Questions tagged [failure]

Questions regarding missions or parts of missions which were not successful.

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1answer
117 views

Missions failed before launch

The Falcon 9 - Amos-6 - mission in 3 September 2016 failed before launch - the rocket exploded during the static fire test. Some lists contain such missions but others don't - like for example ...
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What specific device failed, causing engine #4 in the Core Stage Green Run to report a Failure Identification?

(See this Q&A for context if needed: What is a "Major Component Failure" referred to in news reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test firing?) In the post-test ...
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What is a “Major Component Failure” referred to in news reports about the unsuccessful Space Launch System core stage test firing?

In reporting about the unsuccessful green run of the SLS core stage, Ars Technica mentions About 50 seconds into what was supposed to be an 8-minute test firing, the flight control center called out, ...
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Why did Columbia disintegrate lower into the atmosphere, not during its peak heat phase?

Space Shuttle Columbia entered a period of peak heating at 46 mi (74 km) altitude. Before the contact got broken, the temperature on Columbia's wing leading-edges had sunk already (and the heat shield ...
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Does the Proton-M have a launch termination system?

I was under the assumption that, in contrast to the oft-repeated "oh, those Russians", Protons actually do have launch termination systems which can be used to destroy the vehicle, akin to ...
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What are the “18 rescue missions” on Apollo 11, and which 10 of them did Michael Collins not feel comfortable with?

Regarding this tweet from the man himself. I take it to mean abort modes in some form or other for the entire mission? Perhaps just after LM descent? What are the 18 failure modes, and (if there's any ...
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Do the SpaceX Falcon-9 rockets use foam insulation similar to the Space Shuttle? Is it still a potential problem?

The Space Shuttle used polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foams for insulation. A chunk of foam breaking off during launch resulted in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Do all chemically-fueled ...
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Why do RS-68s suffer ignition failures?

NROL-44 failed to be in space for yet one more night last night, this time because of an automated hotfire abort triggered when one of the outboard (iirc) engines on the Delta IV Heavy failed to ...
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Has a probe ever been lost due to folding its antenna, making it unable to communicate?

I remember hearing the story of a probe on the surface of a planet (maybe Venus) that was lost due to an incredible design flaw, and I'm looking for more details. The probe had a dish antenna, and ...
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Was there a backup plan in case the Shuttle toilet malfunctioned?

What was the plan in case the Space Shuttle toilet malfunctioned? How were the astronauts expected to then handle their waste? Did they carry Apollo-style fecal collection assemblies (poop bags)? ...
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What were the space shuttle’s emergency procedures for an SRB or ET separation failure?

The space shuttle, like most launch vehicles, was a multistage vehicle (albeit one where the various stages were mostly stuck to the sides of each other rather than being stacked vertically), reducing ...
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What happened during this shuttle simulation malfunction involving a failure of a shuttle arm joint while moving the JEF?

This author (cough) begins to relate the details of a particular training incident during simulations for STS-127. However, they very sadly have not finished the tale. Does anybody (cough cough) know ...
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Are there examples of errors caused by the use of two English units?

The Mars Climate Orbiter was infamously lost because of software which used metric units in some places and U.S. Customary units in other places, without conversion factors. The incident is discussed ...
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Challenger hypothetical - what if the SRB breach faced outboard?

Slightly different Challenger question - what could have happened if the SRB breach had faced outboard, away from any attachment fittings or the ET? Would the SRB have failed completely prior to ...
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How does “space weather” cause reaction wheel failure?

Failure of reaction wheels often causes premature mission ending or failure to achieve the goal because spacecrafts are no longer able to maintain orientation and have to rely on chemical propellants. ...
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Details on the single points of failure in the JWST?

This report to congress says: Finally, nine of the 50 risks currently tracked by the project are related to the more than 300 single points of failure aboard the observatory Being a report for ...
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Will Ariane 5 ECA have LES for the launch of JWST?

Ariane 5 rocket is contracted to launch JWST. This rocket has approximately one failure out of every fifty launches (excluding minor failure). JWST has already taken many years and it is next ...
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Could DOD earth observation (i.e. spy) satellites have photographed the Columbia Orbiter on STS-107?

I read in an (unknown) aircraft accident investigation book that NASA engineers wanted to use DOD earth observation satellites to check for damage on the Columbia Orbiter during STS-107. This did not ...
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Have any satellites been lost or damaged on their way to the launch site (ground/sea transport)?

On our sister site Travel Stack Exchange, someone asked about carrying a cubesat on a plane in hand luggage and is worried about damage or loss (or not being allowed on the plane). Several answers ...
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Looking for a document that describes SSME test failures

At some point in the last 5 years I put together this matrix of Space Shuttle Main Engine test failures. The last 6 columns are documents which describe some of the incidents in more or less detail. ...
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What is the farthest distance a failed rocket has landed from its launch site?

What is the greatest distance from its launch site that a failed rocket (or its debris) has landed? Failures only. This excludes surface-to-surface or surface-to-air missiles, which are intended to ...
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What is it about parachutes that makes people always want to “re-invent the wheel”?

For technology that involves complex engineering issues, standardization and specialization is extremely helpful. If I want to design a complex ASIC IC I don't design it from scratch, I just drag-and-...
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Are all of these tweeted examples of spaceflight failures US failures?

This verified tweet from MJ Azari Jahromi, ICT Minister of Iran, found in Livescience's Iran satellite launch fails to reach orbit says: Today "Zafar" satellite launch failed. Like many ...
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Mars mission success rate vs. outer planets success rate

I've heard discussion of the Mars Curse, with the very high failure rate of missions to the planet. Comparing NASA Mars missions to NASA outer solar system missions since the beginnings of the 1970's ...
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Are more details about the fatal rocket motor accident at Cape Canaveral in April 1964 available?

The 1966 book The Life and Death of a Satellite by Alfred Bester contains an account of a accidental ignition of a third-stage solid rocket motor in a Delta rocket spin test facility at the Cape which ...
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What (if anything) could have caused all three shuttle main engines to stop at the same time?

From my previous question, you'd have a bad time if it happened. What could cause it to happen, if anything? My parameters are: The engines must STOP, but not destroy the vehicle simply by having ...
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Would spacecraft rot or degrade over time faster on Mars, on The Moon, or in space?

One question I really wanna ask; do spaceship's rot? If they do degrade, does being on Mars, on The Moon, or in space increase the rotting speed of the spaceship? If so, in which environment would ...
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How did salt prevent Akatsuki's insertion burn?

I was reading about Akatsuki and how it failed its insertion burn to Venus orbit. In the source I was reading, it was mentioned that: At a press conference on 10 December, officials reported that ...
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Did “lock the doors” for the Challenger incident also apply to KSC?

The answers to this question explain that "lock the doors" is part of the standard NASA procedure when an accident occurs. Securing the mission control center helps preserve evidence that will be ...
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How many ICBMs could have been successfully launched? [closed]

Did the United States or USSR ever publicly state their estimates for what percentage of their ICBM fleets would launch successfully when the president gave the order? Answers to this question suggest ...
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Did the cold temperature of the lunar south pole cause Chandrayaan-2's on board electronics to fail?

Chandrayaan-2's lander Vikram was performing nominally during descent until about 2 km before landing, but then suddenly the communication was lost. Did cold temperature of the lunar south pole cause ...
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Two consecutive high profile Moon landings fail, any common threads?

For the second time in a few months, we have seen a Moon landing fail at the last moment as computer communications failed. The Beresheet failure is well addressed here; did a similar thing happen ...
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Why would low pump inlet pressure result in such a spectacular explosion? (Vanguard TV3)

In the short US Naval Research Laboratory video Vanguard 60th Anniversary: A Look Back at about 03:46, Mr. Alton E. Jones says: Most people are curious about as to ...
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Who put their spacesuit boots on the wrong feet?

Was just reading Mike Massimino's memoir Spaceman and came across this fascinating line: Another time a spacewalker - and this is a true story - accidentally put his right boot on his left foot ...
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How would a situation where rescue is impossible be handled by ground staff?

The President of the United States famously had a speech prepared for the eventuality of the Apollo 11 crew getting stuck on the moon and unable to be rescued. What plans have been made for how a ...
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How would a situation where rescue is impossible be handled by the crew?

The President of the United States famously had a speech prepared for the eventuality of the Apollo 11 crew getting stuck on the moon and unable to be rescued. What plans have been made for how a ...
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How would a situation where rescue is impossible be handled? [closed]

The President of the United States famously had a speech prepared for the eventuality of the Apollo 11 crew getting stuck on the moon and unable to be rescued. What other plans for similar situations,...
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During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
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What would happen if one Ariane V SRB did not ignite properly? (there may be no lock-down mechanism)

The excellent answers to What are these circular spots on these Ariane V SRB nozzles? tend to indicate that unlike the IV, the Ariane V simply rests on two flat surfaces under the SRBs at launch time, ...
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Are second stage RUDs less common than first stage ones?

When I'm watching SpaceX launches, my biggest concern is to avoid a big boom. Specifically, an explosion that would threaten the astronauts who will eventually ride the Falcon 9. So around stage ...
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How often were Space Shuttle launches scrubbed?

Reading Mike Mullane's book, Riding Rockets, it seems like shuttle flights were scrubbed, more often than not, during countdown after the crew had boarded, due to some sort of systems failure or ...
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Why was Bluegill Prime range-safetied on the launchpad?

Bluegill Prime1 was a planned launch of a nuclear weapon into space on a suborbital Thor missile and its (the nuke’s) ensuing detonation in space as part of Operation Fishbowl (a series of U.S. ...
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Was launch pad 110R ever used again after being obliterated on 3 July 1969?

A few weeks before the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Soviets attempted the second unmanned launch of their own lunar launch vehicle, the N1. This occurred at pad 110R (also called 110/38) of the ...
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What happened to the Apollo 1 rocket?

On January 27, 1967, a tragic fire killed the crew of Apollo 1 and destroyed the Command Module. I've read detailed reports about the engineering team that disassembled the Command Module. I haven't ...
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Did the Falcon Heavy center core miss the drone ship or abort?

On the recent Space Test Program-2 Falcon Heavy launch, the center core crashed into the ocean. Unlike the test flight, however, it was not due to running out of TEA-TEB lighter fluid. From the video ...
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Why did Salyut 7 go completely dead when its solar-array-pointing system failed?

According to Wikipedia, when Salyut 7's solar-array-pointing system failed in 1985, its batteries were rendered unable to charge, and the station almost immediately went completely dead: The first ...
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Is the cause of the Phobos-2 probe failure definitively known?

In 1987 the ambitious Soviet probe Phobos (Fobos)-2 made it to Martian orbit and started transmitting data. The Planetary Society Phobos-2 page shows all 38 images received over a period of about a ...
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“LVLH” on Challenger's cockpit voice recording: What was that switch for?

Veteran astronaut and mission specialist Judy Resnick was tragically killed in the Challenger disaster. Her last recorded words aboard Challenger regarded scanning for "LVLH" (low-vertical/low-...
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What barge height limit warning sign is Scott Manley describing? (Falcon Heavy core fell into ocean)

In the beginning of Scott Manley's new video The First Commercial Lunar Spacecraft - 20 Years before Israel & Beresheet he takes a moment to talk about recent Falcon Heavy core falling off the ...
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What went wrong during SpX-DM1

Several times since SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-1 Mission, I have seen allusions to a minor fault. For example, a recent article about a comparable product mentions that After its largely successful ...