Boeing's astronaut capsule for the starliner rocket launches in test flight

Saturday, May 21, 2022
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Boeing Starliner Demonstration Flight to International Space Station Cape Canaveral

As the first demonstrator to take humans into space‚ the Boeing Starliner is slated to make its first demonstration flight next week. Among the crew of seven will be Rosie the Rocketeer‚ a test dummy named after World War II's famous Rosie the Riveter. The capsule will also carry groceries and spacewalking gear for the seven residents of the space station. Since U.S. spacewalks have been suspended since a crew member's helmet began soaking up water in March‚ NASA is sending extra absorbent pads to help astronauts with their spacewalks. Boeing will also fly a selection of mementos from historically black colleges and tree seeds similar to those planted by the Apollo astronauts on Earth.

No humans will be aboard this demonstration flight. American Boeing Company has demonstrated its new capsule for astronauts by taking off from Florida. Starliner is the name of the vehicle. It was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on an Atlas rocket. The mission showed how the Atlas rocket can transport human astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the second test flight. The. Previous demonstration in 2019 software problems almost led to the death of the capsule. Boeing attempted to fly the Thursday mission last August‚ but had to cancel the flight when the valves of the capsules propulsion systems wouldn't close and open properly at the launch pad. Although this issue is still a problem‚ engineers are happy that the launch went ahead as planned with temporary fixes. I am very proud to report that the Starliner made a successful orbital insertion‚ and is now on its way towards the International Space Station. This was stated Mark Nappi (Vice President and Programme Manager of Boeings Commercial Crew Programme). The team has done a great job and we are very proud. It was hard work‚ but the team is thrilled with the results today. Rosie‚ the Rocketeer and no humans will be onboard US Space Agency also declared satisfaction. There are currently crews at Nasa who would like to fly a Starliner. Post-launch‚ it was discovered that only two of the 12 large thrusters required for major maneuvers in space weren't working. This was not an issue for Steve Stich who is the manager of Nasas Commercial Crew Programme. The spacecraft seems to be doing well overall. He told reporters that communications have been great and the flight software works well. The cooling system also functions great. It was a great pleasure to be here‚ and we look forward to [Friday's] docking at the space station. Starliner‚ which is not flying with a crew to demonstrate the flight‚ began ascent onto the Atlas on Thursday at 18:54 (22:54 GMT; 23.54 BST). Automated docking occurred at 20:28 EDT Friday. This was more than one hour late than planned. Illustration: It takes about 24 hours to fly from Earth to the Space Station. Since the first time that Boeing presented its design‚ it has been almost twelve years. Starliner codenamed CST-100 at Farnborough International Air Show‚ UK. This was in response to the request for private companies to assume responsibility for crew transport to low Earth orbit after the soon-to retire spacecrafts. Both Boeing and California's SpaceX received technical and financial assistance from Nasa to develop new capsules. It was planned that these vehicles could then be used commercially whenever Nasa required astronauts to fly up to the ISS. SpaceX has now completed four operational crewed flights‚ but Boeing has not yet run one crewed Starliner mission. Boeing's December 2019 unpiloted Orbital Flight Test went horribly wrong. Infographic: Boeing Starliner Problems began with an error in the clock on the capsule shortly after launch‚ which made it believe that the vehicle was in another flight phase. The onboard computer system over-fired Starliners thrusters‚ resulting in the burning of so much fuel that it was impossible to dock with the space station. The controllers at the ground were able to see that the issue was developing but could not communicate with the spacecraft. It was also discovered that the software used to control the spacecraft's aft section could have caused it to collide with the service section. This happened just before the capsule entered the atmosphere. This issue was quickly resolved and the capsule safely landed in New Mexico. After the mission‚ a number of upgrades and re-designs were initiated by Boeing. These have allowed Boeing to reach Orbital Flight Test 2 or OFT-2. Twelve years have passed since Starliner's original proposal was made. This rerun follows the same plan: uncrewed missions to the International Space Station. Rosie the Rocketeer is back‚ and an anthropomorphic flight device (more commonly called a flight dummy) has been strapped in. Rosie will be able to stay with the station along with her capsule for up to five days before she departs for a parachute assisted descent to land at the White Sands Missile Range‚ New Mexico. If everything goes according to plan‚ touchdown will likely occur next Wednesday. Nasa may be able to clear Starliner in order for it to begin carrying passengers before the year ends if Boeing is able put aside the OFT-1 flaws. It would give Nasa two crew-transportation system that it had been looking for since the shuttles were retired in 2011 to be displayed at museums. Kathy Lueders was the agency's assistant administrator for space operations and congratulated everybody on Thursdays launch. As we've said many times‚ we are only doing it one step at time. We need to put this spacecraft through its paces and gain some knowledge before sending it to the International Space Station.