Boeing's Starliner Fails to Reach Correct Orbit En Route to Space Station

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Dec 13, 2019
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Why did NASA scrap their vehicles and use Russian?
All the talk about sanction and this doesn't matter?
What if Russians came up with sanctions and refused to lift Americans toward ISS?
 

JTG

Dec 22, 2019
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Really interesting if this is another software issue. Preliminary reports show the Mission Elapse Timer was off. So just like MCAS, was there any reliability and redundancy built into the design?

Was there adequate Failure Mode Effects & Analysis (FMEA) conducted during its functional analysis and architecture design? Because it's pretty obvious now with a failure mode of a non-working MET, that could be catastrophic with a mission failure of not being able to reach the ISS. Was their any redundancy built into the design? Perhaps multiple timers in parallel sequence with parity checks in place? That might have entailed adding multiple data-buses but also would have improved reliability into the design. Maybe Boeing bean counters thought the cost-benefits analysis didn't favor it.

Bridenstine said had astronauts been onboard they could have overcome the automation error. Based on Boeing's propensity to only put things they deem necessary in their manuals, would the astronauts have known and been trained on such a failure mode?

Timers that start an auto-sequence (such as an engine burn) isn't new. This goes way back perhaps before even Apollo with the development of the first large-scale rockets.

So it's a shame that Boeing demonstrated again their technical failure to deliver and only further questions the cultural attitude upper management has over quality/safety versus profits. I support our space programs and the quest to discover new things that will help our human-kind. What I don't like is billions of taxpayer's money being spent and we are still getting duds like this event from a highly recognizable aerospace company. Come on, for what Boeing is charging, put quality into your products - timers are common and matured technology that shouldn't be failing!!!

It doesn't matter if we are talking about Boeing's Space/Defense division or BCA (Boeing Commercial Airplanes). Money talks among upper management across all divisions. What needs to be looked at here is the failing leadership going on at Boeing from a corporate-wide perspective. Is Boeing taking the cheapest route to build their products or are they failing to invest in their engineers? Perhaps both, and that's really sad!
 
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Reactions: Warren Taylor
Dec 20, 2019
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Really interesting if this is another software issue. Preliminary reports show the Mission Elapse Timer was off. So just like MCAS, was there any reliability and redundancy built into the design?

Was there adequate Failure Mode Effects & Analysis (FMEA) conducted during its functional analysis and architecture design? Because it's pretty obvious now with a failure mode of a non-working MET, that could be catastrophic with a mission failure of not being able to reach the ISS. Was their any redundancy built into the design? Perhaps multiple timers in parallel sequence with parity checks in place? That might have entailed adding multiple data-buses but also would have improved reliability into the design. Maybe Boeing bean counters thought the cost-benefits analysis didn't favor it.

Bridenstine said had astronauts been onboard they could have overcome the automation error. Based on Boeing's propensity to only put things they deem necessary in their manuals, would the astronauts have known and been trained on such a failure mode?

Timers that start an auto-sequence (such as an engine burn) isn't new. This goes way back perhaps before even Apollo with the development of the first large-scale rockets.

So it's a shame that Boeing demonstrated again their technical failure to deliver and only further questions the cultural attitude upper management has over quality/safety versus profits. I support our space programs and the quest to discover new things that will help our human-kind. What I don't like is billions of taxpayer's money being spent and we are still getting duds like this event from a highly recognizable aerospace company. Come on, for what Boeing is charging, put quality into your products - timers are common and matured technology that shouldn't be failing!!!

It doesn't matter if we are talking about Boeing's Space/Defense division or BCA (Boeing Commercial Airplanes). Money talks among upper management across all divisions. What needs to be looked at here is the failing leadership going on at Boeing from a corporate-wide perspective. Is Boeing taking the cheapest route to build their products or are they failing to invest in their engineers? Perhaps both, and that's really sad!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Warren Taylor
Dec 22, 2019
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So, they stuck the landing and all 3 parachutes opened THIS time! Hooray! It would still bother me that the automated system failed to put the capsule in the proper orbit and that only 2 parachutes opened during a previous test. Boeing's record on automated systems and the pilot's ability to override them is not what I would call good. Given the choice, I think I would rather ride the Prius of spacecrafts that works (SpaceX) rather than the Cadillac that keeps having problems (Boeing).
 
Dec 23, 2019
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As a retired electrical/software engineer who spent the last 20 years of my career in aerospace, I have HUGE problems with that MET setting issue. I have been involved in developing and testing a TON of software, and find it hard to believe that this problem could have crept through a properly designed and executed testing process. Either their processes were inadequate or the test team really screwed up, maybe both. I expect that there might be some negative career consequences for those involved!

Before retirement I was with Perkin-Elmer, Orbital Sciences, and Hamilton Sundstrand (in that order)

Warren Taylor
 
Dec 23, 2019
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Wrong booster. Thats it. MECO was too early. Most likely the calculation was done in India by $9.00 p.h. students. Bet money, the next time will be 4 boosters instead of 2. Star Liner is way to heavy for a single RD-180.
Are you nuts? The problem was with the CST-100 flight software, NOT the Atlas 5, which appeared to perform perfectly and had NOTHING to do with this problem!
 
Dec 23, 2019
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I agree 100% with the Captain. I watched the launch and the failure of the Starliner, only. The disposable boosters, 1st and 2nd stages performed nominally. Only after separation did ULA staff breathe again and celebrate.
The anomaly is Boeing's Starliner issue. The news conference was damage control by political hacks. J Bridenstine ,front and center. I was actually relieved when the anomaly occurred. I had doubts about the Starliner with it's bloated
budget and far behind schedule. I was relieved it never got close to the ISS.
SpaceX(Elon Musk) and Blue Origin(Jeff Bezos) are doing Buck Rogers accomplishments with no taxpayer funding. They use autonomous boosters and rockets to be refurbished and flown again. Both of these companies are less than 20 years old. NASA was founded in the late 50's has served America well. It is not the program it once was. Boeing ,IMO, has no business in space and launch business. Their only
Not quite correct, both Boeing and Spacex had NASA contracts to provide ISS crew transport services. I am too lazy to look them up, and need to get breakfast, but as I recall the Boeing chunk is something over four billion, while Spacex's is about half that. And of course the Falcon 9 was developed without government funding, but I believe that NASA did pay to man rate it.
 
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Dec 23, 2019
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Do tell Boeing!
First 346 people die because pilots couldn't counteract the un-announced MCAS software, And now Boeing expects the latest software failure to be overridden by astronauts ?????
"Okay, Houston, we've a problem here" !!!
Boeing has a real problem designing and integrating software and hardware.
This is an organizational problem. NOT a software problem.
Personally, although I'd love to go into space, I'd no sooner ride on the Starliner Capsule than I would on a Boeing 737-MAX.
WOW!
As a retired electrical/software engineer who spent the last 20 years of my career in aerospace, I have HUGE problems with that MET setting issue. I have been involved in developing and testing a TON of software, and find it hard to believe that this problem could have crept through a properly designed and executed testing process. Either their processes were inadequate or the test team really screwed up, maybe both. I expect that there might be some negative career consequences for those involved!
 

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