Boeing’s manned spacecraft launch test was overall successful, but a parachute did not open

On November 5, according to foreign media reports, Boeing Co said on Monday local time that one of the three parachutes failed to open successfully during the uncrewed safety test of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. This type of spacecraft will be used to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Before the CST-100 Starliner flies to the International Space Station for the first time, Boeing will test the spacecraft’s abort system to prove that the spacecraft has sufficient capabilities on the launch pad or in the event of an emergency during liftoff. Return the astronauts safely to the ground.

  

Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said in an email that “the parachutes failed to fully deploy and occurred during a test of the so-called ‘pad abort’ system, which is designed to To ensure the safety of the crew in an emergency.”

“It’s too early to determine why the parachutes did not open successfully,” Brecher said, “However, for test parameters and occupant safety, it would be acceptable if two of the three parachutes successfully opened. “As a result, the test on Monday morning, local time, was generally successful,” Brecher said.

Boeing and NASA said there was no change to their goal, the CST-100 Starliner capsule, which is still scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on Dec. 17, though this time without astronauts.

NASA has selected Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX as prime contractors to build the rocket and capsule launch system that will send Americans to the Orbital Research Laboratory.

One of the toughest technical challenges facing the two companies has been the parachute, which is used to slow the capsule as it returns to Earth at supersonic speeds.

SpaceX and NASA said the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is now working on its first crewed test flight in the first quarter of next year, following a successful uncrewed launch in March.

In response to the statement from Boeing spokesman Todd Brecher, NASA called the test “acceptable” in a press release Monday morning.

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