Author Topic: Starliner’s first complete hull mated at Kennedy; crew launch delayed to 2018  (Read 5793 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/05/starliners-hull-mated-kennedy-launch-2018/ -

By Chris Gebhardt, updating latest status with a mix of L2 content, including - you guessed it - Nathan L2 renders (really cool ones not least because there's very little from Boeing themselves.)

Offline WM68

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Offline TomH

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Article says 1st STS STA was Challenger. Shouldn't this be Enterprise? I believe there was a mock up before Enterprise which was not a STA. Also Enterprise was originally planned for retrofit to flight after other orbiters were done, but newer orbiters were so much lighter, that idea was nixed.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2016 08:25 PM by TomH »

Offline Jeff Lerner

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So what does this delay in Commercial crew launch by Boeing mean for SpaceX ??..wasn't Boeing awarded the first flight ??...what happens if SpaceX could be ready fly a crew before 2018.??...does NASA let them go first ??

Offline Rocket Science

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Article says 1st STS STA was Challenger. Shouldn't this be Enterprise? I believe there was a mock up before Enterprise which was not a STA. Also Enterprise was originally planned for retrofit to flight after other orbiters were done, but newer orbiters were so much lighter, that idea was nixed.
http://www.boeing.com/history/products/space-shuttle-orbiter.page
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline alk3997

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Article says 1st STS STA was Challenger. Shouldn't this be Enterprise? I believe there was a mock up before Enterprise which was not a STA. Also Enterprise was originally planned for retrofit to flight after other orbiters were done, but newer orbiters were so much lighter, that idea was nixed.

STA-099 was the hull that became, OV-099 Challenger.  STA = Structural Test Article

OV-101 was Enterprise.  At one point, the plan was to modify OV-101 into a space-worthy vehicle.  However, it turned out to be cheaper to retrofit STA-099 into OV-099 than disassemble and retrofit OV-101.  One other benefit is that because of lessons learned OV-099 was able to carry more than a retrofitted OV-101 would have been able to into orbit.

OV-101 was later used for some structural analysis work at Marshall but it was never a structural test article.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/challenger-info.html

Andy
« Last Edit: 05/12/2016 08:43 PM by alk3997 »

Offline kevinof

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I suspect that Nasa will take the first one that they deem is ready.

So what does this delay in Commercial crew launch by Boeing mean for SpaceX ??..wasn't Boeing awarded the first flight ??...what happens if SpaceX could be ready fly a crew before 2018.??...does NASA let them go first ??

Offline Poole Amateur

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So what does this delay in Commercial crew launch by Boeing mean for SpaceX ??..wasn't Boeing awarded the first flight ??...what happens if SpaceX could be ready fly a crew before 2018.??...does NASA let them go first ??

Boeing was awarded the first contract. Not necessarily the first flight.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Each here has a weakness. Boeing's weakness is no recent HSF vehicles being flown. SX's weakness is in not qualifying a human carrying vehicle. These are where slips will come from. And likely not the last either.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Just to point out, while SpaceX has been pursuing man-rating the F9 from the beginning of the commercial cargo program, it's not really accurate to say that they man-rated the F9 as part of that program, as has been suggested in some other threads.

Man-rating the booster is a separate step in the commercial crew milestones, for both SpaceX and Boeing.  I will grant you that SpaceX was working towards that goal perhaps earlier than Boeing (and has more direct control over the booster design, it being their own product), but it's not like the F9 was already man-rated when the commercial crew contracts were awarded.

In fact, has either the Atlas V or the Falcon 9 been officially man-rated by NASA yet?  I was under the impression that neither provider has yet met this milestone...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Rocket Science

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Article says 1st STS STA was Challenger. Shouldn't this be Enterprise? I believe there was a mock up before Enterprise which was not a STA. Also Enterprise was originally planned for retrofit to flight after other orbiters were done, but newer orbiters were so much lighter, that idea was nixed.

STA-099 was the hull that became, OV-099 Challenger.  STA = Structural Test Article

OV-101 was Enterprise.  At one point, the plan was to modify OV-101 into a space-worthy vehicle.  However, it turned out to be cheaper to retrofit STA-099 into OV-099 than disassemble and retrofit OV-101.  One other benefit is that because of lessons learned OV-099 was able to carry more than a retrofitted OV-101 would have been able to into orbit.

OV-101 was later used for some structural analysis work at Marshall but it was never a structural test article.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/challenger-info.html

Andy
Andy, I found this to be a fairly accurate overview and fun to review once more... :)
Rob

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbiter_Vehicle_Designation
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Offline Ike17055

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Just to point out, while SpaceX has been pursuing man-rating the F9 from the beginning of the commercial cargo program, it's not really accurate to say that they man-rated the F9 as part of that program, as has been suggested in some other threads.

Man-rating the booster is a separate step in the commercial crew milestones, for both SpaceX and Boeing.  I will grant you that SpaceX was working towards that goal perhaps earlier than Boeing (and has more direct control over the booster design, it being their own product), but it's not like the F9 was already man-rated when the commercial crew contracts were awarded.

In fact, has either the Atlas V or the Falcon 9 been officially man-rated by NASA yet?  I was under the impression that neither provider has yet met this milestone...


Falcon was designed to be man-rated eventually so it is "baked in" to the design. I do not know if Atlas V was ever intended to be a human-rated launcher, but i doubt it. The emergency detection system for Atlas had to be created from scratch, basically a retrofit of existing capability.  The fact that Boeing has a vehicle that did not have a launcher designed around it, as Dragon did, and wasn't designed with a specific launcher from the start could well have contributed to some of the issues. Does it seem feasible that the acoustic isssues may arise from integrating two separately designed programs?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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He's not talking about design or implementation but actual certification (paperwork/proof/process).

Offline TomH

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STA-099 was the hull that became, OV-099 Challenger.  STA = Structural Test Article

OV-101 was Enterprise.  At one point, the plan was to modify OV-101 into a space-worthy vehicle.  However, it turned out to be cheaper to retrofit STA-099 into OV-099 than disassemble and retrofit OV-101.  One other benefit is that because of lessons learned OV-099 was able to carry more than a retrofitted OV-101 would have been able to into orbit.

OV-101 was later used for some structural analysis work at Marshall but it was never a structural test article.

Andy

Great lesson! Thanks!

Offline montyrmanley

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Falcon was designed to be man-rated eventually so it is "baked in" to the design. I do not know if Atlas V was ever intended to be a human-rated launcher, but i doubt it. The emergency detection system for Atlas had to be created from scratch, basically a retrofit of existing capability.  The fact that Boeing has a vehicle that did not have a launcher designed around it, as Dragon did, and wasn't designed with a specific launcher from the start could well have contributed to some of the issues. Does it seem feasible that the acoustic isssues may arise from integrating two separately designed programs?

One thing I've wondered about is what happens when ULA transitions from Atlas V to Vulcan. If Starliner doesn't fly until 2018, that means that Starliner is tied to a launch vehicle with a lifespan measured in at most a couple of years (assuming Vulcan is ready to fly by 2020). That would seem to raise the uncomfortable possibility of Starliner getting grounded if the performance characteristics of Vulcan differ from the Atlas V enough to require extensive redesigns of the capsule.

Offline joek

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Just to point out, while SpaceX has been pursuing man-rating the F9 from the beginning of the commercial cargo program, it's not really accurate to say that they man-rated the F9 as part of that program, as has been suggested in some other threads.

Man-rating the booster is a separate step in the commercial crew milestones, for both SpaceX and Boeing.  I will grant you that SpaceX was working towards that goal perhaps earlier than Boeing (and has more direct control over the booster design, it being their own product), but it's not like the F9 was already man-rated when the commercial crew contracts were awarded.

In fact, has either the Atlas V or the Falcon 9 been officially man-rated by NASA yet?  I was under the impression that neither provider has yet met this milestone...

There is no separate CCtCap milestone for human rating the LV.  NASA treats this as an integrated system, collectively referred to as CTS (crew transportation system),  and the certification process and milestones collectively incorporate and address integrated spacecraft and LV.

There are specific references to Falcon 9 documentation and vehicle modifications in the SpaceX CCtCap contract; they all roll up into milestones which include other non-LV activities.  The Boeing CCtCap contract has no similar verbiage.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2016 10:59 PM by joek »

Offline virnin

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Falcon was designed to be man-rated eventually so it is "baked in" to the design. I do not know if Atlas V was ever intended to be a human-rated launcher, but i doubt it. The emergency detection system for Atlas had to be created from scratch, basically a retrofit of existing capability.  The fact that Boeing has a vehicle that did not have a launcher designed around it, as Dragon did, and wasn't designed with a specific launcher from the start could well have contributed to some of the issues. Does it seem feasible that the acoustic isssues may arise from integrating two separately designed programs?

One thing I've wondered about is what happens when ULA transitions from Atlas V to Vulcan. If Starliner doesn't fly until 2018, that means that Starliner is tied to a launch vehicle with a lifespan measured in at most a couple of years (assuming Vulcan is ready to fly by 2020). That would seem to raise the uncomfortable possibility of Starliner getting grounded if the performance characteristics of Vulcan differ from the Atlas V enough to require extensive redesigns of the capsule.

Given the number of payloads designed for Atlas V, and those customers' reluctance to redesign for a new LV, I'm sure Vulcan design requirements include the ability to launch anything originally launched by Atlas.

Offline erioladastra

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So what does this delay in Commercial crew launch by Boeing mean for SpaceX ??..wasn't Boeing awarded the first flight ??...what happens if SpaceX could be ready fly a crew before 2018.??...does NASA let them go first ??

Boeing received Authority to Proceed first but t the time NASA made it clear that it did not mean necessarily they would be the first flight.


Offline mkent

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Quote
Meanwhile, Boeing has informed investors that the first crewed launch of Starliner will be delayed at least a full year to 2018 due to development issues.

Oh, good grief!

Delayed at least a full year?  No, it was delayed from December 2017 to February 2018, a delay of two months.  It had been delayed a similar amount (from October 2017 to December 2017) early this year, but neither delay was even close to a year.

The only reason this is newsworthy is because it crossed a year dateline.

Offline Sesquipedalian

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That's nothing.  I worked on a project about sixteen years ago that was delayed at least a full millennium.

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