The Launch of Boeing's Starliner Spacecraft Didn't go to Plan

The Launch of Boeing's Starliner Spacecraft Didn't go to Plan

Boeing's Starliner crew capsule launched successfully, but a mishap prevented it from docking with the ISS.

SpaceX previously conducted an unmanned test flight for its Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS in March 2019 atop a proven reusable launch vehicle. It's unclear if the ship can return to earth.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that, "Because Starliner believed it was in an orbital insertion burn (or that the burn was complete), the dead bands were reduced and the spacecraft burned more fuel than anticipated to maintain precise control".

A top Boeing official, Jim Chilton, was quoted by The New York Times as saying "we don't understand the root cause" of why the spacecraft's clock was set at the wrong time.

"This is why we flight test, right?"

The capsule launched on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"Engine at full thrust".

Ground controllers couldn't initiate the burn because at the time it was needed the spacecraft was briefly in between two other satellites, and couldn't receive signals from the ground. "It appears as though the mission elapsed timing system had an error in it", he said.

The day before the flight, Bridenstine said that he is 'very comfortable' with Boeing, in spite of the postponed grounding of the company's 737 Max jets.

Rosie has 15 sensors to collect valuable data during the mission that will help make future crewed missions safe on Starliner. "We don't have any safety concerns".

Nasa astronaut Mike Fincke added: "Had we been on board, we could have given the flight control team more options on what to do in this situation".

The CST-100 Orbital Flight Test was originally intended as a full automated mission test of the spacecraft before sending up an astronaut crew.

The U.S. has not launched spacecraft from home turf since 2011 when its shuttles were retired.

Nasa initially had expected to begin crewed flights aboard the Starliner and the Crew Dragon capsules in late 2017.

He knew the launch was scheduled, so he picked a window seat near the back of the plane and hoped for good luck.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks at a briefing as Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, astronauts Josh Cassada, Suni Williams, Nicole Mann, Chris Ferguson Mike Fincke and NASA Deputy Administrator James Morhard stand behind at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., December 19, 2019. As a result, the capsule orbited in a position, which is incompatible with the orbit of the International Space Station.

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