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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Another Soyuz Preps for Launch

Expedition 49-50 Crew Prepares for Launch in Kazakhstan

The first six minutes are shots of the rocket and the spacecraft being prepared and moved to the launch site. That was pretty cool. After that they go to bloviating and they lost me.

At the 3:31 mark in the video there is a closeup of the spacecraft. You can see that the spacecraft has what look like four fold down platforms. They look like a bad idea. No attempt has made to fair them into the main body so they are going to be producing some aerodynamic drag during the trip through the atmosphere, and why would you need platforms to stand on anyway? Unless they are only there to facilitate preparations for launch, and they take them off prior to launch. But just saying that sounds dumb.

The Wikipedia article about the Soyuz, in the section about the Launch Escape System, mentions that "Four folding stabilizers were added to improve aerodynamic stability during descent." I suppose that's what they could be, but they really look tacked on. But maybe if you've got a rocket as powerful as the Soyuz, you can afford to have some tacked on gee-gaws sticking out in the slipstream.

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