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Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

Boeing's botched Starliner test flirted with 'catastrophic' failure: NASA panel

Source: Reuters

BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 6, 2020 / 8:58 PM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Boeing's botched Starliner test flirted with 'catastrophic' failure: NASA panel

Joey Roulette
2 MIN READ

(Reuters) - Boeing narrowly missed a “catastrophic failure” during its December flight test of an unmanned space taxi that was cut short by an unrelated problem, a NASA safety review panel said Thursday, recommending that the agency examine Boeing’s software verification process before letting it fly humans to space.

The newly revealed software bug, which Boeing said was fixed while the CST-100 Starliner was still in orbit, could have “led to erroneous thruster firings” that could have resulted in “a catastrophic spacecraft failure,” panel member Paul Hill said.

Boeing and NASA officials had zeroed in on an unrelated glitch, with the spacecraft’s automated timer, hours after the spacecraft failed to reach its intended orbit 30 minutes into flight. The timer malfunction forced the craft to scrub its rendezvous with the International Space Station, and the Starliner returned to Earth a week early.

NASA still must decide whether to make Boeing repeat the unmanned docking test before spacecraft can carry astronauts. Boeing recorded a $410 million charge last month to cover that possibility.

“The panel has a larger concern with the rigor of Boeing’s verification processes,” said Hill, a former NASA flight director who now serves on the panel that advises NASA on safety issues. Speaking during the panel’s quarterly meeting on Thursday, Hill said the agency should go beyond merely correcting the cause of the anomalies and scrutinize Boeing’s entire software testing processes.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-exploration-boeing/boeings-botched-starliner-test-flirted-with-catastrophic-failure-nasa-panel-idUSKBN20106A

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Reply Boeing's botched Starliner test flirted with 'catastrophic' failure: NASA panel (Original post)
Eugene Feb 2020 OP
eppur_se_muova Feb 2020 #1
democratisphere Feb 2020 #2
PSPS Feb 2020 #3
democratisphere Feb 2020 #4
Midnightwalk Feb 2020 #5
GeorgeGist Feb 2020 #6

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 12:04 AM

1. Will they try again with the revamped CST-100MAXX ? nt

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 01:02 AM

2. THIS company is an absolute mess. Needs new management that

knows the importance of doing things right the first time.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 01:10 AM

3. Boeing isn't an aviation company anymore.

They turned themselves into a "financial company" when they moved to Chicago in 2001.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 01:57 AM

4. GE did the exact same thing and look where they are.

A burned out shell of their former selves. Bean counters always destroy companies.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 02:47 AM

5. Interesting in light of

The new issue with the new software for the 737 max failures. That software has had at least 3 problems trying to deliver a fix. One of them requiring serious design changes when the system couldn’t handle a processor failure quickly enough.

The reliability requirements are incredibly hard to hit. You can’t do it without a rigorous process.

Just my opinion. I only know what I read online.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2020, 05:12 AM

6. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say YES ...

"NASA still must decide whether to make Boeing repeat the unmanned docking test before spacecraft can carry astronauts."

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