stuff that’s hard to do (Rocket Lab’s Electron Stg-2 failure)

This happened a couple of days ago, but I didn’t post the launch,
because the failure mechanism was still a mystery (still don’t have the official word).
This video points out a few things that old failure-board grunts like me will find interesting.

I’ll let you sleuth on your own, but you need to know a few things that aren’t that clear in this video:
• Stg-2 propellant pumps are electrical-battery driven (usually, propellant pumps are combustion-driven)
• Stg-2 has two of these batteries — #2 is brought on-line during the burn as #1 fades and is ejected (less mass to accelerate)
• Stg-2, around battery-switch time, watch the horizon move around. Looks like attitude control suffers (during engine burn, pitch & yaw are controlled by hydraulic engine gimbaling, which requires a good battery)
• Stg-1′s white plume around Max-Q seems unexpected and squirrely (tech term). Does Stg-2′s battery #2 go kablooey (tech term)?

Yeah, I might be totally off-base, here;
but this is an astro/rocket engineer’s big game.
It’s like an instant replay (but without the jumping off the couch, cursing, and throwing your beer at the screen).
Can’t wait for the Monday-morning quarterbacks to weigh-in


  1. TheBigHarry
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:22 pm |

    Whatever the cause, it was certainly hinky (tech term)

  2. DougM ☞ crotchety and judgmental ☜
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:23 pm |

    ^ Had to look that one up

  3. mech
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 9:05 am |

    Looks more like a CGI, compared to the Spacex videos.