Postmortems

Launchpad explosion caused by Earth rotation (1966)

A delay in launching caused automatic actions as gyro sensors detected an out-of-bounds orientation of the vehicle. Subsequent fire and explosion caused a fatality.

From bad to worse: Soyuz disaster

Following the launch abort on December 14, the flight control system of the Soyuz rocket was deactivated and most of its other systems were switched off, however the gyroscopes continued spinning on inertia, which could keep them going for as long as 40 minutes. All that time, the rotor of the gyro continued “moving” within the Inertial Coordinate System due to the Earth’s rotation. Around 27 minutes after the aborted launch, the angle of the rotor “exceeded” the allowable limit within the reference system, sending an activation signal to the Emergency Escape System, SAS. In a tragic coincidence, SAS had remained under power, because it was designed to save the crew not only in flight but also on the pad.