Meteor M2-1 disaster possibly caused by human error

 

It was not officially confirmed that disaster of Soyuz-2.1b with Meteor M2-1 weather satellite was caused by human error or not; Roscosmos and PM Rogozin seem to have some difference in understanding term "human error"

Launch of Soyuz-2.1b with Meteor class satellite and 18 satellites as piggyback payload was performed on November 28, 2017 from Vostochny Cosmodrome. Unfortunately after separating Fregat upper stage and igniting its engines it performed reentry instead orbit rise maneuver. It resulted with disaster and total loss of payload.

Previous announcements and gossips were pointing that incorrect orientation of Fregat before ignition was probably caused by some issues with guidance system; further leaks from Russian space industry were describing error as algorithm mishap which appeared due the human error during programming guidance system of Fregat. This version was also officially confirmed by Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin during his interview for Rossiya 24 state television channel on December 27, 2017.

This is not coming completely along with official announcement given by Roscosmos on December 30, 2017. Corporation announced that there was an issue with Fregat's guidance system but not necessary it was caused by human. Corporation claims that flight preparations were conducted according to all procedures, but it did not refer in their statement to fact, that Soyuz-2.1b was launched not from Baikonur, but from Vostochny and additional corrections should be implemented into guidance system before launch. Rogozin quickly criticized Announcement given by Roscosmos on his Twitter profile claiming that mistakes are not made by circumstances but by people.

It seems that true reasons of disaster of Soyuz on November 28, 2017 will bot be explained within following weeks. If it will be confirmed, that Roscosmos specialists simply failed to remember about changing such basic information in guidance system like place of start, it will be probably disaster even worse comparing to fatal meteor-M2-1 mission. Image of Roscosmos as professional and reliable partner will be probably ruined in the eyes of foreign partners.