7
$\begingroup$

Did the Starliner perform an inflight abort test? I could not find any videos to support the same. Isn't a pad abort and an in flight abort neccesary before sending humans to space? Can the starliner's launch escape engines accelerate the vehicle when the Atlas V's SRB are burning?

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

13
$\begingroup$

Did the Starliner perform an inflight abort test?

No.

Isn't a pad abort and an in flight abort neccesary before sending humans to space?

Not if it's not in the contract.

Can the starliner's launch escape engines accelerate the vehicle when the Atlas V's SRB are burning?

I certainly hope so.

“Boeing is not going to do an in-flight abort test,” said Jon Cowart, deputy manager of the mission management office for NASA’s commercial crew program, before the pad abort test. “They’re just going to do the ground one. They think that they can get enough data and then extrapolate that out, with good analytical techniques that we’ve endorsed. They will go and do it in that particular way, versus SpaceX, which is going to do both.

“We knew about this up front, both Boeing and SpaceX, when they proposed their contracts to us and said, ‘This is how we’re going to get to real flights,'” Cowart said last week in a NASA podcast. “We understood exactly, and we bought into it. We think, and we agree with them, that we can get all they need from a pad-abort test.”

https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/04/boeing-starliner-pad-abort/

$\endgroup$
19
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ NASA trusts them like the FAA trusted them? I hope the guys in the Starliner program have a better culture than on the aircraft side of the company… $\endgroup$
    – jcaron
    Commented May 8 at 12:49
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @jcaron the first orbital test of Starliner that went wrong because of an issue that should have been trivial to detect in a simulation didn't boost my trust in the ability of Boeig to properly simulate anything! $\endgroup$
    – TrySCE2AUX
    Commented May 8 at 13:30
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @jcaron, OFT-1 and 737 MAX MCAS were developed while Boeing had a much lower amount of oversight which was based on a trust with those agencies that had built up over decades. When these incidents exposed that Boeing had serious problems with its safety culture and organization, both NASA and FAA pivoted into a very different relationship with much more oversight. I'm pretty sure that NASA has now looked much closer at the data and rationale that Boeing used for not doing an in-flight abort test. Hopefully they looked at it objectively in spite of pressure to get a second capsule flying. $\endgroup$ Commented May 8 at 14:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @StevePemberton They had a integrated simulation of the booster and capsule, they just never ran it for the full duration launch -> docking. They cut the sim off at capsule separation. Hey, that probably saved them a few thousand bucks. /s aerospaceamerica.aiaa.org/… $\endgroup$ Commented May 8 at 14:16
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Joshua All they needed to do to fix Starliner was uplink the right clock time. They just figured it out too late. $\endgroup$ Commented May 9 at 1:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.