“We don’t ‘sell’ safety, that’s not our business model”
As Dennis Muilenberg said to Congress recently.
This week Boeing unveiled its lunar lander ambitions after a sort-of successful commercial crew test, Virgin Orbit revealed plans to shoot smallsats as far as Mars, and SpaceX dried off fairing recovered from the ocean for use in a static fire test. Boeing parachute 'anomaly' While rival SpaceX was bragging about its run of 13 …
"Musk's rocket firm will also demonstrate its abort systems in-flight, something Boeing plans to skip."
Yes, I agree. There seems to be theme developing with stuff from Boeing. It's as getting the thing out the door is far more important that getting the said thing to actually work properly. It might be different if one of the top brass from Boeing was ever likely to take a trip in one of these spacecraft.
Without looking at the transcript for context, I suspect what was trying to say was that they don't sell optional extras intended as safety features because the safety features are part of the basic package.
Whether we believe him or not is another matter. Especially when a safety feature relies on a single sensor.
A redundancy of 2 working out of 3 sub-sytems is very common in space flight. It's good that everything was ok with only 2 parachutes, to cover the possible FAILURE of one. However If they are doing that this WASN'T a failure, does that mean that the system has to cope with one less in a real failure case?
Now the boffin icon, or the troll one?
"The Boeing managers say yes. The people in the capsule say "WTF?!!""
Not really, were I inside the capsule, I'd simply deadpan, "made by the lowest bidder".
"Which is why we have three!"
Nowhere near a "Houston, we have a problem". More like one engine cut out on a Saturn 5 booster, so they "burn it a little longer".
Laughably, both happened on one specific mission.
Which is where SpaceX have been smart, if not cheap - they developed special high pressure valves that they could test before and after installation - in fact, it's been a common theme in their development, that they didn't want to rely on items that can't be tested.
This applies to everything from the engines, to the mechanisms to separate the boosters on the Falcon Heavy (typically explosive bolts on most / all other spacecraft)
They believe that oxidiser leaked past a check valve into the helium side of the pressurisation system. When the helium bottle was opened to pressurise the system (at ~2,400 psi) this drove the "slug" of NTO into the valve at high velocity, which ignited it (and would have destroyed it otherwise).
That lag between "zero" and engine fire, then a little more to actually move, is plenty long enough to render the entire thing utterly useless. I suppose that high G landing would be better than being in a fireball, if those N2O2 fumes didn't kill you..
I'm not impressed. Declaring a failure a success and going for more bucks IS the MIC way - overruns benefit those with cost plus fixed fee contracts, but...If we have to pay all the parties in a competition, it's some form of competition I'm not understanding - we lose no matter what.
"Virgin Orbit, the tentacle of Richard Branson's brand with designs on the smallsat market, has announced plans to fit a third stage to its air-launched LauncherOne rocket in order to send smallsat payloads to the Moon, asteroids or as far as Mars."
one presumes they mean those asteroids between Mars orbit and Sol, given that "the vast majority of asteroids catalogued" are BEYOND Mars orbit.
The human body can survive far higher Gs than commonly assumed. It's probably around 20 years since G meters began to be installed in Formula 1 and IndyCar. At the time it was assumed the maximum remotely survivable G loading was around 50. The very first crash they got the data from had a peak of (from memory) 148 Gs. The driver jumped up and out of the car completely unhurt.
My school physics says
v=u+(at^2)/2. Given u=0, v=650mph=~290m/s,t=5. a is 23.2 m/s/s (or ~2.36g) ,
v^2 = u^2 * 2aS. Given u=0,S=4500ft =~1371 m,v=650mph=~290m/s. a is 30.6 m/s/s (or ~3.12g)
Both of these answers are a load of rubbish though as the acceleration isn't going to be constant. The vehicle's mass will reduce as fuel is burnt, and the air will thin as it ascends, but I think it gives a ball park figure for the acceleration. Which doesn't seem to be so excessive.
I'm afraid the credibility of 'Boing' was pretty low before this demonstration, denying there is a problem when it is blatently obvious is hardly going to convince anybody that they have accepted their responsibilities. A policy of corporate denial should be ringing alarm bells at NASA and among airlines.
Aye. Heard an aero engineer say once the reason the Federal Trade Commission permitted the Boeing / McDonnell Douglas merger was to combine the engineering and manufacturing prowess of Boeing with the strong marketing and business capabilites of McD and create a defense and civil aviation superpower.
What we got instead was McD's engineering and Boeing's business capabilites.
Really starts to point out why Starship is going to be a stainless steel tank with some thrusters and engins.
All this compelx abort, complex staging, complex landing kit. complex recovery, complex hypergolic fuel handling, complex parachutes. its all just so many points of failure.
Cant wait or the next 5 to 10 years, Startship will be pottering about the solar system, landing on the moon, mars and building bigalo stations.
NASA will be still waiting for the SLS and planning a few dozen stages, super complex crafts, using 1960s technology to get to the moon but be nowhere near it.
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