With Starliner things have not gone as well as Boeing and NASA would have expected. The launch of the Starliner was pushed off due to a problem with the valves. The spacecraft had to be removed from the launch pad and disassembled to fix the problem, and currently NASA and Boeing have been unable to fix the problem.
NASA issued a statement on October 8 confirming that engineers had released all 13 stranded propellant valves except one that prevented launch in early August. It’s not that engineers haven’t been able to release the last stuck valve. They left him trapped on purpose to allow them to preserve forensics to look for the root cause of the problem.
The current theory about what caused trapped valves is an interaction between the moisture propellant and nitrogen tetroxide. However, it has not been made clear how moisture would have entered the propellant. Boeing has dismantled three of the valves and plans to remove three more to inspect them. The results of these inspections will determine what Boeing must do to prepare Starliner for future missions.
Options for advancing the launch include a minor overhaul of the spacecraft for a complete replacement of the service module. Whenever it comes to capsule reform, NASA has made it clear that the launch will not take place this year. Instead, the first release date would be sometime in the first half of 2022.
The Starliner mission will take her to the ISS, where she will dock with the space station. The first opportunity for a free docking port will come early next year. However, NASA officials have been clear that it is too early to reduce a potential launch date at this time.
Leave a Reply