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Home | Tag Archives: boeing

Tag Archives: boeing

NASA, Boeing complete successful landing of Starliner Flight Test at White Sands

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed the first land touchdown of a human-rated capsule in U.S. history Sunday at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the company’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner settled gently onto its airbags at 7:58 a.m. EST (5:58 a.m. MST) in a pre-dawn landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings at the same site.

The landing followed a deorbit burn at 7:23 a.m., separation of the spacecraft’s service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.

“Congratulations to the NASA and Boeing teams on a bullseye landing of the Starliner. The hardest parts of this orbital flight test were successful,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “This is why we conduct these tests, to learn and improve our systems. The information gained from this first mission of Starliner will be critical in our efforts to strengthen NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and return America’s human spaceflight capability.”

Although Starliner did not reach its planned orbit and dock to the International Space Station as planned, Boeing was able to complete a number of test objectives during the flight related to NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, including:

  • Successful launch of the first human-rated United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket
  • Checked out the Starliner propulsion systems
  • Tested space-to-space communications
  • Confirmed Starliner tracker alignments using its navigation system
  • Tested Starliner’s NASA Docking System
  • Validated all environment control and life support systems
  • Completed a positive command uplink between the International Space Station and Starliner

“Today’s successful landing of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is a testament to the women and men who have dedicated themselves to ensuring Starliner can safely transport crews to low-Earth orbit and back to Earth,” said Boeing Senior Vice President of Space and Launch Jim Chilton. “The Starliner Orbital Flight Test has and will continue to provide incredibly valuable data that we, along with the NASA team, will use to support future Starliner missions launched from and returning to American soil.”

“This mission has only strengthened the resolve of the NASA, ULA, and Boeing teams,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard. “Systems were tested, but more importantly the teams were tested. The hardest parts of this mission were a tremendous success. The Commercial Crew Program is strong. But keep in mind, this is a great reminder that human exploration is not for the faint of heart. We are just getting started!”

The Starliner that landed today will be refurbished for Boeing’s first operational crewed mission, following the Crew Flight Test. NASA astronaut Suni Williams, who will fly on that mission, dubbed the spacecraft “Calypso” after the ship of famed explorer Jacques Cousteau.

“I love what the ocean means to this planet,” said Williams. “We would not be this planet without the ocean. There’s so much to discover in the ocean, and there’s so much to discover in space.”

The uncrewed Starliner spacecraft launched on the ULA Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. Friday, December 20, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Amy’s Everyday Astronomy: Week of Success for NASA and SpaceX

Space, the final frontier…a frontier we haven’t been able to reach from American soil since the last space shuttle flew nearly 9 years ago. But that looks to change thanks to a successful test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon earlier this month.

Perched atop a Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon was launched into a beautiful pre-dawn sky from Cape Canaveral, Floriada on March 2nd.

With a crew consisting solely of a dummy astronaut named Ripley, and a stuffed Earth plush toy, the capsule was also carrying supplies for those aboard the ISS.

Elon Musk, having dreamed of this moment since he started SpaceX in 2002, felt honored to have the Crew Dragon launch from Pad 39A. This is the very same launch pad from which the NASA Apollo moon missions took flight, as well as the last space shuttle mission back in 2011.

“Thank you for letting us do that,” Musk told NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine.

“Thank you for refurbishing it,” Bridenstine replied, referring to SpaceX’s upgrade to the launch site.

As one might expect, this was a little overwhelming for Musk, after having suffered so many failures early on with SpaceX test launches.

Back in those early days, Musk felt there was maybe only a 10% chance of SpaceX ever getting anything into orbit. “I’m a little emotionally exhausted. It’s super stressful, but it worked, so far,” Musk said in a post-launch press conference at Kennedy Space Center.

And the success continued!

On March 3rd, Demo-1, as the mission is being called, docked with the ISS in a display of remote precision that had everyone cheering. You can see highlights of the launch and docking here.

After having spent 5 days in space, delivering 400lbs of supplies to the space station, the Demo-1 mission ended, and the Crew Dragon saw success once again as it splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Florida early this morning. You can see its re-entry and touchdown here. 

All of this helps pave the way for SpaceX to start plans for sending crewed flights into orbit this summer.

“The whole goal of SpaceX was crewed spaceflight. Improved space exploration technologies,” says Musk. “That’s actually the full name of the company, Space Exploration Technologies.”

But SpaceX is not alone in its endeavors. It is one of two companies contracted with NASA to fly astronauts to and from the ISS. Boeing, the other company working with NASA, is developing the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft that looks to launch astronauts into space using the Atlas V rockets.

Like SpaceX, Boeing plans to test uncrewed flights and in-flight abort systems before sending humans into orbit.

In fact, Starliner’s first uncrewed test mission to the ISS could likely launch as early as next month. Boeing will be testing the capsule’s emergency escape test system and, if successful, the first crewed demonstration flight could occur as early as May and then again in August of this year.

In the meantime, SpaceX is looking to launch its first crewed flight, called Demo-2, as early as July.

***

For a daily dose of Everyday Astronomy with Amy, like and follow her Facebook Page; to read previous articles, click here.

Boeing Research Grant Implements Science and Engineering Curriculum in Elementary Classrooms

UTEP researchers are working to start students on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at Congressman Silvestre and Carolina Reyes Elementary School.

David J. Carrejo, Ph. D., associate dean for undergraduate studies and educator preparation, and associate professor of math education, is leading his team on a one-year project that implements an environmental science and engineering (ESE) curriculum in the school’s 24 classrooms.

The elementary school, in the Canutillo School District, is LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

DavidJ.Carrejo,Ph.D.
DavidJ.Carrejo,Ph.D.

That means the school was built to be resource efficient, high performing, healthy and cost-effective, making it an ideal site to implement the curriculum.

“The overarching goal of the ongoing and proposed project is to broaden student and teacher participation in STEM by increasing awareness, interest and competency in ESE,” Carrejo said. “Research shows that children who are exposed to engineering and science at an early age are more likely to pursue baccalaureate degrees in those fields.”

Carrejo’s team will use the $27,000 awarded from Boeing to implement the ESE curriculum in each classroom; increase the number of students who demonstrate evidence of becoming environmental conservators; and evaluate the project to determine gains in teacher knowledge and student interest.

“We are very excited to work with Reyes Elementary and Canutillo ISD to engage students in STEM and conduct cutting-edge research in STEM education,” Carrejo said.

Researchers started their work in October 2016 and expect initial results by April 2017. The project will end in May and final results will be reported by the summer.

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