Boeing CST-100 Starliner Service Module Separation Confirmed

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner has separated from its service module. Drogue parachute deployment is expected at approximately 7:53 a.m. EST, with main parachutes deploying soon afterwards.

Tune in now for continuing live NASA TV coverage of the landing at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico.

Go/No Go Poll for Deorbit Burn Complete

Landing teams have just completed a go/no go poll for the deorbit burn of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on return from its Orbital Flight Test. The deorbit burn will take place at approximately 7:23 a.m. EST.

Tune in now for continuing live NASA TV coverage of the landing at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico.

Landing Coverage of Boeing CST-100 Starliner Begins

Illustration of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner landing

Tune in now for live NASA TV coverage of the landing of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on return from its Orbital Flight Test for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

At approximately 7:00 a.m. EST, teams will conduct a go/no go poll for the deorbit burn. Landing is scheduled for 7:57 a.m. EST, approximately one hour before sunrise at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico.

Tune in for Landing Coverage of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner

Illustration of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner reentry milestones

NASA and Boeing will provide live coverage this morning of the landing of the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, on return from its Orbital Flight Test for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Key Times (all times EST, all times approximate)
Hour/Min/Sec            Events
-06:45:00                   NASA TV coverage begins

-~07:00:00                Go/no go poll for the deorbit burn

-07:23:47                    Deorbit burn

-07:26:00                   Starliner separates from its service module

-07:53:00                   Drogue parachute deploy (main chutes soon after)

-07:57:33                    Landing

Landing will take place approximately one hour and six minutes before sunrise at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 10 a.m. with:

  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
  • Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s Space and Launch Division
  • Steve Stich, deputy manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

To participate in the postlanding news conference via phone bridge, media must contact the newsroom at NASA’s Johnson Space Center at 281-483-5111 no later than 9:45 a.m. The news conference will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

The uncrewed Starliner spacecraft launched on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket Friday, Dec. 20, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Though Starliner did not reach the planned orbit or dock to the space station as planned, Boeing still was able to complete a number of test objectives. Teams from NASA, Boeing and ULA worked quickly to ensure the spacecraft was in a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel for multiple landing opportunities.

 

Boeing Starliner to Land Sunday Morning

Boeing, in coordination with NASA and the U.S. Army, is working to return its CST-100 Starliner to land in White Sands, New Mexico, on Sunday Dec. 22. NASA TV will air live coverage of the deorbit and landing beginning at 6:45 a.m. EST. The deorbit burn is scheduled for 7:23 a.m. EST, landing for 7:57 a.m. EST.

The uncrewed Boeing Starliner spacecraft launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. Friday, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a flight test to the International Space Station. The Starliner did not reach the planned orbit and will not dock to the space station. Teams worked quickly to ensure the spacecraft was in a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel for a landing opportunity.

Continuing updates on the Starliner flight:

NASA, Boeing Media Teleconference Streaming Now

NASA and Boeing are briefing media now to discuss the status of the Boeing Orbital Flight Test, and the test objectives that have been, and are expected to be, accomplished related to NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Audio of the teleconference is streaming live online at: https://www.nasa.gov/live

NASA, Boeing to Provide Update on Starliner Orbital Flight Test Status

A two-stage United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test, Dec. 20, 2019. Liftoff occurred at 6:36 a.m. EST. The uncrewed Orbital Flight Test is the Starliner’s first flight to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
A two-stage United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test, Dec. 20, 2019. Liftoff occurred at 6:36 a.m. EST. The uncrewed Orbital Flight Test is the Starliner’s first flight to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson

NASA and Boeing will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 21, to discuss the status of the Boeing Orbital Flight Test, and the test objectives that have been, and are expected to be, accomplished related to NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at: https://www.nasa.gov/live

The uncrewed Boeing Starliner spacecraft launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. Friday, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a flight test to the International Space Station. The Starliner did not reach the planned orbit and will not dock to the space station. Teams worked quickly to ensure the spacecraft was in a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel for a landing opportunity. Boeing, in coordination with NASA and the U.S. Army, is working to return Starliner to land in White Sands, New Mexico, on Sunday, Dec. 22.

Participants in the briefing will be:

  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
  • Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s Space and Launch Division
  • Steve Stich, deputy manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Karen Northon at karen.northon@nasa.gov by 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, for dial-in information.

To watch Friday’s full postlaunch news conference, visit: https://go.nasa.gov/2Z6GbeG

For more information about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

For the latest information from Boeing, visit: https://www.starlinerupdates.com

 

SpaceX In-Flight Abort Test Launch Date Update

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Jan. 4, 2020, for a critical In-Flight Abort Test of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, pending U.S. Air Force Eastern Range approval.

As part of the test, SpaceX will configure Crew Dragon to trigger a launch escape shortly after liftoff and demonstrate Crew Dragon’s capability to safely separate from the Falcon 9 rocket in the unlikely event of an in-flight emergency. The demonstration also will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

The demonstration of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and is one of the final major tests for the company before NASA astronauts will fly aboard the spacecraft.

The In-Flight Abort Test follows a series of static fire engine tests of the spacecraft conducted Nov. 13 near SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX Completes Crew Dragon Static Fire Tests

Today, SpaceX completed a series of static fire engine tests of the Crew Dragon spacecraft in advance of an in-flight launch escape demonstration, known as the In-Flight Abort Test.

The engine tests, conducted near SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, began with two burns for a duration of one-second each for two of Crew Dragon’s 16 Draco thrusters. The Draco thrusters are used for on-orbit maneuvering and attitude control, and would also be used for re-orientation during certain in-flight launch escapes. Following these initial Draco thruster burns, the team completed a full-duration firing for approximately nine seconds of Crew Dragon’s eight SuperDraco engines. The SuperDraco engines are designed to accelerate Dragon away from the F9 launch vehicle in the event of an emergency after liftoff.

In quick succession, immediately after the SuperDracos shut down, two Dracos thrusters fired and all eight SuperDraco flaps closed, mimicking the sequence required to reorient the spacecraft in-flight to a parachute deploy attitude and close the flaps prior to reentry. The full sequence, from SuperDraco startup to flap closure, spanned approximately 70 seconds.

In April, during a similar set of engine tests, the spacecraft experienced an anomaly which led to an explosion and loss of the vehicle. In the following months, an Anomaly Investigation Team made up of SpaceX and NASA personnel determined that a slug of liquid propellant in the high-flow helium pressurization system unexpectedly caused a titanium ignition event resulting in an explosion. Based on that investigation’s findings and months of testing, SpaceX redesigned components of the system to eliminate the possibility of slugs entering the high-flow pressurization system.

Today’s tests will help validate the launch escape system ahead of Crew Dragon’s in-flight abort demonstration planned as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX and NASA will now review the data from today’s test, perform detailed hardware inspections, and establish a target launch date for the In-Flight Abort Test.