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Ep. 25, Page 67
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Comic 1885 - Ep. 25, Page 67

19th May 2015, 12:14 AM in Episode 25 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 19th May 2015, 12:14 AM edit delete
smbhax
Over the weekend a Russian rocket malfunctioned; this one was attempting to carry a Mexican telecommunications satellite into orbit. It's the sixth Proton to be lost in the last five years, which sounds bad, but how bad is it? 100 Proton-M rockets have been launched since the model's introduction in 2001, and of those 100, 10 have failed—but most of those failures have come in just the past five years, which makes sense because more launches have been taking place per year of late: just over 10 per year in the last five years (52 total).

Is a ~10% loss record bad as far as rocket launches go? Well, in the '80s, out of ~104 launches of their Proton-K rockets, the Soviet Union lost just 7. To compare with the US in that same period, 5 of 42 Atlas rocket launches failed. So a loss rate of ~10% for the Proton-M is actually pretty decent, comparatively—it looks even better when we see that over its lifetime, the earlier Proton-K lost 35 out of 311 launches. The second BBC article I linked *does* mention that other Proton-M launches have been grounded due to maintenance issues, but I don't have stats or comparative stats for those (and I'm not going to try to find them since I have to go to bed : P)—at any rate, we can say that as far as actual *launches* go, the Proton-M isn't really doing too badly!

Comments:

DizzasterJuice 19th May 2015, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
DizzasterJuice
When you start talking about manned launches the differences are even more drastic. I don't know the percentages though. It's probably the case that the U.S. has more manned launches.
U.S. - 17 deaths
Apollo 1 - 3
Challenger - 7
Columbia - 7
Russia/USSR - 4 deaths
Soyuz 1 - 1
Soyuz 11 - 3
smbhax 20th May 2015, 1:08 AM edit delete reply
smbhax
There were something like 135 space shuttle missions--so losing 2 is not so bad, in a way. Apollo 1 wasn't a launch, the men died in a test on the ground. Not that that makes it better! : o
moizmad 19th May 2015, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
moizmad
Don't worry yeah, you'll get everything that's coming to you.
(Sigourney Weaver's response to Yaphet Kotto in ALIEN! I've been waiting years to say that!)
smbhax 20th May 2015, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
smbhax
Yay! Gimme gimme gimme! (Also, good memory!)
cattservant 20th May 2015, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
cattservant
Unfortunately for him he tends to get it.