Monday, April 21, 2008

Soyuz Emergency Landing

This is a crazy story that doesn't get reported on TV in the US. Universe Today reports New Facts Emerge from Soyuz Emergency Landing.

"The facts behind the "ballistic re-entry" of the Soyuz descent capsule are beginning to come to light. According to several news sources, after the capsule made an unusual steep descent through the atmosphere, putting it at least 400km off-target, the parachute was set alight causing a small bush fire on landing. The crew, who had to wait upside down, reported smoke inside the capsule. Although the Russian space agency overseeing the rescue helicopters reported that the crew were safely on the ground, in reality they were struggling to find their location. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko had to unhook himself from the askew craft, get outside and use a satellite phone to confirm they were alive and well. Tough questions are now being asked as to why mission control lost track of the capsule in the first place and why they covered up the reality of the landing till so long after the event…"

"One Russian space official cited an old naval superstition that having women on board the flight was a 'bad omen' and that planners would reconsider having a female-dominant crew in the future. These remarks understandably caused a stir."


Roman said...

I completely disagree with the tone of that article. The accident IS reported, including some stupid remarks by some official. There is no hiding or coverup. Yes, something happened and they are trying to find out. I do not see any ground for conspiracy theories in this case.

Howard said...

I think the only line that's bad is "Many news sources are highly critical of the Russian space agency, arguing that they are incompetent." which the author says might be a little strong (and therefore he shouldn't have included it). His previous article is perhaps a bit better. I think "conspiracy theory" is a bit strong too. Clearly some spokespeople "misspoke" which is as much double speak as I can bring myself to write. :)

Roman said...

The article ends with "Attempts to cover up technical faults, citing of "bad omens" and misinformation will not help the Russian efforts in space.". Hence my comment about coverup and conspiracy theory. Yes, it is unfortunate someone brought up "woman on board" comment but it is very well known old naval Russian joke/omen. I can see that in Russian context coming from some officer it could have being just stupid and inappropriate joke and noting more sinister. As for women, Russia sent first woman into space and, naval jokes aside, has been a matriarchal society. Russian women held the same position as men in society long before Americans started talking about emancipation.