How Bad Luck Foiled Efforts to Get Starliner Back on Course toward Space Station

Dec 20, 2019
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It sounds absurd to read that "Luck" is a reason for problems encountered in a scientific article. "Luck" is not a thing or a concept or even an idea. It is not a "thing", and in fact is a nothing. Luck is not part of science or technology and should not be mentioned.

When you say that it was bad "luck" it sounds like a way to excuse the work of those who failed to properly execute the processes needed to complete the mission.
 
Dec 20, 2019
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One bad Starliner outcome on a training run is "bad" luck. But coming from a company that has ridden the debacle of the 737 Max into the ground - not once, but twice - and miswired the 777 - we are not looking at an issue of luck - we are looking at the Trumping of a once trusted American Icon in aerospace that is building a new reputation for incompetence in an area that does not allow for mistakes.

My father was a missile systems trouble shooter for over 25 years. His most poignant observation was that in firing a rocket you could do 10,000 things right - but one mistake cost you a mission - and several hundred million dollars. That is why discipline and focus were so critical to him. Boeing used to have that. Here is to hoping that someday they regain it. Can't though with current leadership.
 
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Dec 20, 2019
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What ever happened to failure is NOT an option. Seems to be Boeing has a big ego, and thinks their Sh*t don't stink. Between this and the 737 Max problems; Boeing needs a top down address of their corporate structure. A man's life should never depend on Luck!
 
Dec 20, 2019
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Gigabob, I couldn't agree more. What is also interesting is that Boeing was given $4.2 billion and SpaceX was given $2.6 billion and yet while SpaceX started their project completely from scratch, it has so accomplished so much more in the less time and with about half the funding. Personally I expected greater things from Boeing with their past engineering accomplishments in terrestrial and non terrestrial flight, but now I am beginning to wonder if they even have the appropriate engineering talent to successfully complete this project at all. I mean seriously, a timing issue and no apparent correction from any backup systems? I thought NASA was big on tertiary redundantcy for mission critical systems, but we will have to wait until the final findings are released to see what actually failed and why it wasn't addressed by a backup system.
 
Dec 20, 2019
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Bad luck may have played a considerable role in the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crew capsule's failure to reach the International Space Station as planned.

How Bad Luck Foiled Efforts to Get Starliner Back on Course toward Space Station : Read more
Are you sh*****g me?!
This is SCIENCE! This is also a troubled company with a history of a lack of dual redundancy!
Got any burning batteries?
YET! Boeing still gets the most NASA bucks and never had to perform the IFA test!
Still feeding your favorites NASA?
Elon will shove it where the sun does shine!
Luck is NOT a scientific concept, you d bag!
 
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Dec 21, 2019
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Yes it was bad luck for starliner. For the second time! First was shoots on pad abort. And to try to drag SpaceX into this "timing issue" is unbelievable in itself. Very obvious coddling of Boeing by NASA. No need to appoint a winner when you can just hand out participation trophies! Makes me uneasy to say the least.
 
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Dec 20, 2019
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Nasa's Jim Bridenstine- "A lot of things went right." Uh...Jim... did the Boing-Boing capsule reach the correct orbit? No. Is it going to complete its flight to the space station? Nooo. Deliver the cargo? Nooo. Complete the Orbital Flight Test (OFT), the very purpose of which is to demonstrate the capsule's ability to get NASA astronauts TO and FROM the ISS? Nooo. And now, after a day of bizarre, 'nothing to see here' public relation nonsense from Bridenstine, he DOESN'T KNOW if Boing-Boing will be required to fly a SUCCESSFUL OFT before astronauts climb aboard it? O-M-G! This kind of thinking has flourished at NASA before...and it didn't end well.
 
Dec 21, 2019
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And here is the kicker quote of that day Lagrange: " Assuming that Starliner lands as expected, "the odds are high, really the same as if we were on our way to rendezvous," that the capsule will land safely and be able to be refurbished and reused, Chilton told Space.com. "We ended up in a place in space we didn't expect to be, but we don't see hardware issues that would drive a different refurbishment of turnaround."" All this and it hasn't even come down yet.
 
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Dec 21, 2019
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It sounds absurd to read that "Luck" is a reason for problems encountered in a scientific article. "Luck" is not a thing or a concept or even an idea. It is not a "thing", and in fact is a nothing. Luck is not part of science or technology and should not be mentioned.

When you say that it was bad "luck" it sounds like a way to excuse the work of those who failed to properly execute the processes needed to complete the mission.

"Luck" is not a thing or a concept or even an idea. "

I'm certainly not trying to absolve Boeing of its original failures in this, which seems just yet another in a series of recent incidents that all point to a troubling lapse of their corporate leadership. But that original screw-up and the physical impossibility of correcting it are two separate events, and it is not minimizing Boeing's culpability for the first to admit that the second DID in fact come down to luck.

Your pretentious posturing aside, "bad luck" might reasonably be defined as the occurrence of a low-probability situation that results in a negative outcome. Good engineering practice minimizes the reliance on luck by working to minimize these probabilities, but it is unreasonable and impossible to reduce all of them to zero: in this particular situation, reducing the probability of a TDRS coverage gap to zero would have required launching additional TDRS satellites, which would have been prohibitively expensive at this time, particularly to counter a situation which was judged unlikely to occur.

I won't argue that there's anything such as "karma" that caused either the failure, or the unlikely coincidence of time and position that prevented a corrective action, but the fact that the capsule happened to be in one of the relatively small gaps in TDRS coverage at just the point when a corrective signal might have saved the mission WAS simply bad luck.

Lighten up, Francis.
 
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Dec 22, 2019
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I am very interested in the progress Space-X is making in this area like so many others here. However, I am not so petty as to believe that a Boeing success equates to a Space-X failure. On the contrary, I congratulate Boeing on starting from behind and having a very minor issue during first flight. I'm sure even Space-X would not dare say anything negative because they know they could be the next ones with an issue... and it could be worse. Never wish evil on anyone and tempt fate. Best wishes to both. Go Boeing!... Go Space-X!
 
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Dec 25, 2019
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Tests / practice runs always identify issues. My experience is that when something goes wrong, it is rarely the failure of a single system or process. Although Boeing has gotten stodgy and may go the way of the Roman Empire, the real lesson is that we have a problem relying upon 1983 - 2013 array of 11 satellites. 1) we have holes in our communications systems. 2) we are relying on 30 year old technology 3) May impact any future mission.
 

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