Streetwise Professor

August 25, 2011

Heads Up!

Filed under: Russia — The Professor @ 9:16 am

Well, August is more than 3/4’s gone, and in Russia, no submarines have sunk, thousands of hectares of peat bogs and forests are not burning, and there hasn’t been an epidemic of drunks drowning trying to escape the heat, not to mention the absence of wars or coups.  But this is not to say that the country has escaped the late Summertime Blues altogether.

Indeed, this year, there is a unifying theme to Russian travails. They all involve aerospace. First, Russia’s answer to the F-22 Stealth Fighter, the T-50, had to abort a takeoff at the Moscow Air Show due to an engine failure. About the same time, communications were lost with an advanced, uhm, communications satellite that had just been launched. And finally (h/t R) a Russian Proton rocket ferrying supplies to the International Space Station decided it liked earth better, and did a Bat Turn, burying itself in a Siberian forest and endangering pine nut gatherers.

The best part of the story is this: Alexei Kuznetsov, head of the space agency’s press service, didn’t answer five calls to his cell phone.

Somehow, I figure if he had answered, the conversation would have gone something like this:

Still a week left in August. A lot can happen in a week. And this year, if you’re in Russia, I’d keep an eye pointed skyward. Especially if you’re looking for pine nuts.

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  1. There was also this.

    Comment by Tim Newman — August 25, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  2. And this, mere hours before August.

    Comment by Tim Newman — August 25, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  3. Bad month. I wouldn’t crow too much about the T-50 (first flight, 2010) though. The actual F-22 fleet (first flight, 1997) has been grounded since May, and was on a restricted performance envelope before that.

    Comment by ThomasL — August 25, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  4. ^ Yes, because they are toxic to their own pilots when the engines are running. Think of the fun SWP, LR & co. would have had if it had happened in Russia.

    Anyhow, I really can’t begin to describe how pathetic your counting of and gloating at what are all essentially nothing-out-of-the-ordinary occurrences in any country look from the side. Get a life?

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — August 25, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  5. The funny thing is SWP can’t admit that the T-50 is loaded to the gills with (American taxpayer-funded) Israeli avionics and consequently will probably become much, much better in the near future. That would complicate things for the anti-Russia lobby that passed legislation calling for Iosef Vossorioanovich Dzughashvili’s-drawn borders drawn for Georgia to be sacrosanct forever.

    The Senate: can’t pass a balanced budget, or any real budget for 800 days, but they can tell Russia to get out of S. Ossetia and Abkhazia. Next up: Russian parliament calls for U.S. withdrawal from Alaska.

    Comment by Mr. X — August 25, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  6. That was a really stupid comment,Mr. X. And grow up,S/O.

    Comment by voroBey — August 25, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

  7. Vorobey – I’ll take the fascists for 100, Alex.

    Comment by Mr. X — August 25, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  8. * The “biggest comms satellite in Europe” was actually 100% French-made, (though the booster failure was 100% Russian).

    * The T-50-2’s engine control had a sensor failure, so too much fuel was being fed into the engine. The engine is apparently undamaged. (Though earlier in the week the T-50-1 was grounded by a serious undisclosed problem.)

    * There are no Israeli electronics in the T-50 (yet). But there probably will be in the Indian version.

    * Progress is launched by a Soyuz rocket. The Proton is a much bigger rocket, running on hypergolic fuel. (Back in the 60s there was even a plan to build a super heavy lift launcher 20 times bigger, fueled by the same crap. OTOH, Soyuz is also used to launch the manned Soyuz spacecraft.

    Comment by So? — August 25, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  9. First the TU-134 airliner, crashes, model taken out of service. Why didn’t Putin decommission sooner and save lives? Nobody asks.
    Then the MiG-29 fighter crashes, model taken out of service. Why didn’t Putin decommission sooner and save lives? Nobody asks.
    Then, in an epic humiliation, when Russia rolled out its version of the F-22 Stealth Raptor during its annual international air show an engine collapsed during takeoff and the plane could not get airborn. Where was Putin during the private testing process? Nobody asks.
    Finally, a swarm of bees attacked a Moscow-bound Boeing 757, from the inside. Ouch!
    Then things started falling out of space.
    First, Russia “lost” the Express AM-4, which would have been Europe’s communications satellite, just after launching it. Days later, a cargo rocket bound for the international space station failed five minutes after blasting off and crashed into a forest in Siberia where locals were collecting pine nuts.
    How many heavy things need to fall on the heads of the people of Russia and their children before they realize that their government is an abject failure and is destroying their nation just as surely as did the rulers of the USSR?

    Comment by La Russophobe — August 26, 2011 @ 6:01 am

  10. Mr. X, as you are retarded, there is a difference between Russia supporting separatism of 17% of the population of a province of a neighboring state, murdering or driving out through a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing the largest single ethnic group (47% of the population) in Abkhazia, and also committing massive ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia, occupying areas outside both provinces, looting, raping, and pillaging etc, and the US purchase of Alaska, which the Russians had to beg them to buy in order to gain much needed funds.

    Learn some history you tosser.

    Comment by Andrew — August 27, 2011 @ 4:43 am

  11. “Georgia is a little empire” – Saint Andrei Sakharov.

    Comment by So? — August 28, 2011 @ 4:31 am

  12. A lot DID happen:

    Turns out Politkovskaya was not the victim of a Chechnya-based conspiracy, her murder was planned and carried out by a very high-ranking member of the Moscow security establishment using on-duty police officers. Uh-oh.

    Comment by La Russophobe — August 28, 2011 @ 4:47 am

  13. It’s always fun to read you people taking potshots at each other!

    Frankly, I’m amazed that the so-called russophobes bother to criticize Russia. It’s as if they’d care about Russia enough to see it reformed and successful.

    Who’d want to see Russia succeed? That would only spell more trouble for everyone else in the world.

    Comment by Finnpundit — August 29, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  14. LaR has Russia’s best interest at heart.

    Comment by So? — August 30, 2011 @ 7:15 am

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