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Satellites Lost in the Soyuz Launch Failure

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 30, 2017
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Soyuz rocket blasts off from Vostochny on Nov. 28, 2017. (Credit: Roscosmos)

The failed launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket on Tuesday resulted in the loss of a Russian weather satellite and 18 CubeSats that were aboard as secondary payloads. The table below provides details about the lost spacecraft.

 Meteor M2-1  1 Russian Government Fourth generation weather satellite; insured for insured for 2.5 billion rubles ($42.6 million)
Lemur-2  10 Spire Global Commercial weather monitoring and ship tracking
Vantage 2  1  Telesat (Canada) Ka band prototype for 117 satellite constellation that will provide low-latency broadband links for planes, ships and remote locations. Twin Vantage 1 prototype scheduled for launch aboard an Indian PSLV in late December or early January.
Landmapper-BC  2 Astro Digital Earth imaging
 SEAM  1 KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) Ionospheric measurements magnetic and electric fields
 D-Star One  1 German Orbital Systems & iSky Technology (Czech Republic) Amateur radio
Baumanets 2  1  Bauman Moscow State Technical University Educational satellite with optical camera and communications experiment
AISSat 3 1
 Norwegian Space Center Ship tracking
IDEA OSG 1  1 ASTROSCALE Space debris using sensors developed by JAXA. Mission sponsored by OSG Corporation, a Japanese tool maker.

2 responses to “Satellites Lost in the Soyuz Launch Failure”

  1. Kirk says:

    Anatoly Zak is reporting an embarrassing suspected cause for Tuesday’s Soyuz failure — that the Fregat upper stage “did not have the correct settings for the mission originating from the new launch site in Vostochny, as apposed to routine launches from Baikonur and Plesetsk. As a result, as soon as Fregat and its cargo separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle, its flight control system began commanding a change of orientation of the stack to compensate for what the computer had perceived as a deviation from the correct attitude, which was considerable.”


  2. Andrew Tubbiolo says:

    Interesting that they don’t have a continuity test to see if there are gaps from where the system thinks it is vs where it should be. Back when I was actively working on what would have been a part of a GNC, I was planning on just this. I feared system reboots during flight and wanted to deal with a system waking up in the middle of a flight. My solution to a gap would be to escape to the best ballistic state I could get to from where I was in the moment. In this case, it would be orbit. You could match “i” and “a” pretty easily if you set perigee passage as a free parameter. So in this case if the Fregat ‘woke up’ 20+ deg of longitude ahead of where it was supposed to be it should have been able to make the orbital plane and inclination with the time of perigee passage being off by some amount. Leaving a system to make a call that will cause it to de-orbit itself is somewhat strange for such an old system.

    Similar has happened before.
    On April 30, 1999, a Titan IVB Centaur booster launching a Milstar military communications satellite:Centaur roll damping constant was entered as -0.199 rather than the
    required –1.99. While not immediately fatal, the programming error led
    to some unnecessary maneuvering during the first Centaur burn that so
    depleted the attitude control propellant that the vehicle lost control
    during the second burn.

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