Author Topic: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5  (Read 631406 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #20 on: 07/21/2020 02:10 am »
twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1285208947281014785

Quote
On commercial crew, Boeing CEO says part of the problem has been pressure to move too quickly: "All the production lines and pretty much everything else had been stressed to move faster than they would otherwise be able to. And I think that takes a toll."
https://aviationweek.com/ad-week/video-interviews/ceo-interview-david-calhouns-mission-fix-boeing

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1285380285954060288

Quote
Pressure to move as quickly as another company doing the same task for less money.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #21 on: 07/21/2020 03:43 am »
twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1285208947281014785

Quote
On commercial crew, Boeing CEO says part of the problem has been pressure to move too quickly: "All the production lines and pretty much everything else had been stressed to move faster than they would otherwise be able to. And I think that takes a toll."
https://aviationweek.com/ad-week/video-interviews/ceo-interview-david-calhouns-mission-fix-boeing

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1285380285954060288

Quote
Pressure to move as quickly as another company doing the same task for less money.

I read the entire article, and the Q&A that includes Commercial Crew also talked about the 737 MAX and the KC-46 programs - Boeing CEO Calhoun did not specifically say which program related to the "pressure". From the article:
Quote
Q:Boeing has faced major challenges across the company—the MAX in commercial, the KC-46 tanker in defense and Commercial Crew in space. Are you detecting a systemic problem, or are these individual and coincidental problems?

A: I think they’re unique to themselves, with one exception. It is not a surprise to anybody that the supply chain, production ramp-up and growth of the industry over the last 5-6 years has brought all kinds of stresses. You’ve been writing about it for quite some time. All the production lines and pretty much everything else had been stressed to move faster than they would otherwise be able to. And I think that takes a toll. I’m not saying that’s the identical situation for each of these programs you’re calling out, but that’s the environment we’ve had for quite some time. Otherwise, these are unique problems.

I'm not sure we know which of those three programs was the exception, so I don't think we can safely assume he was talking about Commercial Crew.

And it wouldn't make sense to blame supply chain and production ramp-up issues for Starliner, since it was not hardware issues that Boeing has failed at but software, and Boeing has had plenty of years to build the few Starliners they have needed till now.

My $0.02
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #22 on: 07/21/2020 04:13 am »
twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1285208947281014785

Quote
On commercial crew, Boeing CEO says part of the problem has been pressure to move too quickly: "All the production lines and pretty much everything else had been stressed to move faster than they would otherwise be able to. And I think that takes a toll."
https://aviationweek.com/ad-week/video-interviews/ceo-interview-david-calhouns-mission-fix-boeing

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1285380285954060288

Quote
Pressure to move as quickly as another company doing the same task for less money.

I read the entire article, and the Q&A that includes Commercial Crew also talked about the 737 MAX and the KC-46 programs - Boeing CEO Calhoun did not specifically say which program related to the "pressure". From the article:
Quote
Q:Boeing has faced major challenges across the company—the MAX in commercial, the KC-46 tanker in defense and Commercial Crew in space. Are you detecting a systemic problem, or are these individual and coincidental problems?

A: I think they’re unique to themselves, with one exception. It is not a surprise to anybody that the supply chain, production ramp-up and growth of the industry over the last 5-6 years has brought all kinds of stresses. You’ve been writing about it for quite some time. All the production lines and pretty much everything else had been stressed to move faster than they would otherwise be able to. And I think that takes a toll. I’m not saying that’s the identical situation for each of these programs you’re calling out, but that’s the environment we’ve had for quite some time. Otherwise, these are unique problems.

I'm not sure we know which of those three programs was the exception, so I don't think we can safely assume he was talking about Commercial Crew.

And it wouldn't make sense to blame supply chain and production ramp-up issues for Starliner, since it was not hardware issues that Boeing has failed at but software, and Boeing has had plenty of years to build the few Starliners they have needed till now.

My $0.02
Software was the issue for the 737 Max also.  So that accounts for two of the three major problems they've had.  I don't buy his answer.  They have some systemic issues in my opinion.

Offline intelati

Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #23 on: 07/21/2020 01:25 pm »
Software was the issue for the 737 Max also.  So that accounts for two of the three major problems they've had.  I don't buy his answer.  They have some systemic issues in my opinion.

A systematic issue of software timeline and testing. So, the CEO's not entirely wrong, but enough wrong that we can call him out on the issues that we CAN see.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #24 on: 07/21/2020 03:11 pm »
I'm not sure we know which of those three programs was the exception, so I don't think we can safely assume he was talking about Commercial Crew.

And it wouldn't make sense to blame supply chain and production ramp-up issues for Starliner, since it was not hardware issues that Boeing has failed at but software, and Boeing has had plenty of years to build the few Starliners they have needed till now.

My $0.02
Software was the issue for the 737 Max also.  So that accounts for two of the three major problems they've had.  I don't buy his answer.  They have some systemic issues in my opinion.

Software has nothing to do with supply chain and production ramp-up issues though, which was my point.

And so regarding the article, and the quote from Scott Manley about the article, the Boeing CEO was NOT citing supply chain and production ramp-up issues for Starliner in that article, but for one or both of the other programs (i.e. 737 MAX and KC-46).

In reality, the Boeing CEO did not address ANYTHING specifically related to Commercial Crew in the interview, so we know nothing more about how they plan to address their failings.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline abaddon

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #25 on: 07/21/2020 04:10 pm »
I read the entire article, and the Q&A that includes Commercial Crew also talked about the 737 MAX and the KC-46 programs - Boeing CEO Calhoun did not specifically say which program related to the "pressure". From the article:
Quote
Q:Boeing has faced major challenges across the company—the MAX in commercial, the KC-46 tanker in defense and Commercial Crew in space. Are you detecting a systemic problem, or are these individual and coincidental problems?

A: I think they’re unique to themselves, with one exception. It is not a surprise to anybody that the supply chain, production ramp-up and growth of the industry over the last 5-6 years has brought all kinds of stresses. You’ve been writing about it for quite some time. All the production lines and pretty much everything else had been stressed to move faster than they would otherwise be able to. And I think that takes a toll. I’m not saying that’s the identical situation for each of these programs you’re calling out, but that’s the environment we’ve had for quite some time. Otherwise, these are unique problems.

I'm not sure we know which of those three programs was the exception, so I don't think we can safely assume he was talking about Commercial Crew.

And it wouldn't make sense to blame supply chain and production ramp-up issues for Starliner, since it was not hardware issues that Boeing has failed at but software, and Boeing has had plenty of years to build the few Starliners they have needed till now.

My $0.02
The way the question and answer are written, the "exception" is in relation to "major challenges across the company", not an individual program.  So the answer is saying that most of the challenges are program-unique, but there is one exception which is not, and it immediately goes on to detail that problem.
Quote
I’m not saying that’s the identical situation for each of these programs you’re calling out, but that’s the environment we’ve had for quite some time. Otherwise, these are unique problems.
So, not identical, but similar.  And the final sentence highlights that other than the issue being described the programs have seen unique problems.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2020 04:12 pm by abaddon »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #26 on: 07/23/2020 02:11 pm »
The issue with Starliner is they hired subcontractors to do the software and then fired them as soon as they were “done.” So there is a lack of consistent, internal competency making it really tough to catch things later on and making troubleshooting a lot harder as the people who actually wrote the code are long gone.

Blaming “moving fast” is pretty silly. SpaceX moves fast, but commercial crew went well. The problem is firing your software writers really fast....
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #27 on: 07/23/2020 02:53 pm »
The issue with Starliner is they hired subcontractors to do the software and then fired them as soon as they were “done.” So there is a lack of consistent, internal competency making it really tough to catch things later on and making troubleshooting a lot harder as the people who actually wrote the code are long gone.

Blaming “moving fast” is pretty silly. SpaceX moves fast, but commercial crew went well. The problem is firing your software writers really fast....
I didn't realize Boeing had done this.  I've seen companies do this before with subcontractors working on critical software and it usually turns into a disaster.  It is mind boggling to me that upper management doesn't understand the reasons you want to keep core competencies critical to your business in-house.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #28 on: 07/23/2020 04:01 pm »
I'd also have to say that, with acres upon acres of completed 737MAX aircraft sitting on tarmacs unsold, their orders canceled, that's one production line that simply cannot be pressured because it isn't moving fast enough.  The software fix "production line" may be stressed, but that's not a production line, that's taking back a broken process and fixing it such that your product can be sold, period.

Once again, the classic aerospace companies are so deeply entrenched in obfuscation, even when told it's okay, you can tell us the truth, what comes out of their mouths is immediately recognizable as a part of a systemic set of assumptions.  Heck, at this point it comes down to self-deception...  :(
« Last Edit: 07/23/2020 04:02 pm by the_other_Doug »
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #29 on: 07/23/2020 04:22 pm »
The issue with Starliner is they hired subcontractors to do the software and then fired them as soon as they were “done.” So there is a lack of consistent, internal competency making it really tough to catch things later on and making troubleshooting a lot harder as the people who actually wrote the code are long gone.

They updated the service module software pretty quickly? So, troubleshooting wasn't a problem?

Offline mn

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #30 on: 07/23/2020 06:08 pm »
The issue with Starliner is they hired subcontractors to do the software and then fired them as soon as they were “done.”
...

Is this a verified fact? or just assumptions?

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #31 on: 07/23/2020 08:38 pm »
<snip>
It is mind boggling to me that upper management doesn't understand the reasons you want to keep core competencies critical to your business in-house.

Not to a bean counter. They see the people with the competence as a large expense. All they care about is reducing expenses to get a bigger bottom line. AIUI the compensation for the top management is usually tied to the size of the company's quarterly bottom line. Larger dividends for better shareholder value with bigger bottom line.

Offline cppetrie

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #32 on: 07/23/2020 09:33 pm »
So February 2021 is the launch date. That means we'll see two Crew Dragons docked at the same time for the direct handover, right?

And I'm curious what's happening with Boeing CFT, they were expecting short turnaround between OFT-1 and CFT so if OFT-2 is going up Octoberish, why not send CFT in February?
No inside info here but I’d guess they aren’t planning for CFT in February because that’s a question mark, and a rather big one given OFT-2 hasn’t even passed reviews yet. They have to plan like those won’t go off smoothly and will maybe adapt and rearrange if they do. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Not the other way around.

Offline king1999

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #33 on: 07/24/2020 05:59 am »
So February 2021 is the launch date. That means we'll see two Crew Dragons docked at the same time for the direct handover, right?

And I'm curious what's happening with Boeing CFT, they were expecting short turnaround between OFT-1 and CFT so if OFT-2 is going up Octoberish, why not send CFT in February?
No inside info here but I’d guess they aren’t planning for CFT in February because that’s a question mark, and a rather big one given OFT-2 hasn’t even passed reviews yet. They have to plan like those won’t go off smoothly and will maybe adapt and rearrange if they do. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Not the other way around.
My feeling based on all the public information is that they would be lucky if they can get OFT-2 off the ground by Spring 2021 and CFT by Fall 2021. Last time they spent over a year just to fix some fuel leak in the launch escape system.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2020 06:00 am by king1999 »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #34 on: 07/24/2020 07:37 am »
Boeing has software engineers in Brisbane, Australia that developed some VR software for Starliner. I don't know if they were involved in any spacecraft software.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australian-software-engineers-are-using-virtual-reality-to-help-astronauts-train-for-space-travel-2017-10
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Offline Frogstar_Robot

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #35 on: 07/24/2020 09:09 am »
<snip>
It is mind boggling to me that upper management doesn't understand the reasons you want to keep core competencies critical to your business in-house.

Not to a bean counter. They see the people with the competence as a large expense. All they care about is reducing expenses to get a bigger bottom line. AIUI the compensation for the top management is usually tied to the size of the company's quarterly bottom line. Larger dividends for better shareholder value with bigger bottom line.

Exactly this. I have seen it first hand, and only recently in one of those "large engineering companies". A software team was disbanded, but later when the product line needed updates, they brought in a bunch of guys with no experience of the application. Needless to say, the project went well over time and budget, the customer was on the point of cancelling.

Meanwhile the management were oblivious, and spent their time shuffling deckchairs. "Work harder" they said...
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Offline dondar

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #36 on: 07/24/2020 06:55 pm »
The issue with Starliner is they hired subcontractors to do the software and then fired them as soon as they were “done.” So there is a lack of consistent, internal competency making it really tough to catch things later on and making troubleshooting a lot harder as the people who actually wrote the code are long gone.

They updated the service module software pretty quickly? So, troubleshooting wasn't a problem?
have they?

Offline meekGee

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #37 on: 07/25/2020 06:22 am »
The issue with Starliner is they hired subcontractors to do the software and then fired them as soon as they were “done.” So there is a lack of consistent, internal competency making it really tough to catch things later on and making troubleshooting a lot harder as the people who actually wrote the code are long gone.

They updated the service module software pretty quickly? So, troubleshooting wasn't a problem?
They uploaded new sequences and a new thruster mapping file IIRC.

Even "code" is likely only high level scripts.

I'm pretty sure they didn't develop a new OS in the day or so the capsule was in space.
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #38 on: 07/29/2020 09:45 am »
So, just to make sure that I'm on top of this and my reading comprehension hasn't slipped any:

1) The problems with Starliner are almost entirely due to control system software QA shortfalls;

2) Starliner OFT-2 is currently 'TBD' at the moment as the experts debate on whether it is genuinely necessary; however, Boeing have made concrete preparations to fly the mission and cover the cost themselves;

3) Assuming that the flight control system  and other software can be shown to be reasonably reliable, there are no reasonable grounds to not proceed to CFT-1.

That aside, would I be right in saying that SpaceX will have no problem covering any slated Starliner flights with Dragon-2 until the kinks in the other spacecraft are ironed out?
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Offline Vettedrmr

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #39 on: 07/29/2020 11:56 am »
So, just to make sure that I'm on top of this and my reading comprehension hasn't slipped any:

1) The problems with Starliner are almost entirely due to control system software QA shortfalls;

I would disagree with this, if you're thinking of S/W QA in the traditional, independent department, sense. The problem is much more ingrained in their development and testing culture: it seems that Boeing's development team did an incomplete set of peer reviews, low level unit testing, and mid-level integration testing.  It also seems like they did little to no actual hardware in the loop systems integration testing, instead using software simulations and assuming those were valid.  I'm sure they did more work than the IRT report summaries we read imply, but for sure there were a lot of holes to fill in.

Quote
2) Starliner OFT-2 is currently 'TBD' at the moment as the experts debate on whether it is genuinely necessary; however, Boeing have made concrete preparations to fly the mission and cover the cost themselves;

OFT-2, I believe, is a given at this point.  When is the question.

Quote
3) Assuming that the flight control system  and other software can be shown to be reasonably reliable, there are no reasonable grounds to not proceed to CFT-1.

As will be demonstrated by OFT-2.

Quote
That aside, would I be right in saying that SpaceX will have no problem covering any slated Starliner flights with Dragon-2 until the kinks in the other spacecraft are ironed out?

I think planning now has SpaceX flying Crew 2 mission, and hopefully Starliner will be ready to go on-line by the end of Crew 2.

HTH, and have a good one,
Mike
Aviation/space enthusiast, retired control system SW engineer, doesn't know anything!

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