Tuesday, 28 October 2014

70's Soviet Technology Today

Thankfully it was an unmanned rocket that exploded this week and not a manned mission but there are quite a few parts to this story that seem to be going under the radar.
Firstly, the launching of the rockets is now the responsibility of a private company called Orbital while the rockets were ex-Soviet Union Antares rockets with AJ-26 engines from the 1970's.
So to put that all into focus, NASA scrapped their space program and the private sector was bought in so they didn't have to to depend on Russian rockets to send us into space and the private sector then buys old Soviet era rockets and put together a rocket that exploded when they tried to launch it.
With previous experience of the private sector, i would assume they tried to do it on the cheap and cut a few corners to save money and therefore make a nice profit and then...kaboom. 
With a straight face, Orbital are trying to pin the blame on the Russians and with a smiling face the Russians are pointing out that they stopped using these rockets in the 90's because they proved unreliable after several launch failures.
Apparently, Orbital bought 40 of them from the Soviets so the astronauts had better not be running out of anything up there on the Space Station because it might be a while yet before they get their fresh supplies.

2 comments:

Keep Life Simple said...

You did a good job digging up skeletons. Then went all modern day journalist and started adding your views...

Lucy said...

All true though. Fair and balanced you could say.