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Boeing's Starliner


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4 hours ago, .50calBMG said:

Besides, the first one was such a spectacular failure

A successful flight there and back again, just except the standard docking system testing is of course, a "spectacular failure".

When SpaceX breaks things to break through, it's normal.

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6 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

A successful flight there and back again, just except the standard docking system testing is of course, a "spectacular failure".

When SpaceX breaks things to break through, it's normal.

Oft-1 goals were to get to the ISS, dock with it and then return safely. Starliner couldn't even rendezvous with the ISS because of malfunctions and it barely managed to get back in one piece

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34 minutes ago, Cuky said:

Oft-1 goals were to get to the ISS

That was a planned route. The goal was to bring back the crew alive.

Yes, the route stayed incomplete, but the main capability was proven.

36 minutes ago, Cuky said:

Starliner couldn't even rendezvous with the ISS because of malfunctions and it barely managed to get back in one piece

Starliner just missed the train and returned home.

It was not an unsuccessful docking, it was a missed attempt. And the docking system is standard, so its additional testing was not critical.

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8 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

@.50calBMG

Wait - Starliner is the payload, right?  Is the above argument like saying Dragon 'was so close to orbit when it started...' because Falcon did the heavy lifting?

 

Color me confused.

I agree with this, dragon doesn't do anything to get to orbit, just like Starliner, it just seems to actually do its job correctly when it gets there.

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2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

It was not an unsuccessful docking, it was a missed attempt. And the docking system is standard, so its additional testing was not critical.

True, but what was supposed to be tested was the Starliner's ability to rendezvous, dock, undock and come back to Earth using its automation. And it failed miserably at that.

Basically, it managed to get into space and return back, but failed the main goal of that mission. And that was, what, 20-21 months ago. And then they said all was ready, went to launch pad and discovered even more problems with the craft. Problems big enough that it warranted taking Starliner off the top of Atlas rocket and transport it back to the factory.

 

Starliner at the moment is nothing but a big mess. Hopefully, all will be fixed and they'd be able to offer reliable taxi service to the ISS together with SpaceX so that NASA and others don't depend solely on Roscosmos. But, looking at Boeing's record in last few years, I won't hold my breath that they'll be operational soon.

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6 minutes ago, Cuky said:

True, but what was supposed to be tested was the Starliner's ability to rendezvous, dock, undock and come back to Earth using its automation. And it failed miserably at that.

It gloriously succeeded the testing of everything but docking, but the docking was not failed, it was not attempted.

The thing which failed is the clock, and if there was a crew onboard, they would just click with a finger or ignite manually.

7 minutes ago, Cuky said:

Basically, it managed to get into space and return back, but failed the main goal of that mission.

It was a maiden flight of the ship, so its main goal was to deliver the imaginary humans here and back alive.

The IDSS/APAS docking adaptor and Tridar approaching system have been tested many times, so if it had docked, this just proove that they successfully worked once again.

10 minutes ago, Cuky said:

And that was, what, 20-21 months ago.

Why should they be in hurry?

12 minutes ago, Cuky said:

And then they said all was ready, went to launch pad and discovered even more problems with the craft. Problems big enough that it warranted taking Starliner off the top of Atlas rocket and transport it back to the factory.

The fact, that they found them before the launch, inspires.

13 minutes ago, Cuky said:

Starliner at the moment is nothing but a big mess.

You probably confused it with Starship.

Starliner is a traditional, Apollo-like capsule ship.

It has flown once and there is no reason why shouldn't again.

15 minutes ago, Cuky said:

But, looking at Boeing's record in last few years, I won't hold my breath that they'll be operational soon.

737 MAX has 2 accidents per 650 000 flights performed. It's even not a statistics.

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6 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

It gloriously succeeded the testing of everything but docking, but the docking was not failed, it was not attempted.

You probably confused it with Starship.

Starliner is a traditional, Apollo-like capsule ship.

It has flown once and there is no reason why shouldn't again.

Starliner barely made it into orbit...limping into orbit is not a glorious success. They couldn’t attempt the docking because Starliner couldn’t rendezvous with the station...once again, not a ‘glorious success’

Yes, Starliner is a traditional type of capsule. That does not mean that Starship won’t work. The same logic can be applied to cars...people said electric cars would never work, yet here we are. And Starship’s development is looking a lot better then Starliners...Up to this point, each Starship test has either exceeded expectations or had gotten very close to being a success. 

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35 minutes ago, Spaceman.Spiff said:

Now that Atlas is retiring, are there concerns for vehicle availability?

The plan was always to migrate CST-100 to Vulcan, but further delays in Vulcan might pose a problem as they want a few certification flights away before they put crew on top.

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6 hours ago, Lewie said:

They couldn’t attempt the docking because Starliner couldn’t rendezvous with the station...once again, not a ‘glorious success’

Any vessel has a limited amount of fuel, calculated for the particular mission and target orbit, just several hundreds of m/s for all.

Nauka was able to keep running the show just because its fuel tanks were oversized from the ship pov, due to its historical ancestry.

6 hours ago, Spaceman.Spiff said:

Now that Atlas is retiring, are there concerns for vehicle availability?

No problem, Roscosmos can lease Angara.

7 hours ago, Shpaget said:

It also has oil rags, shoe coverings and hammers in the fuel tanks, along with wiring with potentially damaged insulation. 

Which got known after the accidents due to raised attention to this particular plane.

Who knows what have many others.

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3 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Then they can rent enough Angara launches in advance.

And I'm sure Rocosmos would be just as willing to take the money as Blue Origin was.  But that says nothing about their ability to provide the service.

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The first few Starliner Atlas V vehicles are already ordered and in the pipes. Any wind-down of Atlas V for Starliner is AFTER they use up the allocated Atlas V vehicles, it's not based on a date.

The 2022 date is for Pentagon launches.

EDIT: 7 are bespoke for Starliner.

Edited by tater
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18 minutes ago, Rakaydos said:

But that says nothing about their ability to provide the service.

Atlas-5 was equipped with another derivative from the same RD-170.

So, Angara is like Atlas-5 but with native fuel tanks.

Why use generics when the original one is available.

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21 hours ago, tater said:

They'll get Starliner to work. Having 2 crew vehicles is a good thing.

I really hope so. In current climate if Dragon has some mishap it would probably be a year or two before they are able to fly it again and in that time Starliner would be desperately needed. And even when both crafts are working flawlessly it is great to be able to depend on both.

On 8/26/2021 at 4:50 PM, kerbiloid said:

It was a maiden flight of the ship, so its main goal was to deliver the imaginary humans here and back alive.

No, the main goal was to test the ability of Starliner to rendezvous and dock with ISS, to show that it is capable of that before they put astronauts in it. Mission goals were the same as with Dragon's Demo-1 mission which was also the maiden flight of the ship and it was actually successful.

And your replies to my posts suggest that I am knocking down Starliner from the standpoint of being SpaceX fanboy, which I am not. I thought it is possible to actually point out problems with something without that meaning that you're "fanboying" their competitor. I just see Boeing blundering around both with their airplanes (numerous problems with fuselage and wing boxes on 787 and 737 MAX for example where they even had to postpone deliveries of some 787s because they needed to fix production problems on them). Their competitors, both in civil aviation and space exploration, aren't perfect, they all have problems. But seems to me that in last 2-3 years Boeing is topping the "problems leader board" wherever they are. And that is a shame really, having grown up with Boeing being the embodiment of near perfection with great planes and almost no problems.

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19 hours ago, Cuky said:

No, the main goal was to test the ability of Starliner to rendezvous and dock with ISS, to show that it is capable of that before they put astronauts in it.

Of course, it's Starsliner who should perfectly perform its maiden flight to perfectly satisfy the perfectionists expectations.

It's Starship who is allowed to blow rocket by rocket without saying "Why so many? Starliner has spent just one and already has gotten to the orbit and back."

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On 8/28/2021 at 9:56 AM, kerbiloid said:

Of course, it's Starsliner who should perfectly perform its maiden flight to perfectly satisfy the perfectionists expectations.

It's Starship who is allowed to blow rocket by rocket without saying "Why so many? Starliner has spent just one and already has gotten to the orbit and back."

[snip]

 why are you comparing Starliner to Starship? Those are not only a completely different concept but one should have been operational by now (Starliner) while the other is still in prototyping phase (Starship). What I was comparing Starliner to is it's main competitor, which is Dragon. They have the same mission objectives (to reach ISS and ferry astronauts to and from it). Dragon did that on its first try, heck even Dragon v1 got there on its first try (and that was SpaceX's first ever spacecraft and Falcon 9's 2nd ever flight) while Starliner, after almost 2 years of fixing problems that were discovered in investigation to mission failure of the first flight they still get "unexpected" problems that prevent them to launch. Say what you want, but you can't spend 2 years fixing problems only to find more problems and not consider that project a mess. Why weren't those problems discovered before? Why haven't they done a more thorough job of actually checking every system on that craft before they put it on the launch pad?

Edited by Snark
Redacted by moderator
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