reply to post by tauristercus
I understand what you were saying, and I'm saying there are more states for a missile than either "controlled flying" and "tumbling". It is very
possible for a missile to simply keep its trajectory while leaking (either accidentally or on purpose) from one side. Its momentum, outside of the
atmosphere, will keep it flying straight, and it won't tumble. It will, however, wobble slightly, and if it is still powered from the rear, its
stabilisation mechanisms (thrust vectoring) will make it wobble, but keep it on course.
Missiles have ways to steer. Especially the Bulava, which Russia has designed as the most maneuverable ICBM ever. That means it's perfectly capable
of making many accurate adjustments to its trajectory, even if it is failing or leaking.
I do agree that if the missile was tumbling (which is usually an effect of a body in motion, without power, experiencing air resistance, as the
profile of the body against the oncoming air alternates between more and less aerodynamic shapes), then there would be no spiral. But I've yet to
see any reason to think a missile, with a massive rocket on its butt, would ever tumble. We can see the blue exhaust, showing the rocket was
definitely powered throughout the creation of the spiral. That wasn't tumbling, so it doesn't make sense to think that it was tumbling. If a
rocket started to tumble, and still be under power, it would start to spin around the horizontal axis, creating a vertical along its direction of
The modifications the Russians have made to the Topol-M in creating the Bulava are massive. New materials, new equipment, new fuel buses for
menuevering. To assume due to it being based on the Topol-M that it is essentially a Topol-M is naive, as again, there is no evidence to suggest that
an ICBM with such drastic changes will bear anything other than a passing resemblance to the previous incarnation.
I simply can not see, and I've not read of any scientist disagreeing with this position, that there is any reason to think this was not the Russian
missile undergoing a failure.