Latest Launches and Updates

Humanity's bold journey into the cosmos, pushing boundaries, uncovering mysteries, and expanding our understanding of the universe, paving the way for new discoveries and inspiring generations.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Capt. Kyle
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:36 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOR
Location: Johannesburg
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Capt. Kyle »

Deanw wrote: Sun Jun 02, 2024 9:39 am Is this not more of a United Launch Alliance (rocket manufacturer) problem and not a Boeing problem?
I too wanted to give Boeing the benefit of the doubt originally, however ULA is a 50/50 joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. To be fair though we should bash LM a bit too then.

I do want to add that I’m incredibly impressed that they continue to make the right and safe calls. It must be incredibly and increasingly difficult to keep scrubbing with this amount of public attention.
User avatar
heisan
Seven Thousand
Seven Thousand
Posts: 7616
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:45 pm
Closest Airfield: Rhino Park
Location: Pretoria
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 1002 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by heisan »

Starliner rescheduled for 5 June 16h52B.

As before, it has an instantaneous launch window, so any hold is a scrub.
These users thanked the author heisan for the post:
Patrick AL
Justin Schoeman

ZU-FSR (Raven)
User avatar
Deanw
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8098
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:37 pm
Closest Airfield: FACT
Has thanked: 96 times
Been thanked: 859 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Deanw »

heisan wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 12:22 pm Starliner rescheduled for 5 June 16h52B.

As before, it has an instantaneous launch window, so any hold is a scrub.
Is that because it has to catch the ISS?
How come every time my ship comes in I'm at the airport?

http://www.SAairforce.co.za
User avatar
heisan
Seven Thousand
Seven Thousand
Posts: 7616
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:45 pm
Closest Airfield: Rhino Park
Location: Pretoria
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 1002 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by heisan »

Deanw wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 3:11 pm
heisan wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 12:22 pm Starliner rescheduled for 5 June 16h52B.

As before, it has an instantaneous launch window, so any hold is a scrub.
Is that because it has to catch the ISS?
Yup, it has very little excess fuel for manoeuvring, so it must be launched at just the right point in the ISS orbit to catch it with minimal fuel burn.
These users thanked the author heisan for the post:
Deanw
Justin Schoeman

ZU-FSR (Raven)
User avatar
Capt. Kyle
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:36 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOR
Location: Johannesburg
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Capt. Kyle »

A short illustration of the mission profile from ULA.

User avatar
Patrick AL
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:34 pm
Closest Airfield: FACT
Location: Cape Town
Has thanked: 1084 times
Been thanked: 355 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Patrick AL »

Capt. Kyle wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 4:19 pm A short illustration of the mission profile from ULA.

Good to get basic overview of the mission profile -a bit like 'ULA for Idiots' :twisted:

I find this kind of 'musical, blingy and glossy ' presentation does very little for confidence in the product! :roll: -actually detracts from it!
( Pretty amateurish production actually -considering the time and $ they have had on this project! :roll: )


-What's the point of putting emphasis on superfluous details and adjectives expounding the obvious ( eg crew safety)? :roll:

Tell us the nitty gritty details -this is an entirely technical op, not a board game - and one which has now been beset with endless delays and problems -

I wish the total success of the mission! 8) ( but do worry a bit for the crew :shock: )
:smt051
User avatar
Capt. Kyle
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:36 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOR
Location: Johannesburg
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Capt. Kyle »

And they’re off! Eventually.
These users thanked the author Capt. Kyle for the post:
Patrick AL
User avatar
Patrick AL
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:34 pm
Closest Airfield: FACT
Location: Cape Town
Has thanked: 1084 times
Been thanked: 355 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Patrick AL »

Bit of amateurish commentary from the ULA lady ? :roll: -

But -Flawless launch in the end! - Best Mission success!

These users thanked the author Patrick AL for the post:
Capt. Kyle
:smt051
User avatar
Patrick AL
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:34 pm
Closest Airfield: FACT
Location: Cape Town
Has thanked: 1084 times
Been thanked: 355 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Patrick AL »

:smt051
User avatar
Capt. Kyle
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:36 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOR
Location: Johannesburg
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Capt. Kyle »

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test Rendezvous and Docking

These users thanked the author Capt. Kyle for the post:
Patrick AL
User avatar
Patrick AL
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:34 pm
Closest Airfield: FACT
Location: Cape Town
Has thanked: 1084 times
Been thanked: 355 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Patrick AL »

https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c6pp29gdwe6o


Why are the Boeing Starliner astronauts still in space?
8 hours ago
By Pallab Ghosh,
@BBC Pallab
, Science Correspondent
Nasa Astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore Nasa
Astronauts Suni Williams (left) and Butch Wilmore were supposed to have stayed on the space station for eight days

The two astronauts testing out Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft were supposed to begin making their way back to Earth on Wednesday night but instead they will stay on the International Space Station (ISS).

The vessel's return to Earth had already been delayed because of issues with some of its thrusters and leaks of the helium gas which pushes fuel into the propulsion system.

Nasa is carrying out a high-level review of the technical problems before deciding when to bring its astronauts home.

Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore are in no danger, but what has gone wrong with the spacecraft and what does this mean for their journey home?
You may also be interested in
Boeing's Starliner spacecraft: A guide
Who owns the Moon? A new space race means it could be up for grabs
The last of the Moon men

Starliner was launched on 5 June despite there being a small leak of helium gas. Helium is used to push propellent to the thruster systems used for maneuvering in space and slowing down to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

The leak was extremely small and engineers believed that it would not affect the mission and so went ahead with the launch.

But four further helium leaks developed during the mission and five of its 28 maneuvering thrusters cut out during the approach to the space station, four of which were restarted.

The mission was supposed to have lasted eight days, but the return date was postponed as engineers investigated the issues.

Then on 18 June Nasa announced that Starliner would start its journey home at 22:00 EST on Wednesday 26 June (03:00 Thursday 27 June BST).

Nasa had earlier stated in a blog post stating that the leaks posed no safety risk to the astronauts because: “Only seven hours of free-flight time is needed to perform a normal end of mission, and Starliner currently has enough helium left in its tanks to support 70 hours of free flight activity following undocking.”

But just a few days later, following high-level meetings, Nasa concluded that the scheduled return should be "adjusted" to a date in July. No additional information was given as to why the decision had been changed.
Graphic Of Starliner

Nasa stated that flight engineers wanted to study the spacecraft to get to the bottom of the faults before it re-entered into the Earth’s atmosphere. That's because while the crew capsule will parachute to the ground, Starliner’s faulty lower 'service module' will burn up upon re-entry, meaning the loss of some information on what went wrong.

The space agency stressed that the astronauts were not stranded and that Starliner was certified to return to Earth in the event of an emergency on the ISS.

What happens next is subject to a high-level “agency level review” by Nasa to decide what to do next.
NASA Starliner NASA
Five of Starliner's Maneuvering thrusters stalled while docking on to the ISS

The sequence of events raises questions about whether the launch should have gone ahead in spite of the leak.

Dr Adam Baker, who is head of Rocket Engineering, a UK company specialising in rocket propulsion systems, says he understands why the launch took place but says it would have been better to have got to the bottom of the cause of the leak and repaired it.

“There is a risk of trying to get things too perfect and ending up taking too long and it being too expensive and as a result, public and political support disappears," he said.

“But what I feel is that they may not have sufficiently considered the worsening of the leak after launch. This is something that Nasa and Boeing probably should have done.”

That would have been tremendously expensive, as it would have involved taking the rocket off the launch pad and taking the propulsion system out of the spacecraft.

Another issue for Nasa’s review is why these issues were not identified in any of the two previous uncrewed flight tests of Starliner, according to Dr Simeon Barber, who is a space scientist at the Open University.

“The problems we have seen in the last few weeks are not the kind we would have anticipated at this stage of the development programme for Starliner,” he says.

“The whole point about this was to test what putting astronauts in the loop of controlling the spacecraft would do in terms of performance. Instead, we seem to be dealing with rather more fundamental issues that really should have been ironed out by now.”
Boeing Starliner being pushed by engineersBoeing
Engineers discovered a small helium leak before launch. There are now five.

Finally, for Nasa, there is the critical issue of identifying the underlying cause of the helium leaks and thruster problems. Until they do that, all the analyses of the risks of a safe return of the astronauts and any contingency plans will be incomplete, according to Dr Barber.

“Unless the root cause is understood, they are having to make a judgement about the return based on incomplete information. If you don’t fully understand the cause of any failure then you can’t say for sure that you have not got a systematic problem that will affect not just the primary propulsion system, but also the back-ups.”

As a last resort, Nasa and Boeing can return their astronauts on SpaceXs Dragon capsule, which would be hugely embarrassing for Boeing. But we are not in that territory yet, according to Dr Baker.

“With new spacecraft you should expect the unexpected,” he says. “This is an entirely expected bump in the road and I don’t think it to be a major concern, other than it needs to be analysed and fixed before the next crewed flight.”
These users thanked the author Patrick AL for the post:
Capt. Kyle
:smt051
User avatar
Capt. Kyle
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:36 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOR
Location: Johannesburg
Has thanked: 421 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Latest Launches and Updates

Unread post by Capt. Kyle »

Sho. Hope those two get a nice all expenses paid vacation when they return.

A bit of a philosophical post here, but something I've been wondering with all the Starliner snags...

50 plus years ago we were putting people in space on more intense missions, with less technology and possibly even less understanding than what they have at their disposal today. The issues that we are seeing with Starliner, is that just because of increased scrutiny and fear of liability in today's society, or are they actually producing rubbish due to decreased skills and knowledge? Thinking out loud here.

SpaceX appears to be doing just fine.

Return to “Space”