NASA, Mission Partners Answer Questions Behind Starliner Scrub

NASA, Mission Partners Answer Questions Behind Starliner Scrub

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft at launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. NASA/Joel Kowsky

Managers from NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) hosted a media teleconference to discuss ongoing work ahead of sending NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test. 

The media event provided an update on a valve ULA replaced on the Centaur upper stage of the Atlas V rocket, as well as a small helium leak in the spacecraft’s service module, and a propulsion system assessment to understand potential helium system impacts on some Starliner return scenarios. 

Listen to a replay of the media teleconference on the agency’s YouTube channel. 

Wilmore and Williams are the first to launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner on an Atlas V rocket. The astronauts will spend about a week at the orbiting laboratory before the crew capsule makes a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the southwestern United States. 

The crew remains in quarantine in preparation for the launch. NASA, Boeing, and ULA also will participate in a Delta-Agency Flight Test Readiness Review on Wednesday, May 29, to evaluate the work performed since the last launch attempt on May 6. 

Liftoff is scheduled for 12:25 p.m. Saturday, June 1, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. After successful completion of the flight test, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and its systems for crewed rotation missions to the space station. 

Learn more about NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test by following the mission blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook. 

Powered by WPeMatico

Get The Details…

Elyna Niles-Carnes

Crew Wraps Week with Biotech Study, Spacesuits, and Orbital Plumbing

Crew Wraps Week with Biotech Study, Spacesuits, and Orbital Plumbing

The city lights of Bangkok, Thailand, and its suburbs contrast with the green lights of the fishing boats on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
The city lights of Bangkok, Thailand, and its suburbs contrast with the green lights of the fishing boats on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

More biotechnology operations were underway aboard the International Space Station on Friday potentially benefitting the health care and food industries. The Expedition 71 crew members also worked on spacesuits as a U.S. cargo craft fired its engines raising the orbital outpost’s altitude.

Research on the space station takes advantage of weightlessness to discover new phenomena impossible to observe in Earth’s gravity. NASA Flight Engineer Tracy C. Dyson continued exploring how microgravity affects surface tension to improve the delivery of therapies in human airways to treat respiratory conditions. She observed and filmed the microgravity behavior of fluid samples for the Gaucho Lung biotechnology study. Results may also reveal solutions to prevent contamination of tubes with intermittent flows of liquids.

Dyson then joined fellow NASA astronauts Mike Barratt and Matthew Dominick in the Quest airlock as they serviced a pair of spacesuits. The trio also outfitted the suits with lights and cameras ahead of a series of spacewalks planned in June for hardware maintenance and science work.

Earlier, Barratt partnered with NASA Flight Engineer Jeanette Epps reconfiguring the Tranquility module and its systems to normal status after a couple of days of advanced plumbing work. Epps ended her day inside the Kibo laboratory module uploading software to the Astrobee robotic free flyers. The software work is for the Clingers demonstration studying docking and close approach maneuvers possibly impacting future satellite and spacecraft repairs, space manufacturing, and on-orbit refueling.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus resupply ship is on track to fire its engines twice today while attached to the Unity module’s Earth-facing port. The orbital maneuvers are programmed to boost the space station’s altitude and ready the orbital lab for upcoming crew and cargo missions.

Roscosmos cosmonaut and space station Commander Oleg Kononenko activated a 3D printer testing its ability to manufacture tools and more on demand in space. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub packed the Progress 86 space freighter with trash and obsolete gear for disposal then updated the station’s inventory system. Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin wiped down and treated surfaces inside the Nauka science module for microbes and fungi.

Mission managers from NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) work toward 12:25 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 1, for the launch of the agency’s Crew Flight Test to the space station. For more information visit https://go.nasa.gov/4ayy9y.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly updates from NASA Johnson Space Center at: https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Powered by WPeMatico

Get The Details…

Abby Graf

NASA, Mission Partners Hold Teleconference Ahead of Starliner Launch

NASA, Mission Partners Hold Teleconference Ahead of Starliner Launch

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft aboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ON Sunday, May 5, 2024 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) will discuss updates regarding ongoing work for the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test, which will send NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. 

At 11 a.m. EDT, NASA will host a media teleconference with the following participants: 

  • Jim Free, NASA associate administrator 
  • Ken Bowersox, associate administrator, NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program 
  • Dana Weigel, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program 
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program 
  • Gary Wentz, vice president, Government and Commercial Programs, ULA 

Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.  

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test scrubbed on Monday, May 6, when ULA discovered a faulty pressure regulation valve on the liquid oxygen tank of the Atlas V rocket’s Centaur upper stage. Tests have been conducted and the valve has been replaced. 

Work continues to assess Starliner performance and redundancy following the discovery of a small helium leak in the spacecraft’s service module. As part of this work, and unrelated to the current leak which remains stable, teams are in the process of completing a follow-on propulsion system assessment to understand potential helium system impacts on some Starliner return scenarios. 

Liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 12:25 p.m. Saturday, June 1, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. 

Wilmore and Williams remain in preflight quarantine at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. While there, they have participated in various exercises using Starliner simulators to prepare for flight. The duo will be the first to launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner on an Atlas V rocket, spending about a week at the orbiting laboratory before making a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the southwestern United States. 

After successful completion of the mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and its systems for crewed rotation missions to the space station. 

Learn more about NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test by following the mission blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook. 

Powered by WPeMatico

Get The Details…

Elyna Niles-Carnes

Biotech and Digestion Studies Top Thursday’s Research Schedule

Biotech and Digestion Studies Top Thursday’s Research Schedule

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps poses for a portrait inside the seven-window cupola while orbiting 259 miles above Greece.
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps poses for a portrait inside the seven-window cupola while orbiting 259 miles above Greece.

Biotechnology and human research were the main science topics on Thursday as the Expedition 71 crew explored ways to improve health on Earth and in space. The seven International Space Station residents also completed advanced plumbing work and staged emergency equipment in preparation for an upcoming mission.

NASA Flight Engineer Jeanette Epps set up research hardware in the Harmony module and explored how microgravity affects surface tension. She observed the microgravity behavior of fluid samples and filmed the experiment activities to help researchers develop therapies for respiratory conditions and reduce contamination in tubes. Results may benefit both the health care and food industries.

NASA Flight Engineer Tracy C. Dyson wrapped up two days of orbital plumbing work with assistance from NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick. The pair replaced a catalytic reactor in the Tranquility module’s restroom, also called the Waste and Hygiene Compartment.  The reactor introduces oxygen in the water recovery system and oxidizes its wastewater ahead of recycling.

Dominick then joined NASA Flight Engineer Mike Barratt at the end of the day and cleaned up Tranquility returning the module to its normal configuration. Barratt began his day cleaning electronics vents in the Kibo laboratory module. Barratt then collected emergency hardware and staged the gear in preparation for the arrival of NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on Boeing’s Crew Flight Test, which is now targeted for launch on Saturday, June 1.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub once again scanned their stomachs with an ultrasound device after breakfast Thursday morning. The duo is continuing its research helping doctors understand how the human digestion system adapts to long-term weightlessness. Kononenko then tested communication systems and cleaned surfaces in the Zvezda service module. Chub spent the rest of his day inventorying spacewalk tools.

Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin had a pair of photography sessions pointing his camera out a window and capturing Earth landmarks and wildfires. Grebenkin also spent time servicing life support gear and video hardware in the Roscosmos segment of the orbiting lab.

Mission managers from NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) work toward 12:25 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 1, for the launch of the agency’s Crew Flight Test to the space station. For more information visit https://go.nasa.gov/4ayy9y.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Powered by WPeMatico

Get The Details…

Mark Garcia

NASA, Mission Partners Assessing Launch Opportunities for Crew Flight Test

NASA, Mission Partners Assessing Launch Opportunities for Crew Flight Test

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft aboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ahead of the NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft aboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ahead of the NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test, Sunday, May 5, 2024 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Mission managers from NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) continue to evaluate a path forward toward launching the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test to the International Space Station. The teams are now working toward a launch opportunity at 12:25 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 1, with additional opportunities on Sunday, June 2, Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6.

Work continues to assess Starliner performance and redundancy following the discovery of a small helium leak in the spacecraft’s service module. As part of this work, and unrelated to the current leak which remains stable, teams are in the process of completing a follow-on propulsion system assessment to understand potential helium system impacts on some Starliner return scenarios. NASA also will conduct a Delta-Agency Flight Test Readiness Review to discuss the work that was performed since the last CFT launch attempt on May 6, and to evaluate issue closure and flight rationale ahead of the next attempt, as part of NASA’s process for assessing readiness. The date of the upcoming Flight Test Readiness Review is under consideration and will be announced once selected.

“There has been a great deal of exceptional analysis and testing over the last two weeks by the joint NASA, Boeing, and ULA teams to replace the Centaur Self Regulating Valve and troubleshoot the Starliner Service Module helium manifold leak,” said Steve Stich, manager, NASA Commercial Crew Program. “It has been important that we take our time to understand all the complexities of each issue including the redundant capabilities of the Starliner propulsion system and any implications to our Interim Human Rating Certification. We will launch Butch and Suni on this test mission after the entire community has reviewed the teams’ progress and flight rationale at the upcoming Delta Agency Flight Test Readiness Review.”

NASA, Boeing, and ULA officials will provide insight into the next targeted launch opportunity and updates regarding ongoing work during a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EDT Friday, May 24. NASA expects to issue a media advisory Thursday, May 23, with additional details for the call and how to participate.

Meanwhile, NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams continue practicing in Starliner simulators to prepare for flight. The crew remains quarantined and will fly back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida closer to the new launch date.

Powered by WPeMatico

Get The Details…

Danielle Sempsrott