Author Topic: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5  (Read 637978 times)

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1640 on: 05/16/2022 02:32 pm »

One thing that probably been glaringly obvious to the old hands here, but not to a newcomer like me until it finally clicked: Atlas V uses a Centaur upper stage, and Vulcan uses a Centaur upper stage. Starliner is a payload on top to Centaur. Thus, the transition would be as close to seamless as possible. They also both stack vertically. Thus the only "integration" needed is to characterize the launch regime, and Atlas V and Vulcan ought to be fairly similar.


That was a different version of Centaur though. Centaur V is quite different, and would need to be re-rated, wouldn't it?

I think you're trying to make things seem more similar than they are. Most all rockets stack vertically, and human rating is about more than the launch regime. Its about reliability, how problems are managed as they occur, all sorts of things.
While Vulcan shares alot with Atlas, its not simply Atlas v5.1.

Offline Jim

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1641 on: 05/16/2022 02:57 pm »
<snip>
One thing that probably been glaringly obvious to the old hands here, but not to a newcomer like me until it finally clicked: Atlas V uses a Centaur upper stage, and Vulcan uses a Centaur upper stage. Starliner is a payload on top to Centaur. Thus, the transition would be as close to seamless as possible. They also both stack vertically. Thus the only "integration" needed is to characterize the launch regime, and Atlas V and Vulcan ought to be fairly similar.
The different versions of the "Centaur" are not quite the same.

The Atlas V uses a narrow Centaur 3 with stainless steel balloon tanks. Reason why the Atlas V N22 need the fancy after skirt fairing for the Starliner.

The Vulcan Centaur uses the Centaur V. More or less an enlarge Delta cryogenic second stage. Just with one more RL-10s.

Think of the Vulcan Centaur as a bigger Delta IV converted to use hydrocarbon propulsion with the core stage. Still ULA shouldn't have too many issues characterizing the launch regimes between the Delta IV and the Vulcan Centaur.


No, The Vulcan Centaur uses the Centaur V. More or less an enlarged Atlas V Centaur with inverted common bulkhead and the avionics moved aft.  It is still balloon tanks unlike Delta IV and its hung tanks.
« Last Edit: 05/16/2022 02:59 pm by Jim »

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1642 on: 05/16/2022 03:39 pm »

One thing that probably been glaringly obvious to the old hands here, but not to a newcomer like me until it finally clicked: Atlas V uses a Centaur upper stage, and Vulcan uses a Centaur upper stage. Starliner is a payload on top to Centaur. Thus, the transition would be as close to seamless as possible. They also both stack vertically. Thus the only "integration" needed is to characterize the launch regime, and Atlas V and Vulcan ought to be fairly similar.


That was a different version of Centaur though. Centaur V is quite different, and would need to be re-rated, wouldn't it?

I think you're trying to make things seem more similar than they are. Most all rockets stack vertically, and human rating is about more than the launch regime. Its about reliability, how problems are managed as they occur, all sorts of things.
While Vulcan shares alot with Atlas, its not simply Atlas v5.1.
"Most rockets" being launched in the US are F9, and F9 is the alternative being discussed in several posts here. As I understand it, F9 stacks horizontally and is then raised to vertical using a strongback. I doubt that Starliner-on-F9 is viable for other reasons as we have discussed.

Offline Barley

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1643 on: 05/16/2022 03:49 pm »
Presumably all the mechanical components are designed on a computer and subject to finite-element analysis.  So verifying all parts meet the 40% strength margin should be easy.

I disagree to some extent.  Clever designs that are closer to the limits are harder to verify.  If you design by hand you can use a small computer to verify.  If you design by computer you need a bigger computer to verify.  If you use the biggest computer to design you just have to trust it.

Also the 40% strength margin is an empirical rule of thumb.  Combined with limits on design techniques it also covers unknown failure modes.  When you start squeezing strength limits with new techniques unknown failure modes may crop up leading to new rules of thumb.  Treating the 40% as gospel is fine as long as it remains a paper exercise, but it may not survive contact with reality.


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Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1644 on: 05/16/2022 05:07 pm »

"Most rockets" being launched in the US are F9, and F9 is the alternative being discussed in several posts here. As I understand it, F9 stacks horizontally and is then raised to vertical using a strongback. I doubt that Starliner-on-F9 is viable for other reasons as we have discussed.

No.   "Most rockets" is not the same as the rocket launched the most.  Falcon 9 is just "a" rocket and not "most rockets"
Yep, just another rocket, but it's the only potential short-term alternative to Atlas V and Vulcan being discussed on this thread, and I was attempting to point out that it is probably not a viable alternative for Starliner.

If my understanding is correct, then with respect to the specific point being discussed here (horizontal versus vertical integration), F9 is currently launching more US missions than all other rockets combined, which means that more payloads are being launched using horizontal integration than vertical integration.

Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1645 on: 05/16/2022 05:44 pm »
<snip>
Boeing very much intended to sell Starliner flights outside of Commercial Crew. Several very clear signals were given by Boeing itself, when they publically revealed the proposed Starliner interior in early 2014. That design was even more sleek looking than what is on Crew Dragon today.
<snip>
Oh, and uh, that sleek looking interior from 2014?

Well, nobody ever saw it again after 2015. Instead, Boeing adopted something that looks much more like Orion's interior, than Crew Dragon's interior.
<snip>
Wonder how much influence Chris Ferguson have in how the Starliner interior and control interfaces (consoles) ended up the way they are today?

Or did the beancounters got involved in the Starliner interior design process which resulted in the use of components from the Boeing parts bin.
Are there changes to the control panels and displays? Or is it only the interior appointments?
Maybe we should call this thread the Padliner thread.

Offline Jim

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1646 on: 05/16/2022 06:03 pm »

If my understanding is correct, then with respect to the specific point being discussed here (horizontal versus vertical integration), F9 is currently launching more US missions than all other rockets combined, which means that more payloads are being launched using horizontal integration than vertical integration.

Starlink and Dragon distort the numbers.

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1647 on: 05/16/2022 06:34 pm »
<snip>
One thing that probably been glaringly obvious to the old hands here, but not to a newcomer like me until it finally clicked: Atlas V uses a Centaur upper stage, and Vulcan uses a Centaur upper stage. Starliner is a payload on top to Centaur. Thus, the transition would be as close to seamless as possible. They also both stack vertically. Thus the only "integration" needed is to characterize the launch regime, and Atlas V and Vulcan ought to be fairly similar.
The different versions of the "Centaur" are not quite the same.

The Atlas V uses a narrow Centaur 3 with stainless steel balloon tanks. Reason why the Atlas V N22 need the fancy after skirt fairing for the Starliner.

The Vulcan Centaur uses the Centaur V. More or less an enlarge Delta cryogenic second stage. Just with one more RL-10s.

Think of the Vulcan Centaur as a bigger Delta IV converted to use hydrocarbon propulsion with the core stage. Still ULA shouldn't have too many issues characterizing the launch regimes between the Delta IV and the Vulcan Centaur.


No, The Vulcan Centaur uses the Centaur V. More or less an enlarged Atlas V Centaur with inverted common bulkhead and the avionics moved aft.  It is still balloon tanks unlike Delta IV and its hung tanks.
This blindly ignores the context. Centaur V is not soo similar that it wouldn't need human rating.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1648 on: 05/16/2022 06:37 pm »
<snip>
Boeing very much intended to sell Starliner flights outside of Commercial Crew. Several very clear signals were given by Boeing itself, when they publically revealed the proposed Starliner interior in early 2014. That design was even more sleek looking than what is on Crew Dragon today.
<snip>
Oh, and uh, that sleek looking interior from 2014?

Well, nobody ever saw it again after 2015. Instead, Boeing adopted something that looks much more like Orion's interior, than Crew Dragon's interior.
<snip>
Wonder how much influence Chris Ferguson have in how the Starliner interior and control interfaces (consoles) ended up the way they are today?

Or did the beancounters got involved in the Starliner interior design process which resulted in the use of components from the Boeing parts bin.
Are there changes to the control panels and displays? Or is it only the interior appointments?
Search for images of the Starliner interior circa 2014 and post 2015.

Control panels was initially similar to the Crew Dragon's touchscreens. Later the panels looks like the whats in US military aircraft between 2000 and 2010.

Online Redclaws

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1649 on: 05/16/2022 06:50 pm »
Presumably all the mechanical components are designed on a computer and subject to finite-element analysis.  So verifying all parts meet the 40% strength margin should be easy.

I disagree to some extent.  Clever designs that are closer to the limits are harder to verify.  If you design by hand you can use a small computer to verify.  If you design by computer you need a bigger computer to verify.  If you use the biggest computer to design you just have to trust it.

This really doesn't make any sense to me.  You design *and* verify with the highest fidelity available, testing against other computer models and - as much as your budget permits and is appropriate - various real world articles.

This idea that you need a larger computer to verify the computer is just ... weird.  You might *use* a larger computer to do heavier duty modeling at a later stage because it's too expensive to do at an earlier one.  But there's no *requirement* - it's just a question of availability and cost effectiveness of various levels of fidelity.

Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1650 on: 05/16/2022 07:12 pm »
<snip>
Boeing very much intended to sell Starliner flights outside of Commercial Crew. Several very clear signals were given by Boeing itself, when they publically revealed the proposed Starliner interior in early 2014. That design was even more sleek looking than what is on Crew Dragon today.
<snip>
Oh, and uh, that sleek looking interior from 2014?

Well, nobody ever saw it again after 2015. Instead, Boeing adopted something that looks much more like Orion's interior, than Crew Dragon's interior.
<snip>
Wonder how much influence Chris Ferguson have in how the Starliner interior and control interfaces (consoles) ended up the way they are today?

Or did the beancounters got involved in the Starliner interior design process which resulted in the use of components from the Boeing parts bin.
Are there changes to the control panels and displays? Or is it only the interior appointments?
Search for images of the Starliner interior circa 2014 and post 2015.

Control panels was initially similar to the Crew Dragon's touchscreens. Later the panels looks like the whats in US military aircraft between 2000 and 2010.
The old bait and switch? Boeing originally selected a flight computer powered by a Pentium processor and 4 meg of RAM which is common with the upgraded F-15s.  There is no way it had the I/O to do graphical touch screens that don't look pixelated like a 1990s Gameboy. Didn't anyone ask them what flight computer could do the graphics?  F-35 has one that might be able to do the job but that comes from a different supplier. Good news is, Boeing never wrote any software that they had throw away.
Maybe we should call this thread the Padliner thread.

Offline punder

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1651 on: 05/16/2022 08:16 pm »
Starlink and Dragon distort the numbers.
Thank goodness. Keep up the distortion, SpaceX!

Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1652 on: 05/16/2022 08:34 pm »
Starlink and Dragon distort the numbers.
Thank goodness. Keep up the distortion, SpaceX!
Amazonís constellation will distort the numbers too?  I donít understand the distortion logic.
Maybe we should call this thread the Padliner thread.

Offline Athelstane

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1653 on: 05/16/2022 09:50 pm »

If my understanding is correct, then with respect to the specific point being discussed here (horizontal versus vertical integration), F9 is currently launching more US missions than all other rockets combined, which means that more payloads are being launched using horizontal integration than vertical integration.

Starlink and Dragon distort the numbers.

This *might* have some kind of relevance if the discussion were about the elasticity of comsat market demand, but I'm puzzled how it has any relevance to Falcon 9's manifest. The rockets don't care what the payloads are. And the payloads in question are all genuine space hardware genuinely going to orbit.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1654 on: 05/17/2022 02:40 am »
Moderator:
Thread locked 🔒 while I delete posts.

Stay on-topic.  Read for comprehension before posting.  Write for comprehension when posting.

Particularly, we're not here to argue about "a" rocket, one type of rocket out of several, or "most" rockets.

Really?

Also, the "distortion" splinter discussion is off-topic.  Move on, or discuss it an appropriate thread.

Thread unlocked.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2022 02:42 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline edzieba

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1655 on: 05/17/2022 08:57 am »
<snip>
Boeing very much intended to sell Starliner flights outside of Commercial Crew. Several very clear signals were given by Boeing itself, when they publically revealed the proposed Starliner interior in early 2014. That design was even more sleek looking than what is on Crew Dragon today.
<snip>
Oh, and uh, that sleek looking interior from 2014?

Well, nobody ever saw it again after 2015. Instead, Boeing adopted something that looks much more like Orion's interior, than Crew Dragon's interior.
<snip>
Wonder how much influence Chris Ferguson have in how the Starliner interior and control interfaces (consoles) ended up the way they are today?

Or did the beancounters got involved in the Starliner interior design process which resulted in the use of components from the Boeing parts bin.
Are there changes to the control panels and displays? Or is it only the interior appointments?
Search for images of the Starliner interior circa 2014 and post 2015.

Control panels was initially similar to the Crew Dragon's touchscreens. Later the panels looks like the whats in US military aircraft between 2000 and 2010.
The old bait and switch? Boeing originally selected a flight computer powered by a Pentium processor and 4 meg of RAM which is common with the upgraded F-15s.  There is no way it had the I/O to do graphical touch screens that don't look pixelated like a 1990s Gameboy. Didn't anyone ask them what flight computer could do the graphics?  F-35 has one that might be able to do the job but that comes from a different supplier. Good news is, Boeing never wrote any software that they had throw away.
The computer that runs the avionics does not need to be the computer that renders the UI. It's probably a good idea for it not to be the same computer. That's also how Dragon does it: avionics on its own quorum system, UI on a separate machine (running a web-based GUI of all things).

Offline baldusi

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1656 on: 05/17/2022 12:17 pm »
[...]
The old bait and switch? Boeing originally selected a flight computer powered by a Pentium processor and 4 meg of RAM which is common with the upgraded F-15s.  There is no way it had the I/O to do graphical touch screens that don't look pixelated like a 1990s Gameboy. Didn't anyone ask them what flight computer could do the graphics?  F-35 has one that might be able to do the job but that comes from a different supplier. Good news is, Boeing never wrote any software that they had throw away.
The computer that runs the avionics does not need to be the computer that renders the UI. It's probably a good idea for it not to be the same computer. That's also how Dragon does it: avionics on its own quorum system, UI on a separate machine (running a web-based GUI of all things).
From what I remember, NVidia supplied graphic processors for one of the new aircrafts (I think it was F-22, but could have been F-35). The nice thing about graphics is that it can be offloaded. Also, a 4MB Pentium can handle a lot of a graphic interface with plenty of processing sparetime if it has a graphics processor. Those of us that used GEMS or Windows 2.0 on i386 know this all too well.  ;)
The change in interface was probably not a bait a switch. I think it probably was a huge cost and effort of a design feature not specifically requested by the client, and it was not something Boeing wanted to put too much effort/money if they didn't feel it was a highly desired and differentiating item. From NASA's point of view, they probably thought that you'd better keep the "conservative" contractor using legacy interfaces as a hedge against SpaceX "innovative" one.

Offline niwax

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1657 on: 05/17/2022 12:36 pm »
<snip>
Boeing very much intended to sell Starliner flights outside of Commercial Crew. Several very clear signals were given by Boeing itself, when they publically revealed the proposed Starliner interior in early 2014. That design was even more sleek looking than what is on Crew Dragon today.
<snip>
Oh, and uh, that sleek looking interior from 2014?

Well, nobody ever saw it again after 2015. Instead, Boeing adopted something that looks much more like Orion's interior, than Crew Dragon's interior.
<snip>
Wonder how much influence Chris Ferguson have in how the Starliner interior and control interfaces (consoles) ended up the way they are today?

Or did the beancounters got involved in the Starliner interior design process which resulted in the use of components from the Boeing parts bin.
Are there changes to the control panels and displays? Or is it only the interior appointments?
Search for images of the Starliner interior circa 2014 and post 2015.

Control panels was initially similar to the Crew Dragon's touchscreens. Later the panels looks like the whats in US military aircraft between 2000 and 2010.

What struck me when looking at the pictures is that they are all renders, whereas Dragon was first shown with a full mockup/test capsule. What we see here is likely less of a deliberate change in direction and more an imagining by some reasonably cheap marketing agency because Boeing didn't want to spend any engineering dollars before getting the NASA contract. I would not be surprised if those images had no connection whatsoever with the actual engineering effort that followed.
Which booster has the most soot? SpaceX booster launch history! (discussion)

Offline edzieba

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Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1658 on: 05/17/2022 01:38 pm »
It may also have been due to pushback from the astronaut corps and/or hiring aerospace engineers familiar with the then-contemporary STS controls (lots of direct function hardware switches, lots of dedicated-purpose readouts, direct and immediate insight into and deep access to vehicle functions), and wary of switching to an unproved touch-based user interface with lack of direct controls and a near-entirely software-mediated vehicle interaction. If SpaceX were willing to push forward with the new concept and Boeing preferred to go with what was known to work, it may not have been out of cost-cutting at all but due to (perceived or actual) user demand.

Re: Boeing's Starliner (CST-100) - Discussion Thread 5
« Reply #1659 on: 05/17/2022 04:48 pm »
<snip>
Boeing very much intended to sell Starliner flights outside of Commercial Crew. Several very clear signals were given by Boeing itself, when they publically revealed the proposed Starliner interior in early 2014. That design was even more sleek looking than what is on Crew Dragon today.
<snip>
Oh, and uh, that sleek looking interior from 2014?

Well, nobody ever saw it again after 2015. Instead, Boeing adopted something that looks much more like Orion's interior, than Crew Dragon's interior.
<snip>
Wonder how much influence Chris Ferguson have in how the Starliner interior and control interfaces (consoles) ended up the way they are today?

Or did the beancounters got involved in the Starliner interior design process which resulted in the use of components from the Boeing parts bin.
Are there changes to the control panels and displays? Or is it only the interior appointments?
Search for images of the Starliner interior circa 2014 and post 2015.

Control panels was initially similar to the Crew Dragon's touchscreens. Later the panels looks like the whats in US military aircraft between 2000 and 2010.
The old bait and switch? Boeing originally selected a flight computer powered by a Pentium processor and 4 meg of RAM which is common with the upgraded F-15s.  There is no way it had the I/O to do graphical touch screens that don't look pixelated like a 1990s Gameboy. Didn't anyone ask them what flight computer could do the graphics?  F-35 has one that might be able to do the job but that comes from a different supplier. Good news is, Boeing never wrote any software that they had throw away.
The computer that runs the avionics does not need to be the computer that renders the UI. It's probably a good idea for it not to be the same computer. That's also how Dragon does it: avionics on its own quorum system, UI on a separate machine (running a web-based GUI of all things).
Yes, such a thing can be done, kind of like a specialized terminal, but that introduces a new kind of complexity because a protocol has to be developed to communicate with the displays and buttons via a network or bus of some kind. The Air Force is talking about separate computer for weapons controls from flight computers because of problems with the F-35.
Maybe we should call this thread the Padliner thread.

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