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

  1. #1
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    Atlas V: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2)

    Let's see if Boeing can walk & chew gum this time

    Date: July 30, 2021
    Time: 1453 Eastern
    Pad: LC-41

    Starliner OFT-2-640.jpg

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA invites the public to take part in virtual activities and events ahead of the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station. Targeted to launch at 2:53 p.m. EDT Friday, July 30, OFT-2 is the second uncrewed flight test for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

    Live coverage and countdown commentary of the launch will air at 2 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website, as well as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, Daily Motion, Theta.TV and NASA’s App.

    Members of the public can register to attend the launch virtually. NASA’s virtual guest program for OFT-2 includes curated launch resources, notifications about interaction opportunities, and a virtual guest passport stamp following a successful launch.

    Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft will carry over 700 pounds of crew supplies and equipment to the space station and return some critical research samples to Earth.

    OFT-2 will test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket from launch to docking to a return to Earth in the desert of the western United States.

    The uncrewed mission will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for regular flights with astronauts to and from the space station.

    Members of the public can also share in the journey through a variety of activities, including:

    Virtual Launch Passport

    Print, fold, and get ready to fill your virtual passport. Stamps will be emailed following launches to those who register via email through Eventbrite.

    #LaunchAmerica STEM Mission Toolkit

    Engage kids and students in virtual and hands-on activities that are both family-friendly and educational through Next Gen STEM Commercial Crew at: www.nasa.gov/launchamerica-stem-toolkit

    Watch and Engage on Social Media

    Stay connected with the mission on social media, and let people know you’re following OFT-2 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #LaunchAmerica.

    Follow and tag these accounts:

    Twitter: @NASA, @Commercial_Crew, @Space_Station, @NASAKennedy

    Facebook: NASA, NASACommercialCrew, ISS Facebook, Kennedy Space Center

    Instagram: NASA, ISS Instagram, NASAKennedy

    For NASA’s launch blog and more information about the mission, visit:https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Let's see if Boeing can walk & chew gum this time
    I’ll bet they can. That had to be extremely embarrassing and was a very expensive mistake. I expect lots of heads will roll if they mess up badly again.

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    Here's hoping that they fixed everything.
    https://www.space.com/boeing-starlin...e=notification

    Tomorrow afternoon for me. 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT)

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    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

    https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg

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    SCRUBBED!!

    Docking trouble with the Russian Nauka module tossed the schedule.

    Looking like August 3, time TBA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    SCRUBBED!!

    Docking trouble with the Russian Nauka module tossed the schedule.

    Looking like August 3, time TBA.
    Not surprised. Nauka appears to be a problematic piece of gear.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Not surprised. Nauka appears to be a problematic piece of gear.
    Well, what do you expect from a mechanical senior citizen?

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    Starliner OFT-2 webcast starts August 3, 1200 Eastern

    NASA TV, NASA YouTube,

    https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg

    or NASASpaceFlight YouTube

    https://youtu.be/FEQwjJW7iI4
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Aug-03 at 10:10 AM.

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    Eric Berger article on it here:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...on/?comments=1

    Actual launch time is supposed to be 1:20 pm ET. However, the weather doesn’t look very good so they say it is 50/50 whether it will fly today.

    I hope they do well. I don’t ever want to see the US relying on a single crew capable launch system again. Even though I’ve been very impressed with SpaceX, we shouldn’t be solely dependent on them.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  10. #10
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    SCRUBBED!! (Starliner issue)

    This thing is snake-bit

    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
    https://twitter.com/BoeingSpace/stat...74713176481795
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Aug-03 at 03:43 PM.

  11. #11
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    From spaceflightnow.com
    Assuming engineers are satisfied there’s no additional risk from the potential propulsion system issue, the launch team will prepare for another countdown Wednesday, with liftoff scheduled for 12:57 p.m. EDT (1657 GMT).

    The propulsion system valves in question are inside the Starliner’s service module, which has an array of rocket thrusters designed to propel the spacecraft away from its launcher during an in-flight emergency. Other thrusters on the service module are used for in-orbit maneuvers and spacecraft pointing control.

    Boeing said it will provide an additional update later Tuesday on the status of the potential launch attempt Wednesday.

    “We’re disappointed with today’s outcome and the need to reschedule our Starliner launch,” said John Vollmer, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s commercial crew program. “Human spaceflight is a complex, precise and unforgiving endeavor, and Boeing and NASA teams will take the time they need to ensure the safety and integrity of the spacecraft and the achievement of our mission objectives.”
    So the problem is with the Boeing systems, not the Atlas.
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    I wonder if these are physical valve settings which they are seeing, or software indicators.

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    I want Starliner to succeed, but am okay with Boeing losing a substantial amount of their time, talent, money, and corporate image in the process.
    They deserve it after the debacles of the 737 Max, KC-46, and previous Starliner offering.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I want Starliner to succeed, but am okay with Boeing losing a substantial amount of their time, talent, money, and corporate image in the process.
    They deserve it after the debacles of the 737 Max, KC-46, and previous Starliner offering.
    Thats not fair! You left out the 787!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    I wonder if these are physical valve settings which they are seeing, or software indicators.
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/08/0...-system-issue/

    "Boeing said engineers cycled the service module propulsion system valves Tuesday afternoon. Sources said the data continued to indicate the valves were not behaving as expected, but Boeing said it ruled out a number of potential causes for the problem, including software."

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  16. #16
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    Thanks CJSF. In any case, scrubbed today and heading back to the VIF building.

    https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcre...aunch-attempt/

    NASA and Boeing are standing down from the Wednesday, Aug. 4, launch attempt of the agency’s Orbital Flight Test-2 to the International Space Station as mission teams continue to examine the cause of the unexpected valve position indications on the CST-100 Starliner propulsion system.

    Early in the launch countdown for the Aug. 3 attempt, mission teams detected indications that not all valves were in the proper configuration needed for launch. Mission teams decided to halt the countdown to further analyze the issue.

    NASA and Boeing worked through several steps to troubleshoot the incorrect valve indications, including cycling the service module propulsion system valves, within the current configuration of the Starliner and United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

    Mission teams have decided to roll the Atlas V and Starliner back to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) for further inspection and testing where access to the spacecraft is available. Boeing will power down the Starliner spacecraft this evening. The move to the VIF is expected to take place as early as tomorrow.

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    Not good. If I'm understanding what I just read here, if they're unable to go by the end of the week it may be a long time.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    You begin to wonder if it wouldn't be quicker just to get Sierra Nevada to roll out the manned version of Dream Chaser.

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    In any case, it is better that they found a problem on the ground before the launch where they can fix it, rather than losing another few hundred million dollar rocket. That would definitely cause a long delay and damage reputation to a much greater extent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    You begin to wonder if it wouldn't be quicker just to get Sierra Nevada to roll out the manned version of Dream Chaser.
    It's one thing to get Dream Chaser ready, yet another to get Blue's BE-4 engine ready so Vulcan can launch her.

    Reminder: Boeing lost a service module on the test stand in June, 2018. After a service module engine test fire, propulsion valve & plumbing failures dumped propellant all over the tesr stand.

    Starliner's propulsion is by way of AeroJet Rocketdyne

    https://www.rocket.com/space/human-e...-100-starliner

    >
    OUR ROLE

    Service Module Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control Engines: Each Starliner service module will be equipped with 20 Aerojet Rocketdyne engines that generate 1,500 pounds of thrust each to support orbital maneuvers. They will also provide attitude control in the event of a low-altitude launch abort and provide direct abort capability at high altitudes.

    Crew Module Reaction Control Engines: The Starliner crew module will use 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-104J thrusters to orient itself during atmospheric re-entry.

    Service Module Reaction Control System Engines: Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Reaction Control System (RCS) engines on the Starliner service module each generate 100 pounds of thrust and will be used for on-orbit maneuvering and Space Station reboost. They would also provide attitude control in the event of a high-altitude abort. There will be 28 reaction control system engines on each Starliner service module.

    Launch Abort Engines: Aerojet Rocketdyne is providing the 40,000-pound thrust launch abort engines that will separate the capsule and its service module from the rocket in the event of a launch or ascent failure. Each service module is equipped with four launch abort engines. If the launch goes smoothly, the propellant will be used to support mission operations.

    Aerojet Rocketdyne is also equipping each Starliner with 160 valves, 18 tanks and more than 500 feet of ducts, lines and tubing.
    >

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    Abhi Tripathi is a former SpaceX Director Flight Reliability (Dragon) and NASA Engineer. Currently Director Mission Ops Space Sciences Laboratory UC Berkeley.

    Eric Berger is space writer for Ars Technica

    Abhi Tripathi @SpaceAbhi
    Hmm. IF true (big IF, I realize), would love to crack open the related Hazard Report. Might they be equally susceptible to issues if you have to go through thick clouds on an emergency re-entry?
    |
    Eric Berger @SciGuySpace
    There is no official confirmation, so caveat emptor. But I'm hearing that Boeing is troubleshooting a dozen or more valves as part of its Starliner investigation. Sounds like damage may have been caused by storms while the vehicle was on the pad.

    https://twitter.com/SpaceAbhi/status...60615577231371

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    New Space News writeup. They add water intrusion as a possibility, and if the delay is too long they'll need to de-stack not only Starliner but the Atlas V N22 to make way for another launch.

    https://spacenews.com/starliner-investigation-continues

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    https://starlinerupdates.com/boeing-...tion-facility/

    Boeing Advances Starliner Solutions in the Vertical Integration Facility

    August 9, 2021

    This weekend, Boeing restored functionality on more of the 13 CST-100 Starliner propulsion system valves that did not open as designed during prelaunch system checks last week.

    Boeing has completed physical inspections and chemical sampling on the exterior of a number of the affected valves, which indicated no signs of damage or external corrosion. Test teams are now applying mechanical, electrical and thermal techniques to prompt the valves open. Seven of the 13 valves are now operating as designed, with inspection and remediation of the remaining affected valves to be performed in the days ahead.

    Boeing is working a systematic plan to open the affected valves, demonstrate repeatable system performance, and verify the root cause of the issue before returning Starliner to the launch pad for its Orbital Flight Test-2 mission.

    The company is assessing multiple launch opportunities for Starliner in August and will work with NASA and United Launch Alliance to confirm those dates when the spacecraft is ready.

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    https://starlinerupdates.com/boeing-...tion-facility/

    Boeing Advances Starliner Solutions in the Vertical Integration Facility

    August 9, 2021

    This weekend, Boeing restored functionality on more of the 13 CST-100 Starliner propulsion system valves that did not open as designed during prelaunch system checks last week.

    Boeing has completed physical inspections and chemical sampling on the exterior of a number of the affected valves, which indicated no signs of damage or external corrosion. Test teams are now applying mechanical, electrical and thermal techniques to prompt the valves open. Seven of the 13 valves are now operating as designed, with inspection and remediation of the remaining affected valves to be performed in the days ahead.

    Boeing is working a systematic plan to open the affected valves, demonstrate repeatable system performance, and verify the root cause of the issue before returning Starliner to the launch pad for its Orbital Flight Test-2 mission.

    The company is assessing multiple launch opportunities for Starliner in August and will work with NASA and United Launch Alliance to confirm those dates when the spacecraft is ready.
    Approximately half of the valve are malfunctioning. This gives NASA a warm and fuzzy feeling about the craft?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Approximately half of the valve are malfunctioning. This gives NASA a warm and fuzzy feeling about the craft?
    If I were NASA I'd be royally ticked off, and searching for a way to get Dream Chaser off the ground ASAP. There are non-ISS Atlas launches, a Cygnus arrival at ISS, Russian ops, several Dragon missions (Crew, cargo and commercial (Axiom-1)), etc.

    These launch and ISS visiting vehicle schedules are such that if OFT-2 doesn't get off the ground soon it'll be seriously delayed again, perhaps into 2022.

  26. #26
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    Reading between the lines of that press release, it would appear that about half the valves are now working but they have no idea why they failed or what fixed them. Wow.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    I don't want to be cynical, but I too had a mental image of seeing nothing wrong, flipping them 10 times, and having half of them getting unstuck. Doesn't sound very man-rated.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Test teams are now applying mechanical, electrical and thermal techniques to prompt the valves open.
    Have they tried swearing? That sometimes helps with stuck bolts.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Have they tried swearing? That sometimes helps with stuck bolts.
    Or hit them with a stick?
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Or hit them with a stick?
    I think that would fall under “mechanical techniques”.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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