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Government Space The Military Science

Russia Launches, Loses, Finds Military Satellite 88

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the found-in-sofa-cushions dept.
eldavojohn writes "According to Interfax reports, a GEO-IK-2 spacecraft launched yesterday from Plesetsk went missing hours after launch. Its intended purpose is to measure specific curvature of the Earth to aid Russia's military in building excellent 3D maps. Early today, Russia announced that they found it, but unfortunately it's in the wrong orbit. China's state media called the launch 'successful.' Reuters reminds us of a GLONASS mishap, which resulted in Medvedev firing two top space officials."
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Russia Launches, Loses, Finds Military Satellite

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  • In *old* Soviet Russia, satellite find you.

    • by Journe (1493651)

      In *old* Soviet Russia, satellite find you.

      That's what ol' Ebenezer MCoy said, too...

  • Maybe the CHP will give it a ticket.
  • Not another imperial / metric mess up of units?

  • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @09:38AM (#35079328)

    FTFA:

    The incident follows the loss of three GLONASS navigation satellites that crashed into the sea in December provoking outrage from the Kremlin, which is trying to build Russian technological independence.

    Ironic, coming from the country that launched the first artificial satellite.

    • So... did someone else launch a natural satellite?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not only that, but the first man in orbit, first woman in orbit, space rendez-vous, first pictures of the dark side of the moon, first automated sample return from the moon, etc... Venus probes, you name it. I like Russians.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Here's a picture of the dark side of the moon [photobucket.com] .

      • by guruevi (827432)

        The Russians did a lot of space exploring. Too bad the Soviet Union was run the way it was. If it had been more democratic or a more social form of communism it would've still been kicking the US'es butt. The only extraordinary thing the US did accomplish in it's space program was put a man on the moon first but then it kinda petered off into a more corporate weapon-based space program vs. the nationalistic science-based space program of the USSR. The USSR was first in a lot of things including going bankru

        • Not just uncontrolled spending, but an economic model that didn't allow them to make enough money to be able to afford it
        • by sznupi (719324)
          At least it had the decency to notice going bankrupt and folding down, instead of going on spending frenzy and trying to keep the rest of the world from minding it too much...

          Who knows what we would have if some ignorant Soviet generals didn't insist on matching (nonexistent) "strategic advantage" given by STS (one might wonder if that wasn't the main point of the Shuttle, to provoke the Soviets into massive pointless spending on "counterpart" program; but in that case - why was it allowed to suck NASA d
      • by jittles (1613415)

        Not only that, but the first... pictures of the dark side of the moon

        I thought that Pink Floyd was a British group... are you saying they worked for the Russians?

      • From the wikipedia. "
        First successful rendezvous
        Gemini 7 photographed from Gemini 6 in 1965
        Rendezvous was first successfully accomplished by US astronaut Wally Schirra on December 15, 1965, who maneuvered the Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of its sister craft Gemini 7. The spacecraft were not equipped to dock with each other, but maintained station-keeping for more than 20 minutes. Schirra later commented:
        "Somebody said ... when you come to within three miles (5 km), you've rendezvoused. If anyb

    • by sznupi (719324)
      Probably mostly an "interpretation" added by "reporting"...

      And the partial failure is of Rockot. Considering those launch vehicles are basically inexpensive, surplus, repurposed ICBMs - they still have quite decent success ratio.
    • by Zorpheus (857617)
      That can onlybe about the independence from the GPS system.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      But makes sense for a country that is trying to get European nations to pay to clean up Chernobyl. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12335595 [bbc.co.uk]

    • Ironic, coming from the country that launched the first artificial satellite.

      The country that launched the first artificial satellite doesn't exist anymore.

      (as a point of comparison, USSR at the time of dissolution had a population of ~290 million; Russia, immediately after the dissolution, had a population of ~150 million)

  • It's not their fault (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dremon (735466) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @09:54AM (#35079478)
    • by necro81 (917438)
      Given the difficulty of getting rockets to work, I'd take just about anything to tip the odds in my favor.
      • by sznupi (719324)
        Readiness to "take just about anything to tip the odds in my favor" might take attention from, or even obscure some things which actually are important.

        It's not like they're not doing something right, having the most reliable ... most frequently used launch vehicle in the world [esa.int] (with most of its history in times when Russian Orthodox Church wasn't so openly cooperating with / used by the authorities)
        • by arivanov (12034)

          You are mistaken. It was.

          http://www.pravmir.ru/na-vsex-nuzhna-odna-pobeda-russkaya-pravoslavnaya-cerkov-i-nachalo-velikoj-otechestvennoj-vojny/ [pravmir.ru]

          I will translate some numbers - the financial contribution of the Russian church towards the war budget was 300 million rubles - the equivalent of 1500 fully equipped T-34 tanks. The last pic going down is the 1944 equivalent of the orthodox deacon blessing the ICBM. Though in this case he ain't blessing anything. He is merely getting a medal for blessing quite a few

          • by sznupi (719324)
            Of course (heck, it's the same shit at my place / they're neighbors); but for most of the time in question, during the Soviet service of R-7 rocket family, Church wasn't used much(*), was mostly frowned upon (and note "openly"... clergy never stopped being useful informants, of course). Only in the last dozen+ years the theatricality seems to have returned.

            (*)The thing to really wonder about - what if it were? Could it, of all things, keep the Union together? ;p
    • WEll no wOnder. H'es using the right hand not the left that's wrong omg do I have to set everything straight around here
  • How the hell do they expect to make accurate 3D maps if they can't even keep track of the satellite's own position?!

    • by L7_ (645377)

      when things move as fast as satellites move, you never really know where they are. even a 0.01% uncertainty in velocity of a typical satellite going ~2000m/s... after about a minute the resulting position would have a bounding box of 12 meters. Now, after an hour, a day? It's not too difficult to lose track of where you need to point your radars to find your bird.

      [Calculation is very general, I pulled that 0.01% velocity uncertainty from my ass]

  • Of course China would call the missing Russia launch successful when compared to their own space program. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Chinese_anti-satellite_missile_test [wikipedia.org]
  • The satellite aids Russia's military in building a most excellent 3D map. Then the satellite was lost, totally bogus. Then is was found again, party on dudes!
  • by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @10:51AM (#35079890) Journal

    China's state media called the launch 'successful.'

    Well, if Chinese state media reports it, it must be true!

    • Repeat to yourself, "If the New York Times|BBC|NBC|CBS|Al-Jazeera reports it, it must be true!" and contemplate just fucked up things are.
    • by arivanov (12034)

      It may be.

      Provided that there is no film footage attached.

  • Maybe another government found the satellite and that has something to do with it disappearing for a while.
  • I don't understand how they're having such failures when it appears they're the only ones who can continue to supply and change crew at the ISS when the Space Shuttle is done; and most of the supplying has been done by them for a while. I realize it's probably totally different rockets, but you think they could go from "most reliable rocket" to something other than three or four mishaps.
    • by sznupi (719324)
      The rocket in question is an inexpensive, surplus, repurposed old ICBM. Out of 18 launches as Rockot it had 1 catastrophic failure and 1 partial failure (this one) - pretty decent.
      • by qzjul (944600)
        Ah my bad; that's what I get for skimming TFS; I somehow misread the "firing two top space..." as meaning lost two satellites previously.
        • by sznupi (719324)
          Oh, but they did lost (three, actually) satellites previously - but again, it was a different rocket, Proton (their heavy workhorse, also with great success ratio; coincidentally, also envisioned at one point as an ICBM - one for Tsar Bomba!)

          Generally, ISS is serviced by another launch vehicle (different manufacture lines, launch facilities, et al) - "the most reliable ... most frequently used launch vehicle in the world" [esa.int]. The other discussed rockets aren't even meant for launching people. Proton does la
  • Of course they lost it. The earth is flat and the satellite just went over the edge for a while.
  • The incident follows the loss of three GLONASS navigation satellites that crashed into the sea in December provoking outrage from the Kremlin, which is trying to build Russian technological independence

    Wow how hard can this be? It's not like it's rocket scien.. Oh wait.....
    • by GioMac (862536)

      On the failed GLONASS launch it was typical problem on the "Breeze M" accelerator module of the "Proton M" commercial rocket, and because of this rocket didn't push satellite to the required attitute. This rocket is known for one of the most successful rockets and even on the background of my Russia-hating psycho, it's developers and maintainers deserve highest honor in technology, but our Mr. genius president of Soviet Russia told us that there was a mistake made by math scientists. Come ooon!!! Do they us

  • This happened because all the GOOD coders are busy working for the mafia in fraud schemes and CC manipulations.

    • Most of good coders (and not only coders) had left long time ago and are busy making money working for US companies. All what's left in Russia is a sediment on the bottom of the barrel.

  • Problem?
        |  yes
    1. Fire top TWO space agency officials
    2. Promote new officials
    3. Make another satellite
    4. Launch
       |
    Problem again? Go to step 1.
    • by arivanov (12034)

      That is the medvedev algorithm

      The Putin version is:

      Problem?
              | yes
      1. Invite top twp space agency officials for a conversation
      2. Talk to them quietly
      3. Make another satellite
      4. Launch
            |
      Problem again? You really do not want to know what the step is. That is why usually it never happens.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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