Sea-Launch anomaly

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  • #1
D H
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Sea-Launch "anomaly"

This sounds a bit ominous:

http://www.sea-launch.com/" [Broken]
"A Sea-Launch Zenit-33l vehicle carrying the NSS-8 satellite, experienced an anomaly today during launch operations. All personnel at the launch site are safe and accounted for."

So what exactly was the nature of this "anomaly"? The video is on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMG2SBwIcrM"
 
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  • #2
berkeman
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When you said sea-launched, I pictured from a submarine! But even from an oil-platform-type launch pad, there's no way I'd be on that platform! Hopefully "All personnel at the launch site" were way off the platform where the camera was sitting.
 
  • #3
DaveC426913
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I dunno how you can spot the anomalous bit what with all that brightness and flamage...
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Yeesh, that's some anomaly!
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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When you said sea-launched, I pictured from a submarine! But even from an oil-platform-type launch pad, there's no way I'd be on that platform! Hopefully "All personnel at the launch site" were way off the platform where the camera was sitting.
Presumably, the camera was located on the control ship. Yeah, I'd hope the launch platform itself was unoccupied.
 
  • #6
Q_Goest
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<sinking feeling> that's our customer.

the launch platform is unoccupied during launch, but I suspect this will put an end to the project.
 
  • #7
russ_watters
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They have had other successful launches, so why do you think this is it?
 
  • #8
FredGarvin
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"Anomoly" is quite the euphamism.
 
  • #9
Q_Goest
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I suppose I shouldn't be so hasty. Doesn't look like the launch platform could have survived though. That's a converted oil rig they have based out of LA California, along with a second ship that serves as a launch control ship. If the launch platform sank, they'd need to replace it which might take 3 to 5 years at a cost of about $500 million. Since the cost of a launch is around $80 million, and they only have a handfull of launches per year, you quickly realize the economics isn't good, especially with the competition for launches the way things are. The launch industry has an abundance of launch vehicles - it's very competitive. Recovering from a single failed launch is problematic. Recovering from a failed launch and the loss of your launch site just seems like a great time to look for a new job.

On the other hand, if the launch platform survived and is still floating, they might be able to recover. I looked around the web but haven't found anything yet that says if the platform is still floating or not.
 
  • #10
FredGarvin
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I wonder what their legal staff is going through right now. CYA has to be top of the list. The satellite it was carrying couldn't have been cheap.
 
  • #11
Q_Goest
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The satellite it was carrying couldn't have been cheap.
Yep. Payloads range from about 100 million $ on up to a billion. Being a communications satallite, I'd expect it to be on the low end of that range, say less than 250 million. So yea, it's not cheap. However, they're usually covered by insurance. Of course, if a launch vehicle experiences a failure or two (this is the second Sea Launch failure) insurance can be extremely expensive.

http://spaceflightnow.com/sealaunch/nss8/" [Broken]has a write up on it. They didn't have this last night, it's the site I'd usually go to for information on launch stuff. They said:
Condition of the Odyssey, a converted Norwegian oil-drilling platform, was not known as of late Tuesday.
Sounds like Boeing is being very closed lipped about what happened and the fate of the Odyssey. The fact they're not saying anything, that they cut off the broadcast as YouTube shows, and they're not even confirming the Odyssey is still floating seems a bit ominous to me.
 
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  • #12
AlephZero
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I wonder what their legal staff is going through right now.
Well, the lawyers did one thing right. The made sure that a nice unemotional word like "anomaly" was used to describe it.

Same applies in the civil aivation business - things that weren't supposed to happen are called incidents, not accidents...
 
  • #13
Q_Goest
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A good sign...

Looks like the Odyssey survived!
A preliminary assessment of the Odyssey Launch Platform indicates that, while it has sustained limited damage, the integrity and functionality of essential marine, communications and crew support systems remains intact. The vessel is operating on its own power and is currently manned by the full marine crew. This team is performing a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of the vessel, including its structural integrity and sea-worthiness, in anticipation of identifying and planning the next steps.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/sealaunch/nss8/070201statement.html
 
  • #14
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Looks to me as if they had engaged reverse rather than 1st gear ;-)
 

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