Soyuz Second Stage Failure

The space launch of the Soyuz second stage fortunately saved the Astronauts, but the US is well positioned to take back our own Space Station launches.

The competition between SpaceX and Boeing is fizzling, as SpaceX is far ahead even with mass subsidy by the Feds, but SpaceX has a lot of competitors. You might think SpaceX is the lone space launch system available, but Elon Musk is just a better PR space developer.

Certainly, SpaceX is ahead of its competitors today and in the short run, because SpaceX first developed the reusable first stage, but others are following quickly. Bezos’ Blue Origin is developing quickly, Arian and NASA are building large rockets to compete with the the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), and the Chinese are building a small system to compete with the existing SpaceX Falcon Heavy on cost

Right now, SpaceX has at least six serious competitors. It may not seem that way if you watch the news because the news does not do in depth reporting. Most of the SpaceX competitors are aiming for 2020, but SpaceX is not sitting still waiting for them. SpaceX intends for their BFR Rocket to supersede and replace its Falcon and Falcon Heavy.

The Russian failure has caused Russia to suspend flights to the Space Station and institute a criminal investigation for sabotage. SpaceX should launch Astronauts into Space late this year, and should send Astronauts to the Space Station next year. The Russian failure does not give any extra impetus because all Space competitors are working day and night already simply trying to get ahead of their competitors.

The Soyuz is a wholly reliable space system, with multiple capabilities to save Astronauts in case of failures. This failure occurred more than two minutes after a normal liftoff. The Astronauts experienced high than normal G-forces but the crew capsule landed normally on parachutes.

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