Friday, May 2, 2008

Oberg: Portents of Soyuz

A sobering summary of the Soyuz Incident, April 19:

James Oberg

Special to While public attention remains focused on the unraveling drama of the emergency spacecraft landing on April 19, and how close to death the crew actually came, space engineers in Russia and the United States are already looking ahead.

Their concern now must be what to do regarding space hardware and procedures already built, or being completed, that may have hitherto unrecognized hazards - and what can be done to improve the odds for future space crews who gamble with their lives on every mission.

That task has just been made significantly more difficult by Moscow space officials who have essentially prejudged the results of the incident investigation that is just now starting. They have declared, at the highest level in the Russian Space Agency and not for the first time, that allegations against the reliability of their space hardware are part of a deliberate foreign campaign to scare away cash-paying customers of their space services.

Meanwhile, the landing of Soyuz TMA-11 with Russian pilot Yuri Malenchenko, NASA space station commander Dr. Peggy Whitson, and South Korean spaceflight participant Yi So-Yeon, is looking more and more scary.
Read more HERE.

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