Boeing’s CST 100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle got to be launched in early December on the critical uncrewed test flight but appears to have suffered thruster problems after reaching the space. Atlas 5 N22 rocket carrying uncrewed Starliner Spacecraft lifted off from the space launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral in Florida. Rocket’s dual-engine Centaur upper stage separated from the first stage about four and a half minutes after the liftoff, its 2 RL10 engines firing for over 7 minutes.
The Starliner spacecraft separated from Centaur for nearly 15 minutes after the liftoff, having been placed into the suborbital trajectory that is designed to permit secure and safe aborts for Starliner during the ascent. The four orbital maneuvering, as well as attitude control thrusters on Starliner, are scheduled to fire 31 minutes after the lift-off to be able to put spacecraft into the initial orbit. But, this burn didn’t take place as it was planned. Boeing and the NASA agency commentators said that the spacecraft suffered ‘off-nominal’ orbital insertion and was in the ‘stable’ orbit with the electrical power but did not specify orbital parameters. The Spacecraft controllers have been assessing options.
NASA went on to say that the Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is not in the planned orbit. The spacecraft is in a stable configuration while the flight controllers are troubleshooting. Boeing Starliner space vehicle experienced off-nominal insertion. The spacecraft is in a stable as well as safe configuration. The flight controllers have been able to complete a successful initial burn, and they are assessing the next steps. The Boeing Spokesperson Kelly Kaplan said this. NASA and Boeing have been working together intending to review options for the test as well as mission opportunities that are available while the Starliner does remain in orbit.
Bridenstine would later tweet that the hitch was ‘Mission Elapsed Time Anomaly’ with the Starliner, which causes the Spacecraft to believe that it was in the orbital insertion burn when it was not. The spacecraft went on to consume more fuel than it was expected, precluding the docking with International Space Station. Such a mission that is formally unknown as the Orbital Flight Test is vital to test the Spacecraft before carrying people, and it is similar to the Demo-1 mission, which the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft flew in March. The successful OFT will be able to allow the crewed flight to take place sometime in the year 2020.
This post was originally published on Food and Beverage Herald