Boeing’s Starliner capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Friday (May 20) night, marking a major milestone for the space giant and the search for NASA astronauts to fly out of orbit.
Starliner was thrown On Thursday evening (May 19) a critical launch mission was launched over a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Orbital flight test2 (OFT-2). About 22 hours later, Starliner Started at zero on the ISS, its meeting chops were designed to visualize a series of flying around, approaches and retreats.
The orbital dance culminated at 8:28 pm EDT (0028 GMT on May 21), when Starliner finally joined the station and docked in the harbor facing the front of its Harmony note. The Boeing The spacecraft and the station were traveling over 270 miles from the South Indian Ocean when they met in orbit.
“The front of the Starliner space station is beautiful,” NASA astronaut Robert Hines radioed from the station to Mission Control after the dock.
Live announcements: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2 Mission to the ISS
Related: Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 test aircraft in amazing photos
The docking occurred an hour later than planned.
NASA and Boeing initially intended to land the Starliner at the station at 7:10 pm EDT (2310 GMT), but were initially suspended for better lighting and communication conditions, and then delayed again to reset the space capsule’s NASA docking system or NDS. When they find a small anomaly. That reset worked and Starliner was seamlessly attached to its docking board.
However, this is a memorable moment for Boeing In 2014, NASA signed a multi-billion dollar contract ISS astronauts using Starliner Today’s docking shows that the capsule can actually go into orbit-going lab – which it has failed to do once before.
The original OFT, launched in December 2019, ended prematurely after Starliner was hit. A series of software glitches And stuck in a very low orbit to allow an ISS meeting. And OFT-2 should have been raised first last summer, but preliminary tests revealed that 13 of the 24 oxidizer valves in Starliner’s propulsion system were present. Were trapped. It took about eight months to find the cause of the problem and fix it.
OFT-2 is not going well yet. One of Starliner’s thrusters crashed during its critical orbital plug-in, 31 minutes later, NASA and Boeing officials told a news conference Thursday night after the launch.
The backup of that thruster burned to compensate but failed before the burn could end. A tertiary backup thruster was then kicked in and Starliner was able to go into perfect orbit for an ISS junction. NASA officials said the back-up-to-a-back thruster worked best when the Starliner engine caught fire Thursday night.
“The system was designed to be redundant, and it worked as expected. Now the team is working on ‘why’ those conflicts occur,” said Mark Nappy, vice president and program manager. Boeing’s business group planSaid during a press conference.
Mission team members have now determined that the two motive failures were caused by a drop in room pressure, Boeing representatives said in an email statement this afternoon. The Thruster system “operated normally during all impulse system demonstrations and, with layoffs, poses no risk to the remaining aircraft test,” the report said.
The report added that Starliner undertook a series of tests prior to launching access to the ISS, including testing of the apartment maneuver and its vision-based, electro-optical sensor tracking assembly (Vesta) system, which was locked into orbit.
“The flight control crews learn more about the vehicle and how it operates in space, and it performs better as it approaches the station,” Boeing representatives said in a statement. “The guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) systems operate nominally. The aviation software operates as designed. Power generation is positive.”
The team identified some unexpected behaviors in the “heat cooling ring”, but Starliner was able to maintain a constant temperature, the report added.
Starliner is now safe on the ISS, staying in the United States for four or five days before departing for a touchdown. If the capsule can reach its remaining milestones, it could well be cleared to carry NASA astronauts to the station by the end of this year.
“Today marks a major milestone, providing additional commercial access to low Earth orbit, stabilizing the ISS and implementing NASA’s goal of returning humans to the moon. Tuesday“NASA astronaut Hines greeted the Boeing crew from the station to Mission Control. Great achievements in human space travel have long been remembered by history.
Speaking of OFT-2 milestones – the next big one you can see opening the chicks between Starliner and the ISS, after which the astronauts currently living in the orbiting laboratory can float on the new arrival. It is scheduled to take place on Saturday (May 21) at 11:45 EDT (1545 GMT). You can watch it live on Space.com, Courtesy of NASA; Coverage starts at 11:30 am EDT (1530 GMT).
Boeing is not the only company holding the NASA Business Group deal; The company has signed a similar agreement SpaceX In 2014. Elon Musk’s company has already upgraded its space taxi service, and to date has launched four task force crews for the ISS for NASA.
Written by Mike Wall “Out“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; explained by Carl Tate), book on the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter Micheldwall. Follow us on Twitter PSpacedotcom Or on Facebook.
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