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    Re: 'Programming error' caused Russian rocket failure - Yahoo! News
    From: Richard B. Langley
    Date: 2010 Dec 8, 01:11 -0400

    He may act like a president but Putin is currently the prime minister.
    Also, the Blok DM 4th stage was a new variant with a larger propellant
    vessel. There is speculation about an incorrect amount of fuel being
    loaded for the mission.
    -- Richard Langley
    Sent from my iPod Touch
    On 2010-12-07, at 11:16 PM, "Frank Reed"
    > Oddly enough, it seems that most rocket mishaps are easier to figure
    > out than major aircraft accidents since the latter are so
    > exceedingly rare on a percentage basis. With rockets, the cause
    > tends to be something big and obvious even if people close to the
    > program can't bring themselves to believe it's that obvious for
    > months. But it still takes some careful analysis, since rockets tend
    > to be very far away when they explode, and over water, and they tend
    > to leave little recognizable debris. With this Proton rocket launch,
    > sure, it could be a software problem. Or it could be a hardware
    > problem. And I'm gonna stick my neck out and say it was either a
    > software problem OR a hardware problem. While it's possible that it
    > was such a glaring software error that it became obvious the instant
    > they reviewed their notes, it could be that this is no more than a
    > speculative guess from an engineer who happened to be quoted by some
    > journalist. There are no names attached to this theory, and it
    > sounds like rumor right now.
    > The Proton rockets have been around since the late 1960s. It was a
    > Proton that sent the first living animals, two turtles and some
    > other small organisms, out around the Moon and back to the Earth in
    > September, 1968. The spacecraft's re-entry failed, and it came down
    > with bone-crushing 20g deceleration in the atmosphere. The turtles
    > reportedly were not injured, but the intended human crew would
    > probably not have survived. Three months later Jim Lovell was trying
    > out the Apollo sextant on a much more ambitious manned lunar orbit
    > flight. The tremendous success of that flight and the international
    > media coverage of it essentially finished off the Soviet manned
    > lunar program. The Proton is a fine old design, upgraded
    > significantly in the past fifteen years, but it is still a rather
    > "unlucky" beast.
    > As for the Glonass sat nav system, this is an embarrassing setback
    > but I would imagine only a delay of a few months in full global
    > deployment. I noticed one article that quotes Russian President
    > Vladimir Putin saying that he will decree that all new cars sold in
    > Russia must have Glonass navigation systems starting in
    > 2012. ...It's good to be the king.
    > -FER
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