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Thread: Atlas V: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2 today)

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default Atlas V: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2 today)

    Boeing's re-do of the December 20, 2019 OFT-1 un-crewed mission, which was nearly lost twice due to dozens of system malfunctions, design issues, and corporate hubris.

    Key were the Starliner Mission Elapsed Timer starting at Atlas V launcher power-up at T-11 hours instead of liftoff, and the attitude control thruster map (tells the avionics computer which thruster points where) being incorrect. They used the default map instead of adjusting it for the new vehicle configuration. Downhill from there...

    =====================

    Mission: un-crewed flight test to the International Space Station; launch, approach, dock, stay a few days, undock and return to Earth.

    Date: July 30, 2021
    Time: 1453.Eastern (1853 GMT)
    Launcher: ULA Atlas V
    Pad: LC-41, Kennedy Space Center
    Landing: White Sands Space Harbor (WSSH), White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

    Webcast: NASA TV, NASA YouTube channel

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    SCRUBBED: Russia's new Nauka module misbehaved during docking.
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Starliner OFT-2 webcast starts August 3, 1200 Eastern

    NASA TV, NASA YouTube, or

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    SCRUBBED!! (Starliner issue)

    This thing is snake-bit

    https://twitter.com/BoeingSpace/stat...74713176481795

    We're standing down from today's #Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 launch.

    During pre-launch preparations, our engineers detected unexpected valve position indications in the propulsion system.

    Read the full statement: https://t.co/uQBjvq8ObU https://t.co/4X2INbZj7Q
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Oh, good Lord....

    Michael Sheetz @thesheetztweetz (CNBC)
    Nield: However, "there were some rather significant differences in how several safety issues were assessed between NASA and Boeing" before launch. "We got very close to launch without having identified the valve problem" with OFT-2.

    https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/...12228078374922
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Starliner OFT-2 in "fall of 2022" could put the Crewed Flight Test (CFT) in early 2023 and Starliner-1 in late summer of 2023.

    With only 6 Crew Dragon missions currently under contract and Crew-5 in fall 2022 (now with 3 astronauts transferred from a Starliner mission), NASA needs to decide soon on contracting more Crew Dragon missions.

    What a cluster-frack

    Eric Berger ✓ @SciGuySpace (Ars Technica)
    Here's the reality: Until the sticky valve root cause is found, there will be no credible date for and OFT-2 launch. It probably will be awhile. They have to disassemble the valves. I've heard dates ranging from early 2022, to May to Fall of 2022 for possible launches of OFT-2.

    https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/stat...leMrBwWxhAGTRg
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    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
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    Boeing will be ready to send it up the day after it is donated to the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Museum of Flight... after which the "Udvar Hazy Museum of Flight" will be renamed the "Udvar Hazy Museum" to denote the change...
    Hey, Donny! We got us a German who wants to die for his country... Oblige him. - Lt. Aldo Raine

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    Quote Originally Posted by MultimediaMan View Post
    Boeing will be ready to send it up the day after it is donated to the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Museum of Flight... after which the "Udvar Hazy Museum of Flight" will be renamed the "Udvar Hazy Museum" to denote the change...
    Agreed, this turkey will be lucky to survive CFT-2 if it launches, and that's a big if.

    Atlas V is capped at 28 more launches before retirement, with most remaining birds dedicated to DoD and Amazon (for their Kuiper satellites), and there are no plans to human-rate Vulcan. Even if the 2 Starliners actually fly for NASA commercial missions are out due to there not being a 3rd vehicle as a backup and nothing to launch it with.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Quote Originally Posted by MultimediaMan View Post
    Boeing will be ready to send it up the day after it is donated to the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Museum of Flight...
    And here comes an update.

    Last we heard it could be as late as mid-2022, which would put the crewed test around December 2022 and the first operational mission in 2023.

    ----------

    MEDIA ADVISORY M21-132

    NASA, Boeing to Provide Update on Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2

    NASA and Boeing will hold a joint teleconference at 2:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 19, to update media on the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Teams will discuss work on the oxidizer isolation valve issue that was discovered ahead of the planned uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station in August.

    Participants in the briefing will be:

    Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

    John Vollmer, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program

    Michelle Parker, chief engineer, Boeing Space and Launch

    Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at:

    https://www.nasa.gov/live

    To participate in the teleconference, media must contact ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov by 1:30 p.m. Oct. 19 for the dial-in information.

    The OFT-2 mission will launch Starliner on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Starliner will dock to the space station before returning to land in the western United States about a week later as part of an end-to-end test flight to prove the system is ready to fly crew.

    Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at:

    https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

    -end-
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 17th October 2021 at 19:52.
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    Starliner has been stacked on Atlas 5 for a launch attempt.

    Apparently they patched it together enough to fly, swapping out the entire service module, but the valve system and plumbing need a redesign. Even if this is a successful test flight the crewed flight is going to take time.

    And now this comes out, which leaves me speechless...

    Reuters story

    https://www.reuters.com/business/aer...ch-2022-05-11/

    EXCLUSIVE Boeing clashes with key supplier ahead of Starliner spacecraft launch

    > [Boeing blames Aerojet Rocketdyne for the valve problems]
    >
    The feud with Aerojet is not Boeing's first Starliner subcontractor quarrel. In 2017, Starliner had an accident during a ground test that forced the president of a different subcontractor to have his leg medically amputated. The subcontractor sued, and Boeing subsequently settled the case.
    >






    Edited 6 hours ago by DocM
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Let's see if they can get it right this time...

    Date: May 19, 2022
    Time: 1824 Eastern
    Pad: LC-41 Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
    Booster: Atlas 5 N22
    Vehicle landing: White Sands, New Mexico
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  12. #12
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    Starliner OFT-2 webcast begins today; May 19 at 1800 Eastern on NASA TV

    https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

    https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg
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    Let's run through the OFT-2 problem list (so far);

    • 2 OMAC thruster failures, low chamber pressures.

    • 2 RCS thruster failures during approach, low chamber pressures.

    Almost makes you think they have a pressurization system problem. Makes the need for a complete redesign of the thruster system even more necessary.

    • dodgy cooling loops, thought to be moisture that froze in a filter.

    I believe these are ammonia cooling loops, like ISS, so what's water doing in there? Yet another moisture control problem.

    • dodgy docking ring, which needed to be retracted and re-extended before approach and docking

    Most of these problems occurred in the expendable service module, so they can't tear into it to find out what happened. Dragons service module is integrated into the capsule.

    Given the need to totally redesign the thruster system and other items in the service module, I don't see Starliner flying people for another year or two.
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 21st May 2022 at 09:53.
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    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    Are there other parties that currently have some hope of competing with SpaceX?
    Join MURCs Distributed Computing effort for Rosetta@Home and help fight Alzheimers, Cancer, Mad Cow disease and rising oil prices.
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    I found this: https://bstrategyhub.com/spacex-comp...-alternatives/ but, uhm, I don;t find this convincing.
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