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Boeing to Launch First Commercial Crew Starliner Capsule on December 20th, 2019

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posted on Dec, 12 2019 @ 07:41 PM
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The United States has been without the capability to put NASA astronauts into orbit from the US for the last eight years. This was because the US retired the Space Shuttle, properly known as the space transportation system, upon the completion of the construction of the International Space Station. Or at least the US segment of it. After that point, the US embarked on working with commercial partners to first resupply the space station and then to bring American astronauts into orbit.

The program to bring American astronauts into orbit is call the Commercial Crew. NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX to provide the capability and ferry astronauts into low earth orbit. The program has been fraught with problems and delays. The most spectacular of those was when the SpaceX Dragon V2 capsule exploded on the pad. However, even Boeing has faced significant delays despite not having a catastrophic failure like SpaceX. Neither came even close to meeting the original deadlines.

While the program had many steps the two contractors had to meet before they could launch the astronauts, the final crucial step before placing people aboard would be to launch a capsule into orbit successfully unmanned. The planned date for that event for both contractors slipped and slipped again. However, that date as almost finally arrived. At least for Boeing.

On December 20th, 2019, as of the time of writing, Boeing will launch its CST-100 Starliner capsule atop an Atlas V rocket. The capsule will fly unmanned to the International Space Station where it will dock. On December 17th, the Atlas V will be rolled out to the launch pad. The launch will be at 6:36 am ET on the 20th. The Starliner will docker at ISS at 8:08 AM ET on the 21st. There it will wait for a week before returning to land at White Sands Missile Range at 5:48 AM ET (3:38 MT) in New Mexico. An alternate site is available if the weather is a problem and alternate dates for launch exist if the weather is a problem at the planned launch date.

Space is hard. Human spaceflight is even harder. The delays, while regrettable, may be nearly over. If there is a successful launch, docking and return, NASA will clear Boeing to begin ferrying astronauts from the US once more. The US will no longer then be dependent on the Russians to access to the ISS or even to space for human beings. SpaceX will follow suit within months and a robust infrastructure for access to space will finally be in place and the US will be the sole nation with multiple independent human flight capable spacecraft.

spacenews.com...
www.parabolicarc.com...
en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Dec, 12 2019 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Better than the SpaceX Dragon exploding deathtrap



posted on Dec, 13 2019 @ 02:22 AM
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When they have a crew onboard, will they be serving Tang and space MREs? Romulan ale would be my choice, but we have a way to go before we have replicators.

Will they be bringing a custodial crew to clean up that floating petri-dish called the space station? I hear it's crawling with nasty microbes, probably fecal matter too. These cosmicustodians would truly be the janitors in a drum. They could bring up supplies of TP, tampons and hand soap to fill up the dispensers while they're at it too.
edit on 13-12-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on Dec, 13 2019 @ 04:53 AM
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Very cool. Been watching this since Boeing picked my old stomping ground as a backup landing site. It's doubtful since it got heavy rains but it might dry out enough in 7 days if they don't go with white sands.



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 07:57 AM
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a reply to: staple

Boeing had a bad orbital insertion, but has control of the spacecraft. More soon.

edit:

spacenews.com...
edit on 20-12-2019 by anzha because: added link



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 09:00 AM
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Landing in White Sands on Sunday and $20 in my pocket from a coworker bet it wouldn't have a hitch.




posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: mikell

heh.

Well, glad you got the money. The hitch seems to have been the automation system onboard. It misjudged how long the flight was and didn't do the insertion burn properly. Had astronauts been onboard, it would have been easily mitigated. However...not this time. It won't make it to ISS.

www.engadget.com...



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 10:04 AM
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From the OP's link



Bridenstine later tweeted that the problem was a “Mission Elapsed Time (MET) anomaly” with Starliner, “causing the spacecraft to believe that it was in an orbital insertion burn, when it was not.”


Hmmmmm, almost like causing the aircraft to believe that it is stalling, when it was not???

Seems like Boeing needs to revisit their automation QA process just in general.

I guess the bright side is, at least it didn't suddenly plummet into the ground and erupt in a giant fireball, killing a couple hundred people, like some of their other products **cough**

Also found this part interesting...



Development delays and testing setbacks, though, have pushed out certification to some time in 2020. Boeing has also faced specific criticism for receiving more money than SpaceX — $4.2 billion versus $2.6 billion in their 2014 contracts — and also for having a higher per-seat price according to a recent report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General. That report last month concluded that a Starliner seat will cost NASA $90 million, more than the $55 million on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft or even what NASA pays Roscosmos for Soyuz seats.

edit on 12/20/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Just the standard corrupt model in use in the USA.

Maybe the software is outsourced to those guys in India that crashed their lander on the moon.



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 10:17 AM
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originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: anzha

Better than the SpaceX Dragon exploding deathtrap


Yeah well, SpaceX can successfully land multiple primary boosters back on dry land for quick turnaround use. Can Boeing do that?? Can anyone do that besides SpaceX??

Oh, and you might want to look into Apollo 1.



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 10:47 AM
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originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: anzha

Better than the SpaceX Dragon exploding deathtrap

If that is your definition of better we are all doomed Ha Ha
Joking aside, have you noticed how many control rooms were in play here?? It is like an army of them LOL. And no real-time video from the space vehicle except a few seconds of crappy video? One thing is for sure, they have too many hands in the pot there and things are bound to go wrong when this happens.
Sorry to say but they have some serious catching up to do when it comes to SpaceX mate. Cheers!



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk


Can anyone do that besides SpaceX??


China has. Smaller size, but yeah.



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 11:09 AM
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originally posted by: Nairda

originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: anzha

Better than the SpaceX Dragon exploding deathtrap

If that is your definition of better we are all doomed Ha Ha
Joking aside, have you noticed how many control rooms were in play here?? It is like an army of them LOL. And no real-time video from the space vehicle except a few seconds of crappy video? One thing is for sure, they have too many hands in the pot there and things are bound to go wrong when this happens.
Sorry to say but they have some serious catching up to do when it comes to SpaceX mate. Cheers!


I think this is the problem with all of the commercial space ventures in general, not just too many hands but overcomplication in general. I mean this stuff was done decades ago with much simpler technology. Sometimes simple is better. There's a reason our nuclear forces were still using floppy disks up until last year. Sometimes keeping it simple is more effective.
edit on 20 12 19 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 11:13 AM
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posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 11:48 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Watch them simply ignoring this mishap and push forward the crewed flight without ever testing the docking with the ISS.



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

strong maybe.

The astronauts are already saying "if we'd been onboard..."



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk

originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: anzha

Better than the SpaceX Dragon exploding deathtrap


Yeah well, SpaceX can successfully land multiple primary boosters back on dry land for quick turnaround use. Can Boeing do that?? Can anyone do that besides SpaceX??

Oh, and you might want to look into Apollo 1.


Agreed.

But it would appear SpaceX learned nothing from their competitor's disaster with Apollo 1:
- Having a lot of flammable material inside the capsule like Apollo 1 did is bad design;
- SpaceX is going far far worse in having large quantities of hypergolic fuels inside the capsule - just a small leak and...boom - much worse than the bad o-rings on the shuttle.

Ironically, the cargo SpaceX Dragon capsule that does not have the Draco hypergolic fuel engines is much safer.

Hypergolic fuels while powerful are extremely difficult and dangerous to handle and maintain which is why USAF phased them out such as in Titan missiles.


I truly hope I am wrong but I feel strongly that disasters with the SpaceX human flight capsule will happen again.



Cheers.
edit on 20-12-2019 by M5xaz because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 02:59 PM
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originally posted by: Nairda

originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: anzha

Better than the SpaceX Dragon exploding deathtrap


Sorry to say but they have some serious catching up to do when it comes to SpaceX mate. Cheers!


I think you missed the point, concerns about SpaceX's use of hypergolic fuels inside a human-rated vehicle

Read my response to FlyingClayDisk above .

Cheers.



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: M5xaz

The original plan for the crew dragon was to land it like the boosters but it would have been too difficult to get rated for human space flight. Hyperbolic fuel is a bit of a compromise. The issue that caused explosion of the capsule was fixed, however it should be noted that that capsule already went to the ISS and the Draco thrusters had been used for re-entry. Even though the issue was fixed, it would have most likely not been a problem in a real life situation because each crewed capsule will be brand new,(they will be reused for cargo missions) therefore would not have the issue that a previously flown capsule had.

The space shuttle had hyperbolic fuels on board also, so there is experience keeping them safe for manned missions. Apollo 1 happened as a result of pressured 100% oxygen in the crew compartment, not fuel.
edit on 20-12-2019 by jrod because: G



posted on Dec, 20 2019 @ 04:15 PM
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originally posted by: jrod
a reply to: M5xaz



The space shuttle had hyperbolic fuels on board also, so there is experience keeping them safe for manned missions. Apollo 1 happened as a result of pressured 100% oxygen in the crew compartment, not fuel.


No.
I said that Apollo 1 fire happened because of the flammable interior, and yes pure O2 inside made it worse:
Major causes of accident
The review board identified several major factors which combined to cause the fire and the astronauts' deaths:[11]

An ignition source most probably related to "vulnerable wiring carrying spacecraft power" and "vulnerable plumbing carrying a combustible and corrosive coolant"
A pure oxygen atmosphere at higher than atmospheric pressure
A cabin sealed with a hatch cover which could not be quickly removed at high pressure
An extensive distribution of combustible materials in the cabin

en.wikipedia.org...

The accident happened despite the fact the craft was brand new, so SpaceX using a brand new capsule every time ( a change from previous plans) will not change the risk.

SpaceX emulating the bad design aspects of Apollo 1 is exactly that, bad design. I understand that hypergolic fuels were the only way for such a small craft to be able to attain Musk's dream of propulsive landings (a concept since abandoned).

Yes, the shuttle did use hypergolic fuels for attitude adjustments, but not located right next to crew .

A proper design would have been to relocate the escape system underneath the capsule (like Boeing does) or locate it in a tower, like on Mercury and Apollo. SpaceX no doubt feels this redesign would have cost too much in delays and money
I fear they will come to regret this decision.

The Apollo1 lesson, per above is you do not locate corrosive, highly flammable liquids inside/next to cabin crew.

Yes, SpaceX has done great things.

The Crew Dragon capsule is not one of them.



edit on 20-12-2019 by M5xaz because: (no reason given)



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