Rocket “Angara” at risk of collapse due to the vibration of the engine

In the fourth quarter of 2019 to be held the second test launch of the carrier rocket “Angara-A5”. It was created for the launch from the Plesetsk and Vostochny, as the launch of “Proton” is possible only from Baikonur, located in Kazakhstan. Testing of Angara-A5 has already been held in 2014, and only now had discovered that his design is in danger of collapse right at the time of launch due to fluctuations of engine RD-191. Fault became known through the report of NPO “Energomash”.

Ракета-носитель «Ангара-А5»

The danger lies in the construction of the rocket: its the second stage surrounded by four blocks of the first stage. Because of this, there is a need to reduce the thrust to 30%, while even in the figure of 38% in its engine and vibration occurs with a frequency of about 4 Hz, is able to destroy the structure. Also vibrations can also cause damage to the pipelines, the control pressure — engine operation will be unpredictable.

The report provides one way to correct the problem. In particular, to change the oscillation frequency by using a special valve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always help — the effectiveness depends on the instance of the engine, therefore, the risk of structural failure still persists. It is noteworthy that the RD-191 is created based on the powerplant of the RD-170, which was the most important part of the Soviet rocket super-heavy class.

Recall that in the family of “Angara” includes light, medium and heavy missiles. In 2023 at the Vostochny space centre will begin operation starting complex for the light and heavy versions of the missiles. Later, in 2026, the planned test of the launch vehicle “Angara-5”, the main feature of which is the presence of hydrogen stages.

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