2 July 2013, the Proton-M launch vehicle crashed. Russia as a space power suffered a huge reputational damage, material losses amounted to six billion rubles. This was stated at the beginning of August at a meeting in the Government House of the Russian Federation chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. We publish in the reduction of expert speeches.
No military acceptance
The launch of the Proton-M launch vehicle No. 53543 with the 11 accelerating unit 86103 No. 2l, the Glonass-M spacecraft unit No. 47 was performed on July 2 in 5 38 minutes 21 minutes of Moscow standard time from the launch complex 8ppnppNppXNppXNppXNppXNppXNppXNpp 882) Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch ended with a crash of a space rocket on the 24 second flight.
The destruction of the structure and the fall of the components occurred outside the launch complex. There are no victims and destructions. At the site of the fall, a crater measuring 40x25 meters in size and up to five meters deep was formed. Recorded vegetation ignition on an area of about five hectares. Local contamination detected by residues of propellant components. Measures to eliminate the consequences of the accident and environmental monitoring were carried out by Russian and Kazakhstani specialists. Selected samples of air, soil and water showed the absence of exceeding the allowable standards for the concentration of rocket fuel components (КРТ) and its destruction products. Work on detoxification of pollution will be continued until the necessary reduction in the content of MCT.
In order to clarify the causes of the accident, an interdepartmental commission was formed by decision of Roskosmos and the Ministry of Defense 2 July. It consisted of representatives of Roskosmos, the Armed Forces of the East Kazakhstan region, the leading research organizations of the rocket and space industry, and the Ministry of Defense of Russia. The commission carried out a comprehensive analysis of the design, technological and operational documentation of the Proton-M launch vehicle, and studied in detail the telemetric, trajectory photo and video information obtained during the launch. The process of manufacturing and testing the launch vehicle and its components at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and at the enterprises of cooperation is considered. The issues of transportation, storage, product preparation on the technical and launch complexes are analyzed. The material part found after the accident was investigated, a number of experiments and tests were carried out.
It has been established that the Proton-M launch vehicle was manufactured under the state contract of March 20 between the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center under the federal target program Global Navigation System. The rocket was assembled, completed and tested with positive results. At the same time, 2010 was allowed to deviate from the design and technological documentation issued by the respective cards. Preparation of components on technical complexes, neutralization filling stations, launch complex was carried out in accordance with the operational documentation. Violations of technological discipline during the preparation was not revealed. The quality of propellant components met the requirements. Weather data and electromagnetic environment at the time of launch is normal. Pre-start charging of the basic oxidizer of the fuel propulsion systems of the first, second and third stages, switching to on-board power according to the start-up cyclogram.
The launch and start of operation of the propulsion system of the first stage went smoothly. The engines operated stably until the rocket fell. The control system acted as planned. The contact lift signal was formed from the gearbox prior to the actual launch of the launch vehicle from the starter supports, approximately 0,4 seconds before the estimated time.
After 6,8 seconds from the signal from the gearbox, a sharp increase in the values of the control actions on the 1, 3, 4, 6 th steering engines and their rotation to the maximum permissible angles began to be observed. The steering wheels of steering gears on the yaw channel reached maximum values (7,5 degrees). Formation of signs of exceeding the limiting values of the angles was recorded. Perturbations along the channel of yaw were not parried by automatic stabilization. As a result, the command “Rocket carrier crash” was formed on 12,733 seconds from the KP signal.
The analysis showed that the unstable divergent process observed from the beginning of the flight in terms of motion parameters in the yaw channel is associated with the freelance operation of three angular velocity sensors (PV-301). The signal of these sensors had a sign opposite to the angular velocity of the launch vehicle through this channel. That is, it did not correspond to the actual movement of the launch vehicle.
To establish the reasons for the sensor malfunction, the commission analyzed the technological documentation, the manufacturing process, installation and testing of PV-301 devices at manufacturers, in particular, in the Saratov branch of the federal state unitary enterprise Scientific and Production Center for Automation and Instrumentation named after Academician N. A. Pilyugina "- production association" Korpus "(FL FSUE" NPTSAP "-" ON "KORPUS"), which sent a group of specialists. The audit showed that the installation of the PV-301 is made in the tail section of the second stage of the launch vehicle on the bracket in accordance with the technological process. But the documentation does not regulate the control actions to determine the direction of installation of the device other than visual inspection. Each device is mounted on four pins.
There are drawbacks of the installation process. There is no visual information about the installation of the device on the bracket. If the pin does not match with the holes for it, the process is not controlled, including not looking for the direction of the arrows on the upper surface of the housing, which determine the correct position of the device on the bracket. It is possible to install the device with a rotation of 180 degrees. The experiment confirmed this in the same way as the tight fit (after tightening the nuts) of the device to the surface of the bracket. Connecting standard cables to an improperly mounted device does not cause strong reverse resistance of the cable barrel and cable cores.
On the site of the fall of the rocket, a search was organized for the hardware of devices PV-301. The commission found that on the mating surfaces of three of the six PV-301 devices there are characteristic traces of force. All this confirmed the fact that the three PV-301 devices were incorrectly installed on the Proton-M launch vehicle.
Findings. The reason for the emergency start-up is the incorrect installation of the angular velocity sensor along the yaw channel, made at the enterprise of Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The applied methods and methods of control during ground preparation and testing, the operating design, technological and operational documentation do not allow detecting the incorrect installation of the PV-301 sensors on the launch vehicle. The commission proposed Tekhnomash to develop a list of recommendations for the manufacture of rocket and space technology products requiring photo and video registration, and to adjust the corresponding GOST. The Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center together with the cooperation enterprises should develop an action plan to verify the existing backlog of Proton-M missiles.
To the leading enterprises - developers, manufacturers of the product - to analyze the completeness and sufficiency of the existing lists of critical elements and especially important operations, including those removed from control by the military missions of the Ministry of Defense. The Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center together with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “NPTSAP” FL - “KORPUS” software will change the design of the PV-301 instrument case and the bracket in order to prevent their incorrect installation. Enter the photo and video recording of the device installation on the bracket, as well as the docking of the onboard cable network connectors. Together with the VP of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to clarify the list and procedure for monitoring particularly important operations in the manufacture and testing of rocket and space technology products.
Prior to 2010, the installation of the PF-301 was carried out under the control of military acceptance. Today it is not. Installation performs worker site. The master checks his work, and a representative of the Quality Control Department controls both and makes an entry in the appropriate log. The names of these officials have been established, but they do not admit their guilt, claiming that they all performed in accordance with previous technological maps. However, the commission unequivocally established that the fact of an incorrect installation was. The angular velocity sensors turned rotated 180 degrees. The worker who performed this operation is a young graduate of a technical college.
Deputy Head of Roskosmos, Co-Chairman of the State Commission
The reasons are ambiguous.
The PV-301 devices appeared for the first time on the Proton-M rocket. They showed their reliability. At present, the Saratov enterprise has already released over 70 of such kits.
A feature of the launch of the rocket was that the lift contact, which is essentially a launch command, is fixed to 0,4 seconds earlier. But the reason for the appearance of this contact is not clearly identified. Additional analysis, including individual elements and units of the launcher. We believe that the appearance of this premature launch team is not the cause of the accident. When re-polling engine controllers, when they had already entered the main thrust mode, this command was removed and the launch could have been completed without unpleasant consequences, as shown by an experiment on a simulator bench.
At the same time, there is a certain increase in the pitch angle in the pitch channel in connection with the development of the evasion program for the launcher, but there is a very good agreement between the readings of the angular velocity sensors in pitch and the readings that were taken off with a gyro-stabilized platform. All checks related to the installation and operation of the PV-310 device after its manufacture at the factory, then come down only to testing its electrical work without finding out and determining the polarity. That is, technically there are no means that would allow to physically create the working conditions of this device in flight, which is associated with serious material costs. Our experiment to install the device showed that you can push the pins into the body of the bracket and put the devices incorrectly. The prints of these pins are clearly visible on the instruments that were delivered from the fallen rocket. This operation was carried out with violations of technology. There are comments on constructive. The four holes for the studs on which this device is placed are made on a square, which in principle makes it possible to turn it into 180 degrees. So, the so-called protection, which should be incorporated in the design documentation, is not fully provided.
Launch vehicle "Proton-M" in 2001 year entered the stage of flight tests. This is a modernized rocket with improved characteristics, which uses a digital control system, forced engines, advanced telemetry, a number of aggregates of composite materials. It was generally launched 74 times and had only two emergency starts, including the current one. The direct dependence of emergency launches with the number of permission cards was not revealed. One of the most serious reasons that led to a decline in the quality of work is the removal from control of military acceptance bodies, the decline in the functions performed by it. In the same State Research and Production Space Center named after MV Khrunichev, in 1994, 238 people worked in military acceptance, of which 82 was an officer. Today, VP consists of 10 officers and 39 civilians. 82 percent of operations that were previously controlled by the EAP on the Proton-M rocket are today outside its area of responsibility. It is possible to argue, but the practice of not only Soviet, but also the initial Russian one shows that the EAP is an effective tool in the implementation of independent control. Now it is decided to restore the military acceptance. First of all, it must be revived precisely in such enterprises.
As for the quality control personnel, today the number of those who have been working for only two to four years, and those who are already far behind 60 years, is growing. This suggests that the middle link of the most qualified specialists (due to certain events of the 90-s) was washed out and did not recover. The problems of professional training, which are related to the fact that the system of vocational schools in the country has been transferred to the level of municipal departments that are not concerned with these issues, remain acute.
independent expert team leader
In my opinion, the main fault of all that happened, lies on the designers and technical staff. The first did not provide for the incorrect installation of three sensors of angular velocity. But only they knew that this sensor on the launching table was no longer checked. To do this, the rocket itself would have to tilt. The second reason is technological. There is no fixed place for the installation of devices. They can be installed as part of one rocket stage, or when it has already been assembled as a whole. Check the installation is very difficult. Thus, the combination of these two causes led to an error, which turned into an accident.
When I talked with the worker and the master who installed the sensor, they said that they could not imagine what the consequences could be. This indicates a lack of human resources at the plant. The company has a low salary, one of the smallest in the industry - about 40 thousand rubles. Part of the problem is related to the fact that at one time in the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center they decided to concentrate about 40 percent of the Roscosmos industry. It turned out that the center's management ceased to be engaged in its main platform and pulled out the enterprises that had entered the center from the pre-bankruptcy state. As a result, product quality control was weakened.
To remedy the situation, a whole series of tough personnel, organizational, technological, and other measures are taken. The status of deputy managers in quality has been increased at the enterprises of the industry. For federal launch programs, we will create directorates for interaction with the customer, support for manufacturing products that have long been active in commercial launches. Programs have been developed to re-equip production facilities and introduce automated quality control systems. Together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, measures are being implemented to provide rocket and space technology with a promising electronic component base. Created additional working groups for the verification of spacecraft, the launch of which is planned. Measures are being taken to restore military missions. All this should give the appropriate result.
Head of Roscosmos
We are discussing a resonant accident that residents of the Russian Federation and other countries of the world saw on the air. We have not had such an accident for a long time, actually at the start of a spacecraft. Therefore, the versions we are considering can only be based on facts. But in general, this is a serious reason to hold a discussion on the further development of the rocket and space industry. Moreover, by the decision of the President, we have created another commission that should determine the configuration of the rocket and space industry and its relations with the Federal Space Agency. This work goes in parallel, so many issues will have to be considered simultaneously.
Discussing the accident with Proton-M, we are forced to return to the eternal questions of Russian literature: “Who is to blame?” And “What to do?”. Let's decide.
The first. The state commission identified the technical cause of the accident: incorrect installation of the angular velocity sensors. It is necessary to answer the question: why in the production of a standard serial rocket - products with a proven manufacturing technology made it possible to incorrectly install these systems? Why it is not revealed in advance and not eliminated?
The second. The whole process - from development to rocket manufacturing - is strictly regulated. Why did so ridiculous technical errors become possible? The reason for this is the lack of technical discipline, sometimes criminal negligence of officials, formal, superficial measures taken by the Federal Space Agency to ensure the quality of mass-produced products, the absence of material and administrative responsibility of enterprises and specific managers for the results of their activities.
Third. We analyze a large-scale accident, but it is not clear who is to blame. Abstract constructors, abstract technologists, some switchmen who say that they have nothing to do with it, and that they do not remember well. And what is offered in return? Install photo and video recorders. Well, find out who allowed this marriage. Then there is another explanation: staff turnover, underfunding, low wages. And then what? We need to solve problems, and not sprinkle ashes on our heads. We have offensive, annoying failures against the background of generally serious and large-scale measures that are being taken by the country's leadership to raise the military-industrial complex in general and the rocket and space industry in particular. Huge money is being channeled into these areas, but the measures taken by Roskosmos to ensure the quality and reliability of the produced equipment did not lead to the expected result. In connection with the Proton-M accident, they ruined six billion rubles. In essence, they damaged the reputation of the rocket and space industry and the Russian industry as a whole. After all, space exploration, achievements in this area are always a matter of the country's prestige. All with great attention (from grandparents to the younger generation) watched these achievements, were proud of them. And now?
In explaining the reasons, they say, there have always been accidents: both in the times of Sergei Korolev and after it. This is true, but again I want to emphasize: “Proton-M” is a regular rocket. How many times already she flew with us. Yuri Nikolaevich Koptev spoke about this. In various versions: in a two-stage version - 1965 year - four starts (one of them is emergency), 1967 – 2012 years - 310 starts of the “Proton-K” type (21 of them is emergency). In general, 388 starts. The figures confirm the fact that this is a full-time rocket. There was nothing unusual in the last launch. The product is created according to the design documentation, which has long been developed. But now it turns out: it turns out that with the help of someone's mother and a sledgehammer, it is possible to spice up such an important unit of the control system upside down. It means that the directors of the American film “Armageddon” are right when they showed our cosmonaut Andropov, who flies in a spaceship in a hat with a earflap and corrects malfunctions with a hammer. So today, in fact, with the help of a hammer, we put the product in place.
Since December 2010, we have already had nine accidents. And the most part when launching state-owned spacecraft is six accidents. This raises questions about why launches, which are carried out in the interests of government customers, as a rule, do not have serious insurance. Perhaps this fact will also have an impact on the responsible organizations for the results of the launches?
We discussed this issue with the Prime Minister. The decision was made - there can be no launches without insurance. This is nonsense. Insurance should be at the expense of the customer (commercial, state - no matter what) and be included in the total cost of the launch. Is it really incomprehensible? One billion 200 million rubles worth GLONASS satellite. Three have burned down. But this is the most important navigation system - the basis of the sovereignty and security of Russia. And now we are sitting, thinking: when and how will we fill this space group?
Video cameras can, of course, be installed anywhere, at least in every workroom. But, maybe, we still need other solutions - more serious, systemic, global. The problem is actually in the system of established relations within the industry. The number of unsuccessful launches over the past two and a half years convincingly says that the causes of accidents are much deeper. They are systemic in nature and require not only organizational and technical measures, but also structural transformations of industry, federal bodies that are responsible for implementing the space program, the whole system of their interaction.
Findings. The first. Among the managers of the space industry there are no specialists with experience in strategic planning and production management of technical services and rocket and space technology, including in the field of its reliability.
The second. The functions of the customer, manufacturer and curator of space systems have not yet been separated. Also, the main political objectives of the space industry are not defined. What do we want from her in general, what tasks - global, political, pragmatic - are we setting ourselves. There are many papers, including those that have passed through the government’s filter, but there is little confusion.
Third. Every time when forming space programs, you have to ask yourself the question: why? Everyone says that manned space flight is needed. But why? Who and what else we have to prove. What can keep our astronauts in orbit indefinitely? Proved. Then what? In fact, the Federal Space Agency has withdrawn from such an important task as stimulating demand in the domestic market for space services. As if it is only responsible for the launches. Who projects at least the organization of interaction between federal executive bodies and specific structures in the market so that people can take full advantage of these services? But this is the remote sensing of the Earth, and navigation, and communications, and much more.
Fourth. Weakly formed scientific and technical groundwork. Do you know how many scientific papers in the United States are devoted to rocket and space technology from 2007 to 2011 a year? 716. In the European Union - 658. We have 139. But we are a global space power, which launched the first satellite, the first cosmonaut. But our groundwork will in fact soon be exhausted.
The fifth. The industry is poorly managed. Salary is low. But it will be low if we have a huge number of enterprises doing the same thing: in fact, in parallel, simultaneously working on the implementation of similar tasks. How many enterprises produce satellites - 10. In the US - four, in China - two. At the same time, they have a resource that does not compete with foreign ones.
The sixth. There is no uniform technical policy in space production. Practically all enterprises are, figuratively speaking, natural farming. They are poorly equipped with modern equipment, have poor applied software. The issues of material liability of enterprises, managers for the results of their vigorous activity have not been resolved.
So, if we summarize the conversation and briefly name the causes of the accident, then this is inefficient management, excess capacity, a muddy understanding of the goals of space activities and, moreover, the conditions for the functioning of the industry. At the highest level, we need to think about the issue of combining space and aviation industry. To this end, a commission is already beginning to work, which should lay down the configuration of the rocket and space industry. I consider the idea of discussing the issue of combining the rights of a single technical policy, all that is being done both in the space industry and in the aviation industry, in demand. Moreover, in aviation the ceiling of opportunities is now expanding. Aircraft may appear, operating both in near space and in airspace. We must use this chance. The second such opportunity will not be presented. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the geography of responsibility of the new integrated space and rocket corporation. And the last one. The State Commission is obliged not only to reveal the technical causes of the accident, but also to submit an opinion on the guilt and responsibility of officials of industrial enterprises, representatives of the Space Agency. Consider the issue of financial loss. I hope that the prosecutor’s check will be aimed at this.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation