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Boeing CST-100 spacecraft updates

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DocM    16,610

@jeff_foust from AIAA 2016

 

CST-100

 

Chris Ferguson, Boeing: plan to start CST-100 parachute tests, dropping test article from balloon at 40,000 ft, in about week. #AIAASpace

 

Ferguson: five landing sites for CST-100: Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, 2 at White Sands, 1 in Ariz., and Edwards AFB in Calif. #AIAASpace

 

Ferguson: pad abort test a big deal; fingers and toes crossed for it. Planned for end of next year. #AIAASpace

 

Ferguson says that under current schedule, CST-100 will be ready for commercial services for NASA in mid-2018. #AIAASpace

 

Ferguson: our schedule is “very aggressive” but we’ll fly when we’re ready and when vehicle is safe. #AIAASpace

 

Ferguson: we determined other testing was sufficient for in-flight aborts, so don’t need to do actual in-flight abort test. #AIAASpace

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Unobscured Vision    2,678
4 hours ago, DocM said:

@jeff_foust from AIAA 2016

 

CST-100

 

Ferguson: we determined other testing was sufficient for in-flight aborts, so don’t need to do actual in-flight abort test. #AIAASpace

I call B.S. .... new human-rated gear, it needs the full-monty testing like Dragon 2. Fair is fair. No shortcuts, no cheating. And with all the problems during development, I want this thing to be put through it's paces. Properly. 

 

Otherwise, it's Challenger waiting to happen ... again. 

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Draggendrop    5,747

^ This was funny....I thought the same thing....but told myself to bite my tongue.

 

With NASA's purported emphasis on safety, this can not be allowed to happen without someone questioning this approach.

 

Sounds like Boeing cost cutting and not wanting to do a test that may have issues and cause further development costs and delays. 

 

:s

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Unobscured Vision    2,678
4 minutes ago, Draggendrop said:

^ This was funny....I thought the same thing....but told myself to bite my tongue.

 

With NASA's purported emphasis on safety, this can not be allowed to happen without someone questioning this approach.

 

Sounds like Boeing cost cutting and not wanting to do a test that may have issues and cause further development costs and delays. 

 

:s

Yep... and whoever it was at NASA and LH/M that thought it was a good idea needs to have the surviving parts from Challenger and Columbia dropped on their heads as a reminder of what "shortcuts" will get them. To my way of thinking, it's completely unacceptable that anyone would possibly entertain the idea after what happened with those two Shuttles ... 

 

"Oh yeah, it'll be fine. Run it without testing. Suuuuure, no problem, fellas ...."

 

Ugh. The ego .... as if. :angry:

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

And you know what's worse?There are Astronauts who'll actually fly in that bloody thing. WILLINGLY. 

 

I sure as [expletive noun] wouldn't. Not in a million years. Not as it sits currently. Certainly not unless that [expletive descriptive] is properly tested like Dragon 2. I'd ride in Dragon 1 first. We know that one is safe for Humans. Bolt in Dragon 2's seats, mod the reentry software to account for people being on-board (if it isn't there already), and I'd ride that one without worry. But not CST. Nope ....

 

That's how little I trust LH/M's "shortcuts".

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Draggendrop    5,747
3 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

And you know what's worse?There are Astronauts who'll actually fly in that bloody thing. WILLINGLY. 

 

I sure as [expletive noun] wouldn't. Not in a million years. Not as it sits currently. Certainly not unless that [expletive descriptive] is properly tested like Dragon 2. I'd ride in Dragon 1 first. We know that one is safe for Humans. Bolt in Dragon 2's seats, mod the reentry software to account for people being on-board (if it isn't there already), and I'd ride that one without worry. But not CST. Nope ....

 

That's how little I trust LH/M's "shortcuts".

I would bet that if one were to put on an EMU, cargo strap yourself to the cargo in Dragon 1, you would make it back with a few hours of air extra.

 

After SpaceX does the inflight abort...we can check the astronaut queue and see who has a happy face on.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Boeing Delays CST-100, Still Targets 2018 ISS Mission

 

Quote

Following supplier holdups, a key production problem on the second CST-100 spacecraft and other issues, Boeing has opted to slide its entire NASA commercial crew test and development program six months. Despite the setback, which includes an added month of additional margin, the company still hopes to fly the first NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2018. News of the delay confirms the prognosis of a Sept. 1 report by NASA’s Office of Inspector ...

http://aviationweek.com/new-space/boeing-delays-cst-100-still-targets-2018-iss-mission

 

site is a paywall, will have to find out more at other sources....

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DocM    16,610

So, another 6 month slip for Starliiner. Not unexpected given the weight, LAS, aero-loads, the need for more wind tunnel work and other issues. I'd say them making Dec. 2018 is a big stretch. Maybe mid-2019 if everything else goes well - and that includes Russia not pulling RD-180 in a snit over whatever and Vulcan staying on schedule.

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DocM    16,610

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/11/boeing-delays-cst100-starliner-operational-flight-december-2018/

 

John Mulholland, Boeing’s vice president and program manager for commercial programs in space explorations, told Aviation Week the delays have resulted from multiple challenges.



Three main causes have been identified by Boeing for the slide, all of which the company says are now either resolved, understood or in the process of being corrected. These include development production delays from the supply chain “which are mostly over and stabilizing now, as we get into qualification testing of the first uncrewed flight test,” says Mulholland.

A second, more recent issue that occurred in September, was a production flaw that forced the scrapping of the lower dome—one of two main structural elements along with the upper dome—of the crew module pressure shell for Spacecraft 2, the vehicle to be used in the first crewed flight test.

“It was overmachined due to an issue with the hold-down tooling. Each is cut out from one piece of aluminum that we form into shape and mill out pockets. But the hold-down fixture was not rigid enough and they got some movement, which was not detected and milled through.

“Luckily we formed a spare dome, but this only happened 2.5 weeks ago, and we realized there was an error in it when cooling flow in the pockets drained through,” he adds. The domes are manufactured using a weldless spin forming process, but then machined elsewhere into a honeycomb-shape for reduced weight and increased strength.

An additional part of the holdup has been prompted by issues with qualification tests of minor components. “There are lots of composite parts—some with high complexity—and a design which caused difficulty in manufacturing,” says Mulholland. “We worked our way through these issues but it took a couple more months than anticipated.”

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Draggendrop    5,747

This is real comical.

 

They had their simulators out for NASA in no time, for an item they keep botching up. Sounds like the simulators were nothing more than an arcade game.

 

There is no way these guys are going to launch before SpaceX, and worse, NASA may purchase more seats for 2019 because of this, and it had nothing to do with SpaceX.

 

:(

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DocM    16,610

This is what happens when you let a contractor do virtually all their first 4+ years milestones on paper with nothing but notional pressure hull and most flight hardware. Didn't cut metal until they got an award, so now they have to rush.

 

SpaceX has been flying theirs to ISS for almost 6 years.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Soooo ... they decided, in their infinite wisdom, to fabricate a shell (the PRESSURE HULL?!) using the most expensive, time-consuming, difficult and downright dumb method possible and they botched it. Not only the upper half but the bottom half too?!

 

Oh man. They couldn't just simulate first ... wow. They had to do it the Mil/Gov way ....

 

CST is never gonna get off the ground at this rate. Maybe that's the whole idea -- after all, Orion needs missions. Maybe CST was just a "honeytrap".

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DocM    16,610

Sounds like it, eh? $2+ billion more for CST-100 and this is what NASA gets. 

 

BTW: SpaceX cuts and rolls panels for Dragon pressure hulls, then friction-stir welds them into one thick, solid piece. They built their own FSW gear for the purpose. Next is an outer standoff layer.

 

F9 weldups are also FSW.

 

20101001_vessel.jpg

Edited by DocM

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Beittil    582

Man, I clicked that link before I realized it was Parabolic Arc... I see he still hasn't removed those super stupid invasive adds from his website, back to the blacklist it is.

 

Anyway, way to go Boeing! Which company was going to put the first man on Mars again did you say? Ow wait, lets get that Starliner operational first shall we?

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Unobscured Vision    2,678
10 hours ago, DocM said:

Sounds like it, eh? $2+ billion more for CST-100 and this is what NASA gets. 

 

BTW: SpaceX cuts and rolls panels for Dragon pressure hulls, then friction-stir welds them into one thick, solid piece. They built their own FSW gear for the purpose. Next is an outer standoff layer.

 

F9 weldups are also FSW.

 

20101001_vessel.jpg

Oh. Excuse me. I thought they were using a Small Panel + Interweave design, then doing a Hard-Load Welding technique to get each Panel locked down. Looking at it, yeah, it's all one solid cast on the top then in the middle section.

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DocM    16,610

The operative term being Dragon is onetoughsonofabitch.

Edited by DocM
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Beittil    582

As if the weight problem on Starliner itself wasn't enough... a specially designed, jettisonable, aft skirt has to be attached to CST-100, extending the trunk in order to deal with the "unique challenges with aerodynamic stability and loads."

 

/fail

 

 

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DocM    16,610

Just now getting their propulsion units...

 

Quote

 

Starliner Propulsion Hardware Arrives, Testing Begins
October 18, 2016 - Stephanie Martin

Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne have begun a series of developmental hot-fires tests with two launch abort engines similar to the ones that will be part of Boeing’s Starliner service module. The engines, designed to maximize thrust build-up, while minimizing overshoot during start up, will be fired between half a second and 3 seconds each during the test campaign. If the Starliner’s four launch abort engines were used during an abort scenario, they would fire between 3 and 5.5 seconds, with enough thrust to get the spacecraft and its crew away from the rocket, before splashing down in the ocean under parachutes.

Recently, Aerojet Rocketdyne also completed delivery of the first set of hardware for Starliner’s service module propulsion system.

The Starliner is under development in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program for crew missions to the International Space Station.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/10/18/starliner-propulsion-hardware-arrives-testing-begins/

 


 

hr-LAE_Test_01_10_10_16.jpg

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Draggendrop    5,747

Just posted today, gives a better view of construction...

 

CST-100 Starliner Manufacturing

 

ksc-20160502-ph_boe0001_0003.jpg?itok=xX

Photo Credit: Boeing

 

Quote

An engineer guides the upper dome of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner as it is connected to the lower dome to complete the first hull of the Starliner's Structural Test Article, a prototype spacecraft that is identical to the operational versions but not meant to fly in space.

 

The work was performed inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STA is built to endure harsh tests mimicking conditions of spaceflight to prove the design and its manufacturing techniques will work for space-bound Starliners.

 

The Starliner is one of two spacecraft in development in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program that will enable astronauts to fly to the International Space Station on a new generation of spacecraft made in America and launching from Florida's Space Coast.

 

Photo Credit: Boeing

Last Updated: Oct. 24, 2016

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/cst-100-starliner-manufacturing

 

:)

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Beittil    582
4 hours ago, DocM said:

Just now getting their propulsion units...

Not only 'just now'... it is not even the final versions that will be on the Starliner to, being a pair of testing units only 'similar to'...

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Okay, analysis of their structural shell ...

 

a) Pro: Doing it in halves like that will make it much easier to work on. 

    Con: Hope they plan to secure & enviro-seal those halves together in such a way so that they are failure-guarded. There's a risk of a leak and/or failure under load at that seam, and I personally wouldn't do it this way simply because of the added weight involved in mitigating it alone -- then we've added that small "lip" around each edge? That's gotta be 2~400 lbs of material total that could have been eliminated from the design straightaway versus single-shell. It adds up, and that impacts performance margins.

 

b) Pro: Doing it in halves will make it faster to complete.

    Con: At this point it doesn't matter. The project is already waaaaay behind, and waaaaaaay over-budget. Why bother? ULA are already milking Bessie.

 

c) Pro: It looks like it's made of plastic! It's the current state of Metals Fab, and it's awesome! :rofl:

    Con: It looks like it's made of plastic ... is this really the current state of Metals Fab at ULA? :huh:

 

So ... yeah. A little lacking in the "wow" for me.

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DocM    16,610

The yellowish cast is a chromate conversion coating, which is used to passivate steel, aluminum etc. The structure is made of Al-Li alloy.

 

The 2 halves remain separate. Skyliner uses a clamshell design to ease getting to cargo and doing refurb after its return. The downside is you end up with a perimeter seal  about 14 meters long. Yeah, I know.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Too much that can go wrong, imo.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

And thanks for cluing me in about the chromate coating. I was looking at things from a mechanical perspective too, but that funky coating was (I assumed) some sort of necessary treatment to the metal. I knew it wasn't anodizing or powder coating.

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