world test data. Without that, it can just be garbage-in-garbage-out.


First of all, there is no "co-operation" in space race. It is all "co-opetition". It is difficult concept to explain, put it this way if two athletes decide to run a marathon, they co-operate to establish the routes and ground support and when the race starts, each would do everything (right or wrong) to win it.

To your second point, ISRO (and India) does not have a choice but to think differently. It does not have a multi-billion dollar budget or experience of NASA. It does not have access to technologies like Japan/ESA. It cannot be blaise about safety issues like China. Just because NASA spent billions behind useless ground testing regimes does not mean India has to spend the same for similiar facilities.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Apr 2010 23:42

SSSAlvi and disha,

Apologies if I sounded like an armchair monday-morning-quarterback type.

I'm just wondering aloud what can be done to get things back on track. It seems as if a number of announced and hoped for programs could be adversely affected. It seems that Chandrayaan-2 was going to use GSLV propulsion to loft it. The human spaceflight program was about to be announced as well.

Will all these things happen on time, in the wake of this setback? I'm worried that the next flight could end up just like this one, because there aren't enough clues available. I'm worried that we don't have any backup plan available, now that the calculated risk hasn't panned out.

As for "co-opetition", it seems like there is a 2-tier situation here. There is the 1st-tier of established space powers with their desire to preserve their monopoly and technological advantages, even while competing against each other. Then there are the up-and-comers like India, SKorea, Brazil, etc who want to break into the club, even while competing against each other.
India currently straddles both worlds, and at times there may be advantages in associating with one world over another. This is almost like the NPT, UNSC, etc.
I would point out that shared/joint facilities with multi-lateral agreements among the 2nd-tier competitors would help to push back against exclusivist denial regimes indulged in by the 1st tier.
Otherwise, India pushing all by itself against exclusivist denial regimes by 1st-tier means India expends all the effort, while other 2nd-tier will eventually benefit downstream from those efforts for free. If you are the elder brother, then you have to fight with the parents for the right to stay out later, you have to fight with them to get to use the car, while the younger siblings will eventually get it all more easily when their turn comes. India's cryogenic development has then spanned 18 years - but others may span that gap more quickly.

India has not yet achieved an escape velocity, whereby it is beyond the reach of any and all denial regimes. We have to be able to spring off those underneath/alongside us, in order to break through.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby disha » 18 Apr 2010 00:00

Sanjay M wrote:Apologies if I sounded like an armchair monday-morning-quarterback type.


Please no need for apologies. It was not meant for you.

As for "co-opetition", it seems like there is a 2-tier situation here. There is the 1st-tier of established space powers with their desire to preserve their monopoly and technological advantages, even while competing against each other. Then there are the up-and-comers like India, SKorea, Brazil, etc who want to break into the club, even while competing against each other.


Note, India is not a "2nd tier" space faring nation. It is a 1st tier space faring nation. So the competition is not among 2-tier nations, it is about developing a tech. that will help 2-3 decades from now. Cryogenic tech is one of them.

I would point out that shared/joint facilities with multi-lateral agreements among the 2nd-tier competitors would help to push back against exclusivist denial regimes indulged in by the 1st tier.


Actually India should be paying lip-service to the 2nd tier nations. Let them come for help, till then they will not be able to appreciate our blood and sweat. It is their problem.

Anyway, I think what ISRO/India should do or not with other countries is OT for this thread.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 18 Apr 2010 00:37

So anyway, what is the forecasted impact to key upcoming programs?

What will be the impact to Chandrayaan-2? My understanding is that it was to use GSLV's heavier lift capability to send a larger payload to the Moon. Will this mission have to be delayed, or can things be downsized to fit onto PSLV-XL?

What about the imminent announcement of the Human Spaceflight Program? Will the public unveiling of HSF now be delayed until the cryo engine can prove itself?
Also, consider the mental impact on the minds of politicians, who can now see visions of an exploding manned spacecraft and shocked horrified faces of bystanders on the TV screens.
All politicians want to be able to make glowing speeches with national anthems playing in the background. But nobody wants to foot the risk of dealing with a launch disaster, especially with so many fingerpointers waiting in the wings. Is it possible that the govt may defer the announcement of HSF for quite some time?

Will any missions involving PSLV be affected, especially if there are payloads which have to be diverted from GSLV to PSLV?
Will the RLV-TD tests take place as planned?

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 18 Apr 2010 00:58

Somebody posted this in another forum:

Image

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby VikramS » 18 Apr 2010 00:59

disha:

I think the question is that is a micro-cyrogenic engine sitting on top of a ASLV/SLV is worth it to validate the basic design concepts?

I do realize that scaling does not work right away. However any major system is a collection of smaller sub-systems, and being able to validate these individual sub-systems in a real-test environment will have value.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that the micro-test engine can be instrumented to a significantly higher level since weight will not be an issue for an engine designed to be experimental. The whole idea of course is to validate that the basic concepts behind the design of the sub-systems are sound and work in the real environment.

In this case ISRO had already ground tested the actual engine which was launched. So clearly something went wrong in the actual flight. It may have something to do with operation in a high velocity environment, or in a vacuum environment etc. Also we can not rule out that their was something else which went wrong. Originally there were claims of the main engine firing.

Also I am not sure why creating a vacuum dome to test experimental engines is such a big deal. It does not have to be anything fancy. Create a sealed structure which can withstand atmospheric pressure at ground level and just pump the air out of it till it is close to vacuum level. Sure it will require some big pumps and may take hours to get close to vacuum levels but it does not have to be a super-duper Billion dollar facility. Jugaad can get you 98% there.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby PratikDas » 18 Apr 2010 02:07

VikramS wrote:...
Also I am not sure why creating a vacuum dome to test experimental engines is such a big deal. It does not have to be anything fancy. Create a sealed structure which can withstand atmospheric pressure at ground level and just pump the air out of it till it is close to vacuum level. Sure it will require some big pumps and may take hours to get close to vacuum levels but it does not have to be a super-duper Billion dollar facility. Jugaad can get you 98% there.

The cryo engine produces water vapour when it burns H2 and O2. This water vapour will very quickly undo the vacuum achieved prior to ignition. So you have to keep pumping out the exhaust at the same rate as it is being produced to maintain the level of vacuum. NASA's spacecraft propulsion facility (B-2) pumps out 350,000 litres of "air" per second.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 18 Apr 2010 04:07

Sure, you'll lose your initial vacuum, but you'll probably have achieved ignition by that point anyway.

Anyway, why would it have to be a scaled-down model hoisted by ASLV? I was thinking that ASLV could hoist the actual full-scale engine to just a few dozen miles up, where it could be fired. Sure, ASLV is puny, but it should be good to lift an over-sized payload for a few dozen miles in a suborbital hop.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Sanjay M » 18 Apr 2010 04:36

Another thing - since ground firing at ambient pressure was quite successful, then why couldn't a launch vehicle configuration have been used that would see the cryo engine lit right on the launch pad, and used to assist the SRB's with liftoff? Then at least you'd have some data on how the thing performs as you ascend to where the pressure drops off.

Or couldn't they have used this thing on the GS2 second stage even?

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Gerard » 18 Apr 2010 04:51


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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby shukla » 18 Apr 2010 06:07

Russian Space Center Khrunichev ready to continue cooperation with India

India would return to Russia after the details of the failed satellite launch :- Russian Space Center Khrunichev ready to continue cooperation with India in the field of the block, despite the failure of the national launch rocket GSLV, told RIA Novosti on Friday, the representative of the company.

“Our cooperation with India continues, and if the Indian side will be followed by a proposal for its prolongation, we are ready to consider it”, – said the representative of the Centre Khrunichev.

Head of ISRO Mr.Radhakrishnan said on Thursday that, despite the setback, India will implement the next launch missiles with domestic cryogenic upper stage during the year. The reasons for the failure of start Radhakrishnan has promised to publish after the analysis of flight parameters.

According to him, just so far carried out five launches GSLV launch vehicle upper stage with the Russian “12 BEF” made by the Centre Khrunichev.

“By agreement with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), must be performed two more missile launch vehicle GSLV with Russia’s upper stage such as” 12 BEF “- said the representative of the Centre Khrunichev.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby juvva » 18 Apr 2010 10:21



There is no talk of an independent external review here, maybe it will come in later...

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby VikramS » 18 Apr 2010 11:07

Sanjay M:

Yes that was my point. If they can achieve ignition in vacuum it validates a whole bunch of things. What is missing from the real thing is the velocity vector.

PratikDas:

You do not have to test the full-blown engine in the vacuum facility. Again a micro-engine can help validate the sub-systems and the concepts and may require significantly less pumping.

-----

My primary concern is another "test" of the unproven engine on a GSLV. The engine is better tested in a lower profile experimental setup. Perceptions matter and ISRO should be conscious of that.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby prashanth » 18 Apr 2010 11:26

juvva wrote:


There is no talk of an independent external review here, maybe it will come in later...


It may come later, but it is always better if our scientists can find out what went wrong and rectify it without external review. The engine performed quite well on ground. If necessary the engine has to be tested in the vacuum test facility in Russia, now that they have offered cooperation. That is better than a review.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Rahul M » 18 Apr 2010 11:48

external does not necessarily(read unlikely) mean external to the country, it is external to ISRO.

when the accident report will be ready it will be reviewed by a national level committee composed of domain experts from ISRO, other govt orgs, academia etc.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby prashanth » 18 Apr 2010 12:05

Rahul M wrote:external does not necessarily(read unlikely) mean external to the country, it is external to ISRO.

when the accident report will be ready it will be reviewed by a national level committee composed of domain experts from ISRO, other govt orgs, academia etc.


Point taken sir. What is your opinion on building a vacuum test facility? My opinion is that ISRO can delay manned space mission but it has to build a vacuum chamber to test rocket engines first. Honestly, it shouldn't face similar problems with CE-20, which itself is critical for the manned space mission.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby vina » 18 Apr 2010 12:50

If necessary the engine has to be tested in the vacuum test facility in Russia, now that they have offered cooperation


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: .. The "cooperation" they have offered is to continue selling more of their cryogenic stages.

Let us be very clear here. I doubt the Russians will let us use their facility for this. That would basically kill possible future sales of their own stages to India. Of course , one possibility is that if the Europeans or someone else does allow use of their facility, they will do so then , because the business of selling cryogenic stages is lost anyways and they might as well pick up whatever business is there on the table!

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby SSSalvi » 18 Apr 2010 15:33

Most of our comments are based on the assumption that the mission failed " due to ignition failure due to vacuum ".

No sane designer would test his system in actual flight without simulating at least in some indirect way whether the ignition takes place properly in vacuum or not.

I feel first of all let the real cause of Cryo failure has be ascertained... let's wait till the Failure Analysis Committee finds the cause. ( and hope that it is made public )

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Narad » 18 Apr 2010 15:38

No doubt ISRO will find and fix the defect that may have caused this flaw. However Since it was mentioned that the CUS was tested in lab conditions only, What i fear is that in the next flight testing some other problem B may arise and that would be catastrophic. SO ISRO needs to make sure that rectifying current problem is not the solution they will have to minutely estimate all other failure scenarios.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Narad » 18 Apr 2010 15:43

VikramS wrote:disha:


Also I am not sure why creating a vacuum dome to test experimental engines is such a big deal. It does not have to be anything fancy. Create a sealed structure which can withstand atmospheric pressure at ground level and just pump the air out of it till it is close to vacuum level. Sure it will require some big pumps and may take hours to get close to vacuum levels but it does not have to be a super-duper Billion dollar facility. Jugaad can get you 98% there.


Not a very convincing Idea actually. The "limited" vaccume that will be achieved will be filled by exhaust gas pressure within seconds of the firing of CUS. It could also go to the point of exploding the container itself.

FLight testing a minaturised CUS on SLV/ASLV could be a better option. SO that way not only vaccume conditions could be tested but also high velocity scenario can also be tested.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby SSSalvi » 18 Apr 2010 16:00

Had some free time to watch cursorily the video from YouTube:

Some observations:


GS2 seperated at 293 sec

CUS IGNITION reported by telemetry system at 304.9 sec

Even after 310 seconds the people in control room are clapping.

Susequently Telemetry is on ( you can see actual hight and velocity chart upto 505 sec. ( Of course this could be data by ground based optical tracking system also .. does anyone know what is the source of this data?? )

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Rahul M » 18 Apr 2010 16:05

prashanth wrote:
Rahul M wrote:external does not necessarily(read unlikely) mean external to the country, it is external to ISRO.

when the accident report will be ready it will be reviewed by a national level committee composed of domain experts from ISRO, other govt orgs, academia etc.


Point taken sir. What is your opinion on building a vacuum test facility? My opinion is that ISRO can delay manned space mission but it has to build a vacuum chamber to test rocket engines first. Honestly, it shouldn't face similar problems with CE-20, which itself is critical for the manned space mission.

prasanth ji, why the 'sir' ? as for the question, frankly I don't know enough to pass a view.

that being said, if this failure could indeed be prevented by testing in a vaccuum facility, as some here feel, expect ISRO to approach GOI for funding one. if it doesn't then IMHO I would trust their judgement about the need(or the lack of it) for such a facility.

about the ideas like testing on PSLV or ASLV, frankly those will be costly in itself, might be enough to make a real life test much more attractive and cost effective. not to mention that we made the last ASLV about 16 years ago, it's not a trivial or cheap endeavour to restart its production. it may be cheaper but that is by no means certain.
let's not forget that many thousands of components go into a stage as complex as CUS, scaling it into 1:2 stage is also not a trivial exercise.
bottomline is, without detailed studies of the costs involved even ISRO designers might not be able to say which is the more cost-effective method. for us it is that much more difficult to come to an informed conclusion.

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Re: GSLV D3 Launch Failure

Postby Rahul M » 18 Apr 2010 16:07

SSSalvi wrote:Had some free time to watch cursorily the video from YouTube:

Some observations:


GS2 seperated at 293 sec

CUS IGNITION reported by telemetry system at 304.9 sec

Even after 310 seconds the people in control room are clapping.

Susequently Telemetry is on ( you can see actual hight and velocity chart upto 505 sec. ( Of course this could be data by ground based optical tracking system also .. does anyone know what is the source of this data?? )

do you remember the height at those points ? upto what altitude can optical tracking system be relied upon to give accurate info ? I would guess it would be utmost difficult to get correct velocity data by this method beyond the first few km's.


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