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Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative

Flyaway

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NASA, SpaceX Coordinate Crucial Astronaut Recovery Exercise

James Cawley Posted on August 14, 2019

Teams from NASA and SpaceX practiced removing astronauts from a Crew Dragon spacecraft on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Port Canaveral in Florida, preparing for when humans return to Earth from a mission to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The joint simulation involved a mock-up of the spacecraft and Go Searcher, one of the SpaceX ships that will recover the spacecraft and astronauts after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who will fly to and from the space station aboard Crew Dragon for the SpaceX Demo-2 mission, participated in the exercise.

“Integrated tests like today’s are a crucial element in preparing for human spaceflight missions,” Hurley said. “This opportunity allowed us to work with the recovery team and ensure the plans are solid for the Demo-2 mission.”

The event marked the first time a fully integrated NASA and SpaceX team worked together on the ship to go through an end-to-end practice run of how the teams will recover and extract the astronauts when they return from the space station in Crew Dragon. Hurley and Behnken were taken out of the spacecraft, given a mock medical evaluation and then transported to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip, or airport.

“We’re making sure that the team integrates together — that’s a key to any successful mission,” said Ted Mosteller, the NASA recovery director in charge of the agency’s team for the Commercial Crew Program. “We worked on successfully doing what we need to do to take care of the crew once they return to Earth.”

The purpose of the exercise, Mosteller pointed out, was to ensure participants knew their roles and responsibilities — and where they were supposed to be staged on the 150-foot vessel. He was extremely pleased with the results.

“It feels really good; it has been a lot of hard work to get us to this point,” Mosteller said. “There was a lot of collaboration, and it was a very positive experience for the integrated team.”

For Hurley and Behnken, it’s another milestone on the path to their historic flight.

“We are both looking forward to the Demo-2 flight and having the opportunity to return to the International Space Station,” Behnken said. “Each of these exercises puts us one step closer to fulfilling NASA’s mission of returning astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.”

As commercial crew providers Boeing and SpaceX begin to make regular flights to the space station, NASA will continue to advance its mission to go beyond low-Earth orbit and establish a human presence on the Moon with the ultimate goal of sending astronauts to Mars.

 

fredymac

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Videos of factories and capsule interiors.

Spacex Tour

Boeing Tour

Johnson training center. Has additional views of capsule interiors
 

fredymac

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Boeing CST 100 pad abort test. Only 2 main chutes deployed but airbags seemed to hold up.

 

Moose

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Interesting test, a lot going on but it all got the capsule to the ground in apparently good shape.

Given the conniption NASA has had about CCdev parachutes, the third chute will get some scrutiny. Unless that's a standard that only applies to SpaceX.
 

sferrin

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Does Boeing have to do an inflight abort test, like SpaceX, before they fly astronauts?
 

Moose

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There's no in-flight abort test for Starliner currently programmed.
 

Flyaway

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November 04, 2019

RELEASE 19-088

Boeing’s Starliner Completes Pad Abort Test for Commercial Crew

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed a critical safety milestone on Monday in an end-to-end test of its abort system. The Pad Abort Test took place at Launch Complex 32 at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The test was designed to verify each of Starliner’s systems will function not only separately, but in concert, to protect astronauts by carrying them safely away from the launch pad in the unlikely event of an emergency prior to liftoff. This was Boeing’s first flight test with Starliner as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to return human spaceflight launches to the International Space Station from American soil.

“Tests like this one are crucial to help us make sure the systems are as safe as possible,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager. “We are thrilled with the preliminary results, and now we have the job of really digging into the data and analyzing whether everything worked as we expected.”

During the test, Starliner’s four launch abort engines, and several orbital maneuvering and attitude control thrusters simultaneously ignited to rapidly push the spacecraft away from the test stand. Five seconds into flight, the abort engines shut off as planned, transferring steering to the control thrusters for the next five seconds.

A pitcharound maneuver rotated the spacecraft into position for landing as it neared its peak altitude of approximately 4,500 feet. Two of three Starliner’s main parachutes deployed just under half a minute into the test, and the service module separated from the crew module a few seconds later. Although designed with three parachutes, two opening successfully is acceptable for the test perimeters and crew safety. After one minute, the heat shield was released and airbags inflated, and the Starliner eased to the ground beneath its parachutes.

The demonstration took only about 95 seconds from the moment the simulated abort was initiated until the Starliner crew module touched down on the desert ground.

“Emergency scenario testing is very complex, and today our team validated that the spacecraft will keep our crew safe in the unlikely event of an abort,” said John Mulholland, Vice President and Program Manager, Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program. “Our teams across the program have made remarkable progress to get us to this point, and we are fully focused on the next challenge—Starliner’s uncrewed flight to demonstrate Boeing’s capability to safely fly crew to and from the space station.”

Boeing’s next mission, called Orbital Flight Test, will launch an uncrewed Starliner spacecraft to the station on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Launch is targeted for Dec. 17.

Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at:


 

Flyaway

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Video from Scott Manley about the test:

 

fredymac

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Looks a bit clunky. Hopefully flies better than it looks. Launch now set for Dec 20.

Atlas Starliner.jpg
 

FighterJock

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I really hope that starliner launches this time round on the 20 December, and that bad weather does not get in the way.
 

Flyaway

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Flight Readiness Review Begins for Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test

NASA and Boeing are holding a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) today at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The review provides NASA and Boeing the opportunity to assess the mission status and work that needs to be completed prior to the critical flight test.

Ken Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters, is leading the meeting. The senior Boeing official at the review is Jim Chilton, senior vice president, Boeing Space and Launch.

Teams have gathered from across the agency and Boeing to hear presentations from key mission managers. The FRR is an in-depth assessment on the readiness of flight for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft and systems, mission operations, support functions and readiness of the space station program to support Starliner’s maiden mission to the International Space Station. The meeting will conclude with a poll of all members of the review board.

Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to rendezvous and dock with the orbiting laboratory. Launch is targeted for Friday, Dec. 20.

The flight test will provide valuable data NASA will review as part of the process to certify Boeing’s crew transportation system is as safe as possible for carrying astronauts to and from the space station.
 

Flyaway

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Atlas V Starliner OFT: By the Numbers

Dec 13, 2019, 11:47 AM

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Here is a look at the launch by the numbers.

The Atlas V with Starliner stands 172 feet tall and will weigh 979,223 pounds when fully fueled for liftoff.

The Common Core Booster first stage is structurally rigid and constructed of isogrid aluminum barrels to stand 107 feet long and 12.5 feet in diameter.

The RD-180 main engine burns 48,800 gallons of liquid oxygen and 25,000 gallons of RP-1 fuel, a highly refined kerosene, to generate 860,300 pounds of thrust.

This will be the 87th RD-180 to fly since 2000.

The first stage is augmented by two AJ60 solid rocket boosters that stand 66 feet long, 62 inches in diameter and each generate 348,500 pounds of thrust.

The SRBs are constructed of a continuous graphite-epoxy composite casing with the throttle profile designed into the propellant grain.

There have been 115 AJ60s launched since 2003.

The Centaur upper stage features pressure-stabilized tanks constructed of corrosion-resistant stainless steel. It is 42 feet long and 10 feet in diameter.

The Centaur is powered by two RL10A-4-2 engines that consume 12,300 gallons of liquid hydrogen and 4,150 gallons of liquid oxygen to generate a combined 44,600 pounds of thrust to shape the desired trajectory for Starliner.

There have been 80 flights of the Atlas V rocket since Aug. 21, 2002, successfully launching national security payloads, commercial spacecraft and scientific exploration missions with 100 percent mission success.

There have been 251 flights of the Centaur upper stage since May 1962, including 228 launches on Atlas rockets and 23 atop Titan vehicles.

There have been 166 Dual Engine Centaurs flown to date, with 143 launches by Atlas and 23 by Titan rockets. A total of 85 Single Engine Centaurs have launched, all on Atlas.

This will be the 497th and 498th RL10 production engines since 1962.

The Launch Vehicle Adapter provides the structural attachment of Starliner to the Atlas V rocket for ascent. It is constructed of a truss structure and metallic ring. The LVA also features a 70-inch-long aeroskirt to enhance the aerodynamic characteristics, stability and loads of the Atlas V.

During Project Mercury on Feb. 20, 1962, the Atlas 109-D rocket launched the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn, and his Friendship 7 capsule.

Atlas 107-D launched Scott Carpenter and Aurora 7 on May 24, 1962 to orbit the Earth three times; Sigma 7 and Walter Schirra were launched by Atlas 113-D on Oct. 3, 1962 to complete 6 orbits; and Atlas 130-D launched Faith 7 and Gordon Cooper on a 34-hour voyage in orbit on May 15, 1963, completing the Mercury missions.

The Mobile Launch Platform will transfer the Atlas V rocket from the Vertical Integration Facility to the Space Launch Complex-41 pad. The combined MLP and rocket weight at rollout will be 1.6 million pounds.

The pad includes the 200-foot-tall Crew Access Tower and 48-foot-long Crew Access Arm to reach the Starliner crew module hatch.

This will be the 66th Atlas V launch from the Space Launch Complex-41 and the 93rd overall launch from the pad since Titan began using the site in 1965.

The powered flight of Atlas V to launch Starliner's Orbital Flight Test lasts 11 minutes and 58 seconds The first stage of flight will last 4 minutes and 29 seconds. The single burn of the Centaur lasts 7 minutes and 9 seconds.

Atlas V will accelerate Starliner to 17,475 mph.


Starliner will be deployed at T+plus 14 minutes and 54 seconds on a suborbital trajectory with parameters of 98 by 39 nautical miles at 51.6 degrees.
 

edwest

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The active astronaut corps is about to increase in size.

 

fredymac

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So Boeing will send a womannequin to space tomorrow.

 

edwest

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Incredibly backward. Why not send a chimp? Oh wait, they did that In January -- 1961.
 

fredymac

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Incredibly backward. Why not send a chimp? Oh wait, they did that In January -- 1961.

Seems my lack of faith has been found disturbing. Mandatory reverence should at least specify what you are supposed to be kowtowing to.
 

fredymac

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Something off on orbital insertion. Too early to tell if serious.

 
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