Sea Launch failure cause confirmed: it was the steering pressurisation pump

by | Apr 30, 2013 | commercial launch services | 0 comments

The Zenit 3-SL (Sea Launch) launch failure which caused the total loss of the Intelsat 27 communications satellite was caused by a fault in the rocket’s steering system.  A failure investigation, whose conclusions were confirmed by a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB), found that first stage hydraulic power supply unit (BIM) used to pressurize the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators had failed approximately 3.9 seconds into the flight.  This was due to abnormal performance of the pump whose function is to pressurize the hydraulic oil supplied to the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators.

The pump failure was described to be “the result of contributing factors associated with a pump manufacturing process that proved difficult to control.” The launch failure resulted in payout for  insurance loss of $406 million.  Corrective actions are now being implemented to allow the Zenit 3-SL (Sea Launch) to return to operation on behalf of the launch provider Sea Launch.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Commercial glee at launch progress

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Fantasy and reality

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Far from the warmth of the Sun

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

A COTS phase one space act agreement, going once, going twice…

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

COTS: The Movie(s)

NASA has produced two CGI movies of a Space Exploration Technologies and an Orbital Sciences commercial orbital transportation service demonstration Read more

IAC 2008: VIDEO – SpaceX Falcon 1 Flight Four UK press conference

Today, 1 October, Space Exploration Technologies' vice president business development Gwynne Shotwell gave a press conference about the fourth and Read more

Congress holds out prospect of NASA using ATV and HTV

In its NASA authorisation act 2008 the US Congress has directed the space agency's administrator to produce an ISS resupply Read more

EXCLUSIVE: Virgin Galactic unveils LauncherOne name!

Following Flightglobal's exclusive regarding Virgin Galactic's discussions with potential developers of an unmanned satellite booster that could be air launched Read more

Categories

Archives