Soyuz fails to deliver 19 satellites from new spaceport Vostochny Cosmodrome

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Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Jan 31, 2009
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In the early afternoon Moscow Time, the Interfax news agency reported that preliminary data had indicated that a human error in the pre-programmed flight sequence could have placed the Fregat upper stage into wrong orientation during its first maneuver, sending the space tug and its payloads into the Atlantic Ocean...

All of this work and a single human error made it all nothing more than very expensive, submerged garbage. At least some interesting videos were left behind.:



I am sure that the Soyuz booster is very reliable, but it seems that Russia often has trouble with the Soyuz upper stage especially when they try orbital changes. This time it was human programming errors for the upper stage.
This week’s failed Russian rocket had a pretty bad programming error
The Fregat upper stage sent its satellites back into Earth's atmosphere
30 Nov 2017

According to normally reliable Russian Space Web, a programming error caused the Fregat upper stage, which is the spacecraft on top of the rocket that deploys satellites, to be unable to orient itself. Specifically, the site reports, the Fregat's flight control system did not have the correct settings for a mission launching from the country's new Vostochny cosmodrome. It evidently was still programmed for Baikonur, or one of Russia's other spaceports capable of launching the workhorse Soyuz vehicle.

Essentially, then, after the Fregat vehicle separated from the Soyuz rocket, it was unable to find its correct orientation. Therefore, when the Fregat first fired its engines to boost the satellites into orbit, it was still trying to correct this orientation—and was in fact aimed downward toward Earth. This set the spacecraft on its fatal trajectory into the planet's atmosphere.

They probably mixed up units, like using meters instead of feet. They should just switch to the more reliable FFF system (furlong, firkin, fortnight).

For those of you who are a bit rusty on conversions: