Following the unsuccessful launch of the SL-48 mission,
Sea Launch and Energia Logistics Ltd. (ELUS) formed a
Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) to review the
contractor findings and agree on root cause and appropriate
corrective actions to prevent recurrence.
On 25 April 2013, the FROB completed its review of
investigations into the failed launch attempt. The
investigations into the cause of the failure covered the
entire Sea Launch complex to ensure all contributors to the
failure were properly identified.
The investigations isolated the failure to the Zenit-3SL
first stage hydraulic power supply unit (BIM) used to
pressurise the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators. No
additional contributors to the failure were found. The BIM
failed approximately 3.9 seconds into the flight due to the
abnormal performance of the pump that's function is to
pressurise the hydraulic oil supplied to the RD-171M main
engine gimbal actuators. The pump failure was the result of
contributing factors associated with a pump manufacturing
process that proved difficult to control.
The FROB confirms that the investigation has properly
identified the cause of the failure and that the identified
corrective actions will eliminate the possibility of
recurrence going forward.
Launch Failures Chronology