Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is 'go' for May 6 astronaut launch

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Yes, the unmanned test flight 5 years ago was successful. It’s the same spacecraft that was used for the test flight.
Successful because it didn't crash or use up all the rcs propellant or smash in to the ISS? Successful because they didn't run complete software tests, launched anyway, diagnosed multiple software issues and somehow fixed it enough to limp home? I call North Korean success on that flight.
 
Anybody know why helium was chosen for the gas in the maneuvering thrusters?
Small molecule, harder to keep from leaking.
Doesn't SpaceX use nitrogen in their booster maneuvering thrusters?

Also the departure from the ISS has been delayed.
Reportedly to allow engineers more time to do "system checkouts".
No mention at all about helium leaks.
Wink, wink.
 
Anybody know why helium was chosen for the gas in the maneuvering thrusters?
Small molecule, harder to keep from leaking.
Doesn't SpaceX use nitrogen in their booster maneuvering thrusters?
Helium is most likely not the propellant, but the thruster is most likely pressure-fed, and the helium is providing pressure to feed the actual propellant into the thruster.
 
Anybody know why helium was chosen for the gas in the maneuvering thrusters?
Looks like it was an existing Aerojet thruster, all they had to do was the work to get it manned flight rated. Not that doing that is a small task. The Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-104J looks to be a smaller satellite thruster, so could have already been the specified pressurization gas.

Helium is most likely not the propellant,
Yep, hydrazine thruster. Quick Google didn’t show if it was a monomethyl- or dimethyl- propellant.
 
Starliner is not inspiring a lot of confidence. Hopefully it’s good to go when it’s time for it to make the return trip, but I think I’d be feeling a bit apprehensive about it.
 
AP is now reporting that the Starliner is stuck and cannot undock from the ISS. (More leaks) Don't know how old this information is but it's another blow to Boeing. And just this morning it was announced that Boeing used the wrong fasteners and torquing procedures on the 787 Dreamliner. Something like 900 fasteners on each side of the fuselage. Maybe they should get rid of the catchy name department and hire some real airplane mechanics or open a training school on how to read specs and bills of materials. SAD
 
AP is now reporting that the Starliner is stuck and cannot undock from the ISS. (More leaks) Don't know how old this information is but it's another blow to Boeing. And just this morning it was announced that Boeing used the wrong fasteners and torquing procedures on the 787 Dreamliner. Something like 900 fasteners on each side of the fuselage. Maybe they should get rid of the catchy name department and hire some real airplane mechanics or open a training school on how to read specs and bills of materials. SAD
Do you have a link to some info on the undocking issue? I tried to find out more about it but came up empty.
 
Only news I could find is that the departure is further delayed until June 22 so that they can run more tests.
Well, the ships' name is Calypso, so maybe they'll be there for seven years.
At least they'll have immortality.
;)
 
Only news I could find is that the departure is further delayed until June 22 so that they can run more tests.
Well, the ships' name is Calypso, so maybe they'll be there for seven years.
At least they'll have immortality.
;)
I admit this is a few days old, but my understanding was that the delay in undocking was that they didn't want to undock the day after a scheduled spacewalk (too many schedule conflicts?) and so they had to wait until the next return window. That understanding may no longer be accurate. I don't see anything new on Ars Technica, which is my go-to for space news that has had a chance to marinate for half a news cycle and is therefore more likely to be accurately reported than the first take.
 
Just for giggles (about something that is distinctly NOT FUNNY), what if a determination is made that the two should not return in Starliner? Is there a bus stop a short spacewalk away?

Not being snarky, just acting dumb... do they take the "lifeboat" craft? Can they just hang out until another Dragon can get up there?
 
I admit this is a few days old, but my understanding was that the delay in undocking was that they didn't want to undock the day after a scheduled spacewalk (too many schedule conflicts?) and so they had to wait until the next return window. That understanding may no longer be accurate. I don't see anything new on Ars Technica, which is my go-to for space news that has had a chance to marinate for half a news cycle and is therefore more likely to be accurately reported than the first take.
Here’s most recent i can find, says 45 minutes ago

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-delays-return-starliner-astronauts-221522122.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

Quote:
“In the meantime, Wilmore and Williams will perform tests of the spacecraft's aft thrusters and review its hatch operations. They also will perform "safe haven" drills to prepare the capsule for an emergency situation.”
end-Quote

They don’t seem too worried. A previous story I found said they need 7 units of helium and they have at time 70 (not sure of units, but confident of my memory of number and ratio, 10 to 1 load vs need.)

At first thought I read current article I figured extending the current mission as a potential threat to reserve. OTOH, they are SOL if the detach, go far, and can’t RE-attach. So maybe better to test it, with if there is an issue rewatch and wait for rescue. But if the test is okay, I’d get out while the getting is good.


I hope for the best however they do it, but still feeling like they should have shoved off immediately after docking.
 
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all this concern about the helium supply.

it's not for the RCS propellants.

the entire machine is so heavy, it couldn't stay in orbit if it wasn't full of helium!
 
I think AP picked up it up from Youtube news Wednesday 6/12 didn't know how old the info was or how much of it was accurate.

Boeing's CEO is now spinning how this will be a great opportunity for them to study how Starliner will react during long periods in space.

I wonder how the astronauts feel about this opportunity?

1718509730436.png
 
I think AP picked up it up from Youtube news Wednesday 6/12 didn't know how old the info was or how much of it was accurate.

Boeing's CEO is now spinning how this will be a great opportunity for them to study how Starliner will react during long periods in space.

I wonder how the astronauts feel about this opportunity?

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Oh, stuck as in delayed. It wasn't physically stuck.
 
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I go back and forth between "nope. Not getting in that thing!" And: it seems the agencies/ companies are taking this seriously and doing a methodical, transparent, unhurried review to make sure the thing is flightworthy.
I gotta admit, I wouldn't mind some unexpected relaxation time on the ISS!
 
In an article I read today, the claim was that the part of the craft where the leaks and troublesome thrusters are gets jettisoned before re-entry. The delay is to be as thorough as possible collecting data and figuring it out now — not to make sure it's safe for the return trip, but because after the return trip it will no longer exist and can't be studied.

Washington Post article
 
https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/19/science/boeing-starliner-astronauts-return-scn/index.html

latest. I think they are preparing to lower expectations.

This is one of the comments on the article:

NASA needs to bring home our astronauts in a SpaceX Crew Dragon. They can still send the Boeing Starliner back down to earth, unmanned, to complete the test. There's no real need to have humans aboard that craft to push any buttons or complete any tasks.


I think this would make the most sense. If the capsule makes it home (sans crew) it proves that it worked, but they wouldn't have to risk any lives on it.

Would make Boeing look bad, but certainly not as bad as putting 2 people in the capsule, the capsule undocking, and then the helium and/or thrusters unable to EITHER maneuver for re-entry OR return to ISS.

Earth to Major Tom.......
 
Well it looks like they have thrusters that can fail due to overheating and that depend on a leak prone helium design. Looks like some expensive redesigns are coming.
 
Marc G Said "And: it seems the agencies/ companies are taking this seriously and doing a methodical, transparent, unhurried review to make sure the thing is flightworthy."

Yep they are being methodical alright...Boeing is trying to figure out how they are going to get another couple of billion dollars to pay for their lousy management. NASA is bouncing around trying to figure how the politics is going to figure into this and how they they are going to explain this sanfu. The days of the Steely-eyed missile men are long gone. Now it just PR BS and landing tins cans on the moon that can't stand up while the Chinese are landing space ships on the dark side of the moon and collecting samples. All the while the critics are jumping on Elon Musk because they don't like his personality or the way he does business. Let's see we can no longer build ships, planes, submarines, rocket ships, or anything else without having to worry about somebodies feelings or some fish. Well folks grab some popcorn, tighten your seat belt and watch the demise of a once great country into a 3rd world backwater swamp.

:popcorn:
 
This is one of the comments on the article:

NASA needs to bring home our astronauts in a SpaceX Crew Dragon. They can still send the Boeing Starliner back down to earth, unmanned, to complete the test. There's no real need to have humans aboard that craft to push any buttons or complete any tasks.

Boeing is going to have to call up SpaceX, “Hey, guys, we were wondering if you could lend us a hand with this Starliner thing. Could you send up a Dragon to get the astronauts home safely? We can try to undock and bring back the Starliner separately, and we were hoping maybe you can help us get it through the hot reentry by sending up that one flap.”
 
Marc G Said "And: it seems the agencies/ companies are taking this seriously and doing a methodical, transparent, unhurried review to make sure the thing is flightworthy."

Yep they are being methodical alright...Boeing is trying to figure out how they are going to get another couple of billion dollars to pay for their lousy management. NASA is bouncing around trying to figure how the politics is going to figure into this and how they they are going to explain this sanfu. The days of the Steely-eyed missile men are long gone. Now it just PR BS and landing tins cans on the moon that can't stand up while the Chinese are landing space ships on the dark side of the moon and collecting samples. All the while the critics are jumping on Elon Musk because they don't like his personality or the way he does business. Let's see we can no longer build ships, planes, submarines, rocket ships, or anything else without having to worry about somebodies feelings or some fish. Well folks grab some popcorn, tighten your seat belt and watch the demise of a once great country into a 3rd world backwater swamp.

:popcorn:
That's an interesting rant...

But you started this conversation with a wild interpretation of a headline from an article you clearly didn't read. So I'll take the whole rant with a grain of salt. Lots is happening in the space race right now. Some great successes, and the occasional mess of things (Starliner being an obvious example). But Boeing isn't exactly begging for an extra billion dollars here - they've already lost that and more on their fixed price contract.

The sky isn't falling.
 
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