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posted by martyb on Sunday January 09 2022, @02:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the rain-drops^W^W-rockets-keep-falling-on-my-head dept.

A big failed Russian rocket just came crashing back to Earth out of control:

A Russian rocket fell to a watery resting place on Wednesday after an uncontrolled reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

The Persei booster was launched on Dec. 27 by the heavy-lift Angara-A5 rocket for a test mission. However, the upper-stage booster failed to enter the Earth's orbit as planned. Instead, it began inevitably being pulled back toward the atmosphere by Earth's gravity for an expected return to the surface in bits and pieces (if at all) on Wednesday afternoon, Pacific time.

[...] "I do NOT regard this object as a significant risk," leading orbit watcher and astronomer Jonathan McDowell said on Twitter.  "Reentries for a object with dry mass of about 4 tonnes may see some debris reach the ground, but not much."

The rocket is thought to have weighed around 20 tons, but over 75% of that mass would have been in fuel that almost certainly would have burned up in the atmosphere.

The 18th Space Control Squadron of the US Space Force confirmed that the rocket reentered over the Pacific Ocean just after 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

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  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Sunday January 09 2022, @08:31PM (2 children)

    by tangomargarine (667) on Sunday January 09 2022, @08:31PM (#1211309)

    Pretty sure they refer to the entire stack, i.e. all the booster stages collectively, as "the rocket." So yes, if the first stage works and the second stage doesn't fire, "the rocket failed."

    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @03:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @03:47PM (#1211505)

    The first and second stages both worked fine. It was the third stage (Persei tug) that failed. Had the tug been supplied by a different company, as is often the case, this would have been counted as a successful launch. []

  • (Score: 2) by legont on Monday January 10 2022, @05:21PM

    by legont (4179) on Monday January 10 2022, @05:21PM (#1211539)

    Let's not forget "successful rocket landings" by Mask.

    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.