Boeing launches Starliner astronaut capsule on unmanned test mission


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Boeing has designed its StarLiner spacecraft to take astronauts to the International Space Station on Thursday evening in an unmanned test mission to orbit. After two prior attempts to complete such a task Failure, Boeing’s goal is to prove that the spacecraft can connect with the ISS. It must succeed before going on missions with those on board.

The Spacecraft The Atlas V rocket, launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Station, took off at 6:54 pm on Thursday. If all goes well, the Atlas V will send the rocket capsule into orbit, after which it will take less than a week for it to split and fly free into orbit for about 24 hours.

There are some materials for astronauts already on the ISS on this mission. Mannequin wearing a spacesuit named RosieRosie the Riveter after World War II.

Starliner has proven to be a tough project for Boeing, which initially believed the spacecraft would be operational in 2017. Affected by delays and growth barriers. The first attempt at this test flight, known as the OFT-1, was curtailed in 2019 due to a problem with Starliner’s internal clock. This error caused the thrusters in the capsule to burn incorrectly and knock it out, and the authorities decided. Bring the shuttle home Rather the mission must continue. It took more than a year to fix that problem and other software issues.

Most recently, there was Starliner The valve went awry due to problems. When the spacecraft was sent to the launch site in August 2021, a pre-flight test revealed that the main valves were stuck in place, and engineers were unable to fix the problem immediately.

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Eventually the capsule had to be rolled off the launch pad. When the engineers were unable to repair it on the spot, it had to be taken to Boeing’s factory for complete repair.

Valves have become a source of constant controversy for the company. According to a recent report from ReutersAlabama-based Aerojet Rocketine, a subcontractor that manufactures valves, has been at odds with Boeing over the root cause of the valve problem.

Boeing and NASA disagree, according to NASA officials during a recent press conference.

Their investigation pointed to moisture coming in the valves and causing “corrosion” and “binding”, Boeing vice president and Starliner project manager Mark Nappy told a news conference last week. This led the company to develop a short-term solution that developed a cleaning system that included a small bag, which was designed to prevent corrosion-causing moisture. NASA and Boeing claim to be comfortable with this solution.

NASA’s Business Team Project Manager Steve Stitch said last week, “We are in a good position to fly that system.

But that is not the end. Boeing revealed last week that it would eventually have to redesign the valves.

“We want to do a little more testing and, based on those results, we’ll make sure what kind of changes we make in the future,” Nabby said. “We’ll find out more in the coming months.”

It is unclear how long it will take or further delay Boeing’s first space flight if progress is made with a comprehensive redesign of Boeing valves, at which point, planning is several years behind schedule. According to public documents, the hangover with Starliner will cost the company half a billion dollars.

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Meanwhile, SpaceX, once considered a backward competitor in NASA’s Commercial Crew program, has already launched five space missions and two cruises for NASA. The launch of its vehicle, the Crew Dragon, launched astronauts from U.S. soil into orbit after the space shuttle program retired in 2011.

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