Green light for the return of the rocket lab – the Gisborne Herald
Posted on July 21, 2021 at 12:07 p.m.
Rocket Lab has concluded an extensive investigation into the cause of the anomaly that led to the loss of its Running Out Of Toes launch in May.
With the root cause of the issue identified and corrective measures in place, Electron will be back on the pad for the next Mission to Launch Complex 1 later this month, according to a company statement.
âThe May 15 anomaly occurred after 17 successful orbital flights of the Electron launcher, which has deployed more than 100 satellites into orbit since 2018.
âImmediately after the anomaly, Rocket Lab launched a rigorous internal review, bringing together its investigative team under the oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
âThe investigation team traversed thousands of telemetry and flight systems data channels and worked systematically through a thorough fault tree analysis to determine the cause of the failure.
“The examination concluded that a problem had occurred in the ignition system of the second stage engine almost three minutes and 20 seconds after the start of the flight.
“This caused signal corruption in the engine computer which caused the Rutherford engine’s thrust vector control (TVC) to deviate outside of nominal settings and caused the engine computer to command zero pump speed.” , stopping the engine.
âThe igniter fault results from a previously undetectable failure mode in the ignition system that occurs under a unique set of pressures and environmental conditions.
âThe problem was not evident during extensive pre-flight testing for this mission, including over 400 seconds of combustion for this particular engine, over 1,500 Rutherford engine hot fires to date, and 17 successful orbital launches.
Rocket Lab has since been able to reliably reproduce the problem in testing and has implemented redundancies in the ignition system to prevent future recurrence, including changes to the design and manufacture of the engine. ‘igniter.
âExamination of the anomalies confirmed that Electron’s first stage was functioning perfectly during the mission and did not contribute to the flight problem.
âAs a result, Rocket Lab was able to complete a reentry, ocean landing and recovery of the first stage as planned, marking a major milestone in the company’s program to make Electron a reusable launcher.
âSatisfied with its own review of the May 15 launch, the FAA confirmed in June that Rocket Lab’s launch license remains active.
“With corrective measures now in place, Rocket Lab is returning to the pad with an even more reliable launcher to meet a busy launch schedule in the second half of 2021.”
Details of the next Electron mission will be available in the coming days.
GREEN FOR GO: Rocket Lab’s next mission to the pad. Photo by Rocket Lab