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#1 2018-04-10 13:50:02

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,259

Bad news for Northrup Grumman; SpaceX cleared.

In a WSJ article, as reported on Space.com, it appears the Zuma satellite launch failure has been assigned to Northrup Grumman's use of a subcontractor supplied payload adapter to separate the satellite from the second stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Read it here:https://www.space.com/40246-spacex-not-to-blame-zuma-failure.html

This comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the James Webb Space Telescope launch will be delayed into 2020; not good for the major contractor, Northrup Grumman, of the 8 Billion project.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2018-04-10 13:52:15)

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#2 2018-04-11 06:00:32

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 743

Re: Bad news for Northrup Grumman; SpaceX cleared.

It wasn't clear to me whether the sub contractor was at fault, whether NG had designed it wrong or whether NG had made subsequent mods which introduced the fault.

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#3 2018-04-11 08:10:58

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,875
Website

Re: Bad news for Northrup Grumman; SpaceX cleared.

What little I've seen about this says they only ran 3 tests on the ground to verify that it worked,  before flying. 

I suspect this piece of hardware was something they used before with a different payload on a different rocket.  I also suspect they assumed it would likely work with the Zuma payload on the Spacex rocket,  with minimal verification needed. 

Sort of looks like a bad assumption to me.  Which is why we spell "assume" the way we do.  Makes an ASS out of U and ME.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#4 2018-04-11 18:41:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 11,375

Re: Bad news for Northrup Grumman; SpaceX cleared.

That is bad news for Northrup Grumman in that they do a ton of military work...and its quite the egg on the face for them in that what failed appears to be the adapter for the space x shroud. There must have been a electrical connection issue for the battery power used on seperation to fire off the chargers to jetison the shroud and such from the satelite.

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#5 2018-04-11 22:53:19

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,259

Re: Bad news for Northrup Grumman; SpaceX cleared.

This is a problem where there are split responsibilities between 2 or more contractors. I suspect that SpaceX will get paid, and NG will get a large bill for submission to their insurer.

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