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Boeing's Starliner


Kryten
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3 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

A successful test of the parachute system in backup mode.
Can on two - will can on three.

It's OK if they understand why it happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's not OK otherwise, because if it can happen to one chute then maybe it can happen to two. Or three.

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32 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

It's OK if they understand why it happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's not OK otherwise, because if it can happen to one chute then maybe it can happen to two. Or three.

Yeah, hopefully they have good data.

I have to say the camera footage was frankly awful. The WSMR feed with 4 images, and none managed to stay on the vehicle... For this particular issue, that data won't matter, it'll be why the mortar didn't fire, I assume.

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1 minute ago, tater said:

Yeah, hopefully they have good data.

I have to say the camera footage was frankly awful. The WSMR feed with 4 images, and none managed to stay on the vehicle... For this particular issue, that data won't matter, it'll be why the mortar didn't fire, I assume.

The main feed looked like they had automatic tracking software (from about 1974) that picked the wrong target.

Edited by mikegarrison
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I feel comfortable in guessing that the White Sands Missile Range is not used to publicly webstreaming their tracking camera feeds. They are probably more used to making absolutely sure that they are *not* doing so.

Edited by mikegarrison
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18 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I feel comfortable in guessing that the White Sands Missile Range is not used to publicly webstreaming their tracking camera feeds. They are probably more used to making absolutely sure that they are *not* doing so.

Yeah, this is true. Still, they were out of focus, etc.

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2 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

Wow.

And this for ~2X the money as Dragon. Course that money is also why CST-100 flew crew on schedule a few years ago, unlike Dragon... oh, wait.

It's a test, stuff happens, stuff gets fixed. That said, it's amazing they awarded 2 contracts with such dissimilar awards without requiring different timelines, etc.

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12 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Someone's getting fired.

Probably not. For quite a while now, Boeing has tried to follow a "lessons learned, fix the root cause" philosophy rather than a "kill the scapegoat" philosophy.

12 hours ago, tater said:

It's amazing they awarded 2 contracts with such dissimilar awards without requiring different timelines, etc.

SpaceX is getting paid what they bid.

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1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

By the way, the Atlas V intended to launch the CST-100 orbital flight was stacked on Nov 8th. Target date for the launch is Dec 17.

Yeah, this will be pretty cool. When it arrives, the next CRS should already be there, so ISS will have Progress, Soyuz, Dragon, and Starliner all attached. Would be cool if ISS had a "drone" they could fly around for photos, that would be an amazing shot.

Starliner is a really pretty little capsule.

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15 hours ago, tater said:

Yeah, this will be pretty cool. When it arrives, the next CRS should already be there, so ISS will have Progress, Soyuz, Dragon, and Starliner all attached. Would be cool if ISS had a "drone" they could fly around for photos, that would be an amazing shot.

Starliner is a really pretty little capsule.

Does the canadarm have a camera on it? ISS selfie-stick?

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1 hour ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Do they still have the soccerball-cam up there? I thought external fly-around pics was something that they hoped it could be rated for....

I assume the big concern is that it would be rather silly to damage a radiator or solar panel because you wanted a nice picture.

This is what led to the XB-70 crash that killed two people and destroyed one of the two XB-70 airplanes. GE wanted a neat PR picture of five GE-powered airplanes flying in formation.

 

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35 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I assume the big concern is that it would be rather silly to damage a radiator or solar panel because you wanted a nice picture.

This is what led to the XB-70 crash that killed two people and destroyed one of the two XB-70 airplanes. GE wanted a neat PR picture of five GE-powered airplanes flying in formation.

They literally chuck cubesats out the JAXA module airlock, and they may have literally thrown a few by EVA. Seems like it would be not that difficult to do something like that to take images. Cubesat with HD cam and data to ISS.

12801809023_6c12aa12cc_o.jpg

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A purpose-built SpaceDrone (TM) would be a pretty neat idea, actually... I've thought about this idea before. Some kind of cubesat that has an HD camera and can follow a programmed camera path in 0g. The trick might be propulsion- if you want really cool video, you need more thrust (and very precise thrust control) than usual on a cubesats. Cold gas thrusters may work fine, but they'll be firing for longer than usual if you want a nice curve. And as for it running into things, that could help it quickly cancel out velocity if it heads towards something it isn't supposed to.

 

With all the up-and-coming space startups there could be plenty of customers for this, and with the cost of launching a small, 1U cubesats going down... we may be getting to a point where this could work as a business, even. Anyone up for a kickstarter? (Joking, of course)

 

Totally on topic

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https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-20-005.pdf

Quote

In our examination of the CCP contracts, we found that NASA agreed to pay an additional $287.2 million above Boeing’s fixed prices to mitigate a perceived 18-monthgap in ISS flights anticipated in 2019 for the company’s third through sixth crewed missions and to ensure the company continued as a second commercial crew provider. For these four missions, NASA essentially paid Boeing higher prices to address a schedule slippage caused by Boeing’s 13-month delay in completing the ISS Design Certification Review milestone and due to Boeing seeking higher prices than those specified in its fixed price contract.In our judgment,the additional compensation was unnecessary given that the risk of a gap between Boeing’s second and third crewed missions was minimal when the Agency conducted its analysis in 2016. Furthermore, any presumed gap in commercial crew flights could have been addressed by the ISS Program’s purchase of additional Soyuz seats.Nonetheless, we acknowledge the benefit of hindsight and appreciate the pressures faced by NASA managers at the time to keep the program on schedule to the extent possible. However, even with that understanding and using CCP’s own schedule analysis, we found NASA could have saved $144million by paying a premium only for missions three and four to cover the perceived gap while buying missions five and six later at the lower fixed prices. Additionally, NASA started the payment on the third mission 1year earlier than needed and therefore did not use $43 million of the lead time flexibility purchased. Accordingly, we question $187million of these price increases as unnecessary costs.

 

The issue the OIG has is that the contract already specifies up to 2 launches per year (1 nominally for sure, but the second is precisely to cover an issue with the other provider), so they should not have been paid extra for something that was part of the contract in the first place.

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Interesting costs... So now we can say that a Starliner crew launch is about 360 million and a Dragon crew launch is about 220 million. Both of those numbers are higher than I would have expected.

I wonder if the filling of the other 3 seats (tourists, short term astronauts like the UAE astronaut a while ago) would reduce the price for NASA or if it would go directly to Boeing/Spacex's pockets.

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