Ouch!
December 25, 2010 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Indian satellite rocket explodes after launch.
posted by Taft (50 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Unfortunate for them. Nothing terribly remarkable about it, though. I found it interesting that the Indian TV footage cut away almost immediately to a telemetry screen instead of rubbernecking on the explosion, as US media would certainly do.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:46 PM on December 25, 2010


boom :(
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:47 PM on December 25, 2010


I suspect India is planning a rocket to deliver an ICBN rocket, as they have developed an A Bomb.
posted by tustinrick at 1:52 PM on December 25, 2010


And the Merry Christmas snowman bobs on, cheerful and undaunted.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:54 PM on December 25, 2010 [7 favorites]



And the Merry Christmas snowman bobs on, cheerful and undaunted.


Are you implying the snowman had a hand in this disaster, bicyclefish?
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:57 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've nearly exploded after an Indian lunch too.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:58 PM on December 25, 2010 [13 favorites]


Are you implying the snowman had a hand in this disaster, bicyclefish?
That snowman definitely looked Pakistani. Just sayin'.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:59 PM on December 25, 2010


At 1:04 in the second link, it looks like the rocket develops a little pitch (i.e. starts to rotate out of line), then the top of the fuselage actually breaks off. At the speed it was going, the atmosphere would generate significant drag if that happened. So it may have been an attitude control issue, and not just the engines blowing up.

That's a shame, you hate to see so much hard work go up in flames.
posted by Xoebe at 2:00 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doesn't that video feel like a really good low key pseudo- documentary style thriller?
posted by Taft at 2:01 PM on December 25, 2010


Needs more sliding horse.
posted by phaedon at 2:03 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suspect India is planning a rocket to deliver an ICBN rocket

This was the rocket to deliver the rocket that delivers the rocket. Nothing to fear.
posted by mendel at 2:11 PM on December 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah this is kinda cool but not best of the web. Not even that dramatic of an explosion.
posted by MattMangels at 2:16 PM on December 25, 2010


MattMangels sez:

meh
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:18 PM on December 25, 2010


Are where was Pakistan when this occurred?!
posted by nomadicink at 2:28 PM on December 25, 2010


Mumbai we have a problem.
posted by punkfloyd at 2:29 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Not even that dramatic of an explosion."

MattMangels wins for the most American thing anyone has ever said.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:33 PM on December 25, 2010 [26 favorites]


I was into failed Indian rocket launches before they were hip.
posted by zippy at 2:53 PM on December 25, 2010


I suspect India is planning a rocket to deliver an ICBN rocket

When speaking of rockets - or indian food - you probably mean BM.
posted by hal9k at 2:57 PM on December 25, 2010


Maybe it stood for InterContinental Ballistic...Nevermind.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:59 PM on December 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


A start of great promise, a hopeful launch, a suspenseful progress during which hope rises concomitantly with fear, then a spectacular, crashing failure that segue into an embarrassed silence which is finally followed by appearance of analysts who comments on what went wrong.

Yep, sounds like an average night out for me too.
posted by Pantalaimon at 3:01 PM on December 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Guess it's just a reminder that "rocket science" is, well ah, Rocket Science!
posted by sammyo at 3:05 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you implying the snowman had a hand in this disaster, bicyclefish?

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow
posted by Evilspork at 3:06 PM on December 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bummer for them. That has to positively suck for the design and engineering teams.

Every single time I see a rocket launch, I am reminded of the montage of NASA failures from "The Right Stuff."
posted by Thistledown at 3:13 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The timing is such that they appear to have had a problem at or near maximum dynamic pressure (aka "Max Q"). Rockets are designed to steer into the wind during first stage to reduce side loads, which they are very sensitive to, and it's possible that they hit some unanticipated wind sheer. We'll see what the investigation has to say, though.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 3:17 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to work for a satellite imagery company. When we launched a new bird, everyone held their breath until it was up and imaging - we had lost a couple of rockets before. Some crazy percentage of launches fail. Things just happen. There's some good stuff on youtube if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by troika at 3:17 PM on December 25, 2010


There's a reason they refer to things as "rocket science". It's a profoundly difficult problem, and no one gets it right every time. Still, it's a shame when you get a failure like this.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:34 PM on December 25, 2010


Imho, 'tis the season for a little anecdata

More years than I care to count ago, I received a moped for my birthday as a freshman in college. It lasted years and years and the engine was the kind which took me through a flooded streets with about a foot of water. I'd bought it through a trusted referral to someone who knew someone who was a good dealer for the brand. Years later someone told me that buying mopeds was iffy, sometimes the engines were good sometimes they weren't and I was lucky I'd managed to get a good one.

As someone who studied Industrial Engineering in Bangalore U back in the 80s I knew that QC could be spotty and we certainly weren't Japanese when it came to our precision tooling so this could simply be something of this sort and nothing more. Unless they, too, have started outsourcing parts manufactured elsewhere...
posted by infini at 3:35 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This makes me think twice about that whole jetpack thing.
posted by mecran01 at 3:39 PM on December 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


.
posted by clavdivs at 3:49 PM on December 25, 2010


There's a reason they refer to things as "rocket science". It's a profoundly difficult problem, and no one gets it right every time. Still, it's a shame when you get a failure like this.

Yeah, well, it's not exactly brain surgery, is it?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:51 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suspect India is planning a rocket to deliver an ICBN rocket, as they have developed an A Bomb.

India has had rockets and various nuclear weapon delivery systems for some time.
They have approximately 50 operational warheads. They just built a nuclear powered submarine. They have their own cruise missiles, too, not just ballistic missiles.

Sure, there may be spin-off technology suitable for ICBMs and other boosters, just like there was for our space program and vice versa - but you make more money lofting satellites then you do stockpiling (or Shiva-forbid, using) nuclear weapons.
posted by loquacious at 3:52 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Before his term as India's president, he worked as an aeronautical engineer with DRDO and ISRO. He is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology.[6] In India he is highly respected as a scientist and as an engineer.
posted by infini at 3:55 PM on December 25, 2010


... sounds like that guy at tech support...
posted by Drasher at 4:04 PM on December 25, 2010


Not the only Asian nation to have a few problems with its rocketry.
posted by Devonian at 4:05 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Commercial comms satellite, so presumably it was insured.
posted by ryanrs at 4:37 PM on December 25, 2010


Not the only Asian nation to have a few problems with its rocketry.

If you want to see the difference in the level of acceptance to risk of innocent people between the US and Chinese governments, one can hardly pick a better video. Exactly how long do you think a USAF Range Safety Officer would have waited to hit the big red self destruct button once that rocket started tilting?
posted by chimaera at 5:40 PM on December 25, 2010


Every space program is at least partially an ICBM program also.

No one in the us or the ussr was interested in employing German rocket scientists to start a space program, they wanted to build missiles.

At the same time, none of the rocket scientists wanted to build missiles, they wanted to go to outer space.
posted by empath at 5:56 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


BuddhaInABucket, do I win an apple pie delivered by a bald eagle, served on an American flag tablecloth?
posted by MattMangels at 6:28 PM on December 25, 2010


and boom goes the dynamite.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:20 PM on December 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


They left out the song-and-dance scene.
posted by elmwood at 7:56 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


troika writes "I used to work for a satellite imagery company. When we launched a new bird, everyone held their breath until it was up and imaging - we had lost a couple of rockets before. Some crazy percentage of launches fail. Things just happen. There's some good stuff on youtube if you're into that sort of thing."

This is why the "obvious" solution to nuclear waste of launching it into the sun is so laughable. Rockets fail all the time; generally by spreading themselves over a big chunk of the earth.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 PM on December 25, 2010


I love the Indian accented countdown.

"Ten? Nine? Eight? Seven? Six?"
posted by elmwood at 8:10 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can just imagine the guy watching the telemetry tracking monitor. "Altitude 14.4 km... 14.5... 14.6... 14.7... 14.6... 14.5... 14.4... 14.3... 14.2... Uh... sir..."
posted by Mike D at 9:55 PM on December 25, 2010


I suspect India is planning a rocket to deliver an ICBN rocket

Intentionally Colon Blowing Naan
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:40 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suspect India is getting ready to receive the BS on the blue ;p
posted by infini at 4:46 AM on December 26, 2010


Mumbai we have a problem.

Hassan
posted by the cydonian at 7:39 AM on December 26, 2010


^ Not the only Asian nation to have a few problems with its rocketry

I don't know what is worse - watching that video or looking up "Long March 3B" (the name of the rocket" or "Xichang" (the name of the town that looked to be pretty-much destroyed) by the crash - Except for a few videos, there is no mention of the crash or its aftermath in any news sites or in Wikipedia.

First when watching the video, I was all "Cool, explosion!", then I saw the images of the charred out town, and I was speechless.

My only hope is that everyone died as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:03 AM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The US did get lucky with incidents that didn't kill people, although the safety culture was a lot more prevalent - even if not always evident. The Soviets had some fatal failures too, but the worst were on the pad. Compared to the millions in both Soviet and Chinese empires who were deliberately killed by the same state machinery that caused the rockets to be made, it doesn't move the meter - but perhaps it's best thought of as evidence that not caring about your people doesn't get the job done any better. I'll take my technology with a large helping of compassion, thanks.
posted by Devonian at 11:41 AM on December 26, 2010


That US Delta explosion (linked above by Devonian) - you can see in the last few seconds of the video that one of the primary engines is not running at all. Having an un-ignited engine cannot be a good sign because the fuel would be going somewhere.
posted by polyglot at 11:17 PM on December 26, 2010


Except for a few videos, there is no mention of the crash or its aftermath in any news sites or in Wikipedia.

Here's a teeny, tiny bit.
posted by mreleganza at 8:48 AM on December 28, 2010


« Older Elizabeth Beresford MBE, creator of the Wombles, h...  |  This is Bull of Frost (Chys Kh... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments