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Thread: Atlas V: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2)

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Or hit them with a stick?
    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I think that would fall under “mechanical techniques”.
    I have no doubt they did something of exactly that sort.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Or hit them with a stick?
    They probably work fine with a few gs of vibration. Have they lost the Lunar Boots?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #33
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    A bit of percussive maintenance?

  4. #34
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    They really should try to push the control button harder.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Approximately half of the valve are malfunctioning. This gives NASA a warm and fuzzy feeling about the craft?
    I guess they are just valves half open types instead of valves half closed.

  6. #36
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    This program, like much at Boeing, is snake-bit.

    Guess we'll be seeing a lot more Crew Dragons. Is that even possible? Yes, SpaceX is building 3 more.

    https://spacenews.com/starliner-test...hs-long-delay/

    Starliner test flight faces months-long delay

    WASHINGTON — A test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle will be delayed for at least several months to fix a problem with valves on the spacecraft.

    Boeing announced Aug. 13 that it will remove the Starliner spacecraft that was to launch this month on the Orbital Flight Test (OFT) 2 mission from its Atlas 5 rocket and return it to the company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center for additional work.
    >
    John Vollmer, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s commercial crew program, said on the media call that the leading cause of the valve problem is that nitrogen tetroxide (NTO), the oxidizer used for Starliner’s thrusters, permeated Teflon seals in the valves. That NTO interacted with moisture on the “dry” side of the valve, creating nitric acid. The acid corroded the valves, causing them to stick in the closed position.
    >
    >
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Aug-13 at 11:10 PM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    This program, like much at Boeing, is snake-bit.

    Guess we'll be seeing a lot more Crew Dragons. Is that even possible? Yes, SpaceX is building 3 more.

    https://spacenews.com/starliner-test...hs-long-delay/
    So the question is, was this a new issue or one that Starliner was vulnerable to all this time?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    So the question is, was this a new issue or one that Starliner was vulnerable to all this time?
    I say since day one. The valves have Teflon seats, which are known to allow water vapor intrusion. It's slight and Teflon's used anyhow, but a known issue with NTO. If the systems not purged with nitrogen, nozzles covered, and outside air intrusion prevented, this is what happens.

    There was also an incident in 2018 where a Starliner service module undergoing a static fire had a valve problem after shutdown, dumping propellant on the test stand.

    As I said; snake-bit.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Aug-15 at 02:57 AM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    I say since day one. The valves have Teflon seats, which are known to allow water vapor intrusion. It's slight and Teflon's used anyhow, but a known issue with NTO. If the systems not purged with nitrogen, nozzles covered, and outside air intrusion prevented, this is what happens.

    There was also an incident in 2018 where a Starliner service module undergoing a static fire had a valve problem after shutdown, dumping propellant on the test stand.

    As I said; snake-bit.
    Out of interest, do you know if these are Teflon (or fluoro-elastomer) O rings? And do you mean the Teflon swells with water vapour, like nylon does?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Out of interest, do you know if these are Teflon (or fluoro-elastomer) O rings? And do you mean the Teflon swells with water vapour, like nylon does?
    It tends to distort, allowing small amounts of water vapor or whatever to seep. Not a problem if they seal & nitrogen purge the service module and dry side lines, and seal the nozzles with film or a plug. No water vapor, no acid formation, no problem.

    The guys in Battle Creek, MI nitrogen purge & seal cereal bags, fercrissake.

  11. #41
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    Oh, good Lord....

    Michael Sheetz @thesheetztweetz (CNBC)
    Nield: However, "there were some rather significant differences in how several safety issues were assessed between NASA and Boeing" before launch. "We got very close to launch without having identified the valve problem" with OFT-2.

    https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/...12228078374922

  12. #42
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    I weep for the company I was once proud to work for.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Oh, good Lord....

    Michael Sheetz @thesheetztweetz (CNBC)
    Nield: However, "there were some rather significant differences in how several safety issues were assessed between NASA and Boeing" before launch. "We got very close to launch without having identified the valve problem" with OFT-2.

    https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/...12228078374922
    Is this another different valve problem, or a rehash of the last valve problem?

    CJSF
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Is this another different valve problem, or a rehash of the last valve problem?
    It’s the same valve issue. I don’t really consider it a rehash, though, since it is ongoing, not yet resolved. Incidentally, Ars Technica had an article on it a few days ago:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ervice-module/

    They may swap to a different Starliner capsule and the test flight will probably wait until sometime next year.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  15. #45
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    There was a comment about how fortunate it was that we had both Boeing and SpaceX involved in commercial crew. Early on there was an expectation that Boeing would be first, but if it had just been them we would still be waiting post-Shuttle for American crewed flight to resume. Instead, we’ve even had a fully private crewed orbital flight.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  16. #46
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    Perhaps, to make it work, Starliner could be launched as cargo in a Starship? [crickets]
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    It’s the same valve issue. I don’t really consider it a rehash, though, since it is ongoing, not yet resolved. Incidentally, Ars Technica had an article on it a few days ago:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ervice-module/

    They may swap to a different Starliner capsule and the test flight will probably wait until sometime next year.
    The plan would be to keep the capsule and swap in a new service module, which includes the thruster packs.They have only built three Starliner's, retiring one (pad abort vehicle), and don't plan to build more. If they lose one there will be serious decisions to be made.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    The plan would be to keep the capsule and swap in a new service module…
    According to the article, they’d do this if they have to pull the valves for inspection of the “wet side”. The swap plan makes sense if the disassembly helps them to identify the issue AND they can implement a fix on the second module without similar disassembly.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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    Even if/when this does fly its going to be a white Elephant. I can't see any commercial operators being willing to use it now unless Dragon flights are fully booked, for that matter are Boeing even trying to line up commercial customers?

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    The plan would be to keep the capsule and swap in a new service module, which includes the thruster packs.They have only built three Starliner's, retiring one (pad abort vehicle), and don't plan to build more. If they lose one there will be serious decisions to be made.
    Ah, thanks. I missed the bit about the service module. I haven’t spent much time learning about Starliner yet.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Even if/when this does fly its going to be a white Elephant. I can't see any commercial operators being willing to use it now unless Dragon flights are fully booked, for that matter are Boeing even trying to line up commercial customers?
    My guess is that the cost would make it less desirable than Dragon (no partly reusable rocket here). And considering just what was being discussed, they don’t have spare capsules for general commercial use. But it is important for there to be an alternative American crew vehicle to take people to ISS. We don’t want to have a repeat of what happened with the shuttle.

    Also, I believe I read Starliner can do some things Dragon can’t? I think I read that Starliner can run its thrusters to push the ISS higher in orbit. The Russians have been doing that.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Ah, thanks. I missed the bit about the service module. I haven’t spent much time learning about Starliner yet.
    Neither has Boeing.

    I agree with Van Rijn though, it is important to have a backup capability for crew to LEO.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    My guess is that the cost would make it less desirable than Dragon (no partly reusable rocket here). And considering just what was being discussed, they don’t have spare capsules for general commercial use. But it is important for there to be an alternative American crew vehicle to take people to ISS. We don’t want to have a repeat of what happened with the shuttle.

    Also, I believe I read Starliner can do some things Dragon can’t? I think I read that Starliner can run its thrusters to push the ISS higher in orbit. The Russians have been doing that.
    Yeah, assuming it can ever actually run its thrusters...

  24. #54
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    More valve problems for Boeing, only this time with the KC-46 tanker.

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...roubled-tanker

    What is wrong with Boeing’s FOD control program?
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    More valve problems for Boeing, only this time with the KC-46 tanker.

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...roubled-tanker

    What is wrong with Boeing’s FOD control program?
    Slightly off-topic on Starliner OFT-2.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Slightly off-topic on Starliner OFT-2.
    Agreed. But I felt it reflected on the overall issue Boeing is having with quality control.

    The question was rhetorical, but we can open a new thread if anyone wants to pursue it.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  27. #57
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    When management makes it clear by its actions that employees are considered first, last, and only as an expense, the whole culture gets destroyed and you wind up with stuff like this.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  28. #58
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    Starliner OFT-2 in "fall of 2022" could put the Crewed Flight Test (CFT) in early 2023 and Starliner-1 in late summer of 2023.

    With only 6 Crew Dragon missions currently under contract and Crew-5 in fall 2022 (now with 3 astronauts transferred from a Starliner mission), NASA needs to decide soon on contracting more Crew Dragon missions.

    Eric Berger ✓ @SciGuySpace (Ars Technica)
    Here's the reality: Until the sticky valve root cause is found, there will be no credible date for and OFT-2 launch. It probably will be awhile. They have to disassemble the valves. I've heard dates ranging from early 2022, to May to Fall of 2022 for possible launches of OFT-2.

    https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/stat...leMrBwWxhAGTRg
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Oct-07 at 05:39 AM.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Starliner OFT-2 in "fall of 2022" could put the Crewed Flight Test (CFT) in early 2023 and Starliner-1 in late summer of 2023.

    With only 6 Crew Dragon missions currently under contract and Crew-5 in fall 2022 (now with 3 astronauts transferred from a Starliner mission), NASA needs to decide soon on contracting more Crew Dragon missions.

    Eric Berger ✓ @SciGuySpace (Ars Technica)
    Here's the reality: Until the sticky valve root cause is found, there will be no credible date for and OFT-2 launch. It probably will be awhile. They have to disassemble the valves. I've heard dates ranging from early 2022, to May to Fall of 2022 for possible launches of OFT-2.

    https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/stat...leMrBwWxhAGTRg
    Seems to me and not knowing the crew rotation schedule that SpaceX will be awarded more launches.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Seems to me and not knowing the crew rotation schedule that SpaceX will be awarded more launches.
    SpaceX Crew-5 is already manifested with 2 Starliner astronauts being moved to Crew Dragon so yeah. It's easy to see Crew-6 being flown then SpaceX getting a contract extension for extra missions. This happened before with the Commercial Resupply Services 1; Cargo Dragon was awarded a contract for 12 flights, which was later extended to 20 flights.

    Boeing and NASA published an update and 2 things stand out,

    1) an expanded set of valves are being removed,

    2) when published the projected CFT-2 flight date was "in early 2022 pending hardware readiness," but within hours it had slipped again - being edited to "the first half of 2022 pending hardware readiness." This is not encouraging.

    https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2021/...test-2-status/

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