The test of Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft will be a big test as NASA pushes ahead with its first manned space launch in nearly a decade to bring it back to the U.S. mainland, foreign media CNET reported. The CST-100 Starliner is currently on a test bench at the White Sands Missile Test Site in New Mexico, awaiting an escape system test scheduled for 6 a.m. Pacific time Monday. The purpose of the test is to ensure that, in emergency situations on the launch pad, four abort engines and control thrusters are able to ignite, thereby removing the capsule and the astronauts from potential hazards.
In other words, if there is a risk of explosion on the launch pad or other bad things happening, the escape system being tested on Monday is essentially a crew life raft. During the test, the engine should carry the empty spacecraft about a mile into the air and a mile north of the test bench before the parachute and landing airbags can make a soft landing.
Starliner is one of two new spacecraft NASA has signed up to be part of its commercial manned space program, which begins flying astronauts to the International Space Station. The other is spaceX manned Dragon spacecraft; Both ships faced delays in development and testing, prompting NASA Administrator Jim Brydendin to publicly put pressure on the companies.
“NASA wants to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investment of American taxpayers,” Brydon stein tweeted on September 27. It’s time to deliver. “
Brydenstein again cited the interest of U.S. taxpayers by announcing that it would broadcast Boeing’s Starliner test live on Monday. Bradenstein tweeted: “Thank you @BoeingSpace. At my request, Monday’s @Commercial_Crew Starliner Escape System Test will be broadcast live. This is the transparency that taxpayers demand. “
The United States has not carried out a manned space flight from home since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, and all astronauts have been sent to the International Space Station via a Russian Soyuz rocket, and NASA is particularly eager to send astronauts into space from the U.S. mainland.
If Monday’s test goes well, we may see Starliner’s manned launch attempt in the next few months.