Fault revealed which “toasted” 10 satellites during Soyuz-Fregat launch

by | Mar 12, 2018 | Launches, Satellites, Soyuz

Space News (Debra Werner) has reported confirmation of an insurance loss for two Corvus BC satellites, which were to be part of the Landmapper constellation of Earth observing satellites. The satellite pair was damaged during the Soyuz launch in July 2017. A payout has been made by the aerospace underwriting firm, Starr Aviation, according to the report. Seradata has previously understood that the satellites were insured for US$1 million each.

The damage effectively ended the lives of 10 small satellites carried on the Soyuz flight. Space News also reported that while Glavkosmos would not formally admit that the launch was at fault, telemetry supplied by the Russian launch provider showed that one of two attitude control thrusters on the Fregat upper stage failed to fire. Instead it pumped out hydrazine, which exploded when the second thruster fired. It was this explosion and the subsequent ingestion by the satellites of the products of this explosion that ended their lives.

Comment by David Todd: We and other space analysts have laid the blame for this event on the launch vehicle. Astrophysicist and space watcher Jonathan McDowell put it most succinctly when he wrote in his Jonathan’s Space Report column: “I consider that in a successful launch there is an at least implicit responsibility of the launch provider not to toast the payloads during ascent.”

Fregat upper stage on its way to do deliveries. Courtesy: Glavkosmos via Space News

About Seradata

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

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochina25virgin galacticFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 5falcon 9ULARoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekaressoyuzIGTInternational Space StationBeidouawardsspaceStarlinkBlue OriginSatellite broadcastingRocket LabrussiamoonISROAirbus DSCargo Return VehicleboeingmarsblogresearchOneWebspaceshiptwoorionjaxaimpacthyperboladelaymarsEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegabarack obamaconstellationSEStourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightnode 2fundedRaymond LygoIntelsat2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiomissilesuborbitaldocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbittestinternetChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5Northrop GrummanSLSLong March 2D/2sts-1222010space tourismgalileoflightnewspapermissile defensecotsspaceportExpress AMU 1Long March 4CElectronbuildspace stationaltairinternational astronautical congresssoyuz 2-1ashuttleProton MEuropean Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosIntelsat 23scaled compositesrulesspace shuttlenew yorkhanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhouAriane 6congressMojaveboldenLong March 2COrbital ATKnew shepardInmarsatGuiana Space Centeriaccneslunar landerksclawsSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BILSUS Air ForceprotonTalulah RileyApollodarpaFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Kuaizhou 1AVega CSkylonAstriumeupicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatNorth KoreaSSLElectron KSAprilSNC50thinterviewfalconSea LaunchLong MarchWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor