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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Boeing Starliner OFT-2 “Hangar Queen”—Seven of Thirteen Valves Still Stuck

In a post titled “NASA, Boeing Make Progress on Starliner Valve Issue”, the “issue” is identified as “…several valves in the Starliner propulsion system that did not open as designed during the launch countdown for the Aug. 3 launch attempt. The valves connect to thrusters that enable abort and in-orbit maneuvering.” So, with these valves stuck closed, Starliner is effectively a piece of space junk which cannot either save its crew in case of a launch accident nor manueuver in space to rendezvous and dock with the space station.

The Boeing “teams are applying mechanical, electrical and thermal techniques to prompt the valves to open” which is aero-speak for “hitting it with a hammer and heat gun” to try to fix it. “This is how we fix problems in Boeing space capsule!

U.S. taxpayers have paid Boeing more than US$ 570 million so far to develop this capsule, which has been in work for a decade and has yet to launch a human crew. Rumours that it is to be rebranded the “Starliner MAX” are unfounded.

Posted at August 10, 2021 11:04