The director along with his team has come down here today to take a decision on the Boeing Starliner, whether they should go with the launch or not. After checking everything, they have found that each and everything is on track. So that has gone with the decision of launching the Boeing Starliner at 6:36 AM. The time for a new era of exploring the space has started with this. The NASA and the Boeing are ready to launch the spacecraft with astronauts from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
From where it was launched
The Boeing Starliner has launched the spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station SLC-41 to the International Space Station. People who do not know this is the first launch of Boeing Starliner. The spacecraft will help in transferring the astronauts to the ISS. This launch is taking astronauts to the low Earth orbit and bringing them back to the Earth
The objective of Boeing Starliner
The aim of Boeing Starliner was to get astronauts from the lower earth orbit to the Earth safely. It is quite complex to get people into space as you need to consider the safety of the people as well. It will safely carry the astronauts to space and then will bring them back on the earth.
Launching of Boeing Starliner
As the first Boeing Starliner was launched at 6:36 AM on Friday, after 4 minutes and 35 seconds, the Atlas V rocket was separated from the Centaur upper stage, carrying the Starliner to the orbit. Soon 15 minutes after launching, the Centaur upper stage got power off, and then it got separated from the Boeing Starliner. After it got separated, it was splashed in the South Pacific Ocean. Then the Starliner continued its way so that it could reach the space station. It tried to reach the space station with its own navigation system as well as built-in thrusters. A launch guide said that the Boeing Starliner would use its attitude control thrusters and 4 orbital maneuverings to put itself in the right place.
The Boeing Starliner had its computer smart, which helped the spacecraft to dock. The astronauts have installed 2 international docking adapters. The camera of the Boeing Starlinerhas picked up the International Space Station, which is a dozen miles away from the orbiting complex. On the way to the space station, the spacecraft will pause for two times. The pausing distance was 200 meters and 10 meters. This was done to give the controller to check if everything was fine before the docking had taken place.
The Boeing Starliner was designed in such a way to dock on its own, and the astronauts are using the Canadarm2 robotic arm. After the starliner docking has taken place, two of the astronauts will first conduct the leak checks. This was done to know if there were any leaks, and then the hatch was opened and then entered into the spacecraft.
Week at the International Space Station
The Boeing Starliner was designed in such a way so that it can spend months in the space, but the first objective was to last at least for a week. During this time, the astronaut will complete the process of unloading cargo and send it back to the emission control system. The cargo items include food items, consumable supplies, spacesuit parts and also science experiments
It was expected that the Boeing Starliner would undock on 28 December 2019. But it didn’t happen as it was planned. The schedule was planned in such a way that it will move away from the station. And will fly around the International Space Station. This will allow astronauts to carry an inspection of International Space Station and help them take many pictures. But it didn’t have as per the plan. Before returning to the Earth, the spacecraft has done a lot of engine burns to ensure that it is away from the space station. This is done to protect both the space station as well as the spacecraft from causing any collision.
Traveling back to the Earth
The Boeing Starlinerhas started to deorbit burn, which is above the Pacific Ocean at 5:01 AM. The outside temperature was experienced to be 1650 degrees Celsius for the crew modules during the re-entry. About 9 kilometers from the ground, the parachute has started to pop. The starliner has first thrown the heat shield and then the two drogue parachutes, which have slowed down the spacecraft. And once they fall away, the three main parachutes opened up immediately.
Completion of the objectives
Even though the starliner was not successful in reaching the desired orbit and a dock in ISS as it was expected Boeing has successfully completed, it’s some of the objectives during this process. This includes checking out the system Starline propulsion; the communication process was tested between the space to space, using the navigation system the Starliner tracker alignments were checked, the docking system of the Starliner’s was tested, the life support system, as well as the environment control, was validated. The Starliner was successful in completing the command uplink between the starliner and the International Space Station.
The successful landing of the Starliner is an example of the hard work of many people who have invested a lot of years thinking of transporting astronauts to the low earth orbit and bringing them back to the Earth. The NASA and the Boeing team will utilize the information that they have collected from the journey and will utilize it in further launching as well. This mission has been helpful for Boeing, NASA, and also the ULA team. The system, as well as the teams, was successful to some extent. This kind of human exploration will help in knowing more about the ISS also.
Here is all that you need to know about Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test Landing.