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Starliner completes service module hot-fire test

Posted on 12 Jun 2019 and read 851 times
Starliner completes service module hot-fire testLast month, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner propulsion system was tested at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

The test used a ‘flight-like’ Starliner service module with a full propulsion system comprising fuel and helium tanks, a reaction control system plus orbital manoeuvring and attitude control thrusters, launch abort engines and all necessary fuel lines and avionics.

During the test, 19 thrusters were fired to simulate in-space manoeuvres, 12 thrusters were fired to simulate a high-altitude abort, and 22 propulsion elements (including the launch abort engines) were fired to simulate a low-altitude abort.

Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program manager (www.boeing.com), John Mulholland, said: “This successful test proved that the system will keep Starliner and the crew safe through all phases of flight.

“It paves the way for the upcoming ‘pad abort test’ and flights to and from the International Space Station later this year.”

Mr Mulholland added that the development of a safe, reliable and cost-effective solution for transporting crew to (and from) the International Space Station will allow the orbiting research facility to continue to “fulfil its promise as a world-class laboratory.

“With NASA as the anchor customer, Boeing’s Starliner is setting the foundation for commercial passenger flights to and from low-orbit destinations to include international astronauts, scientists and even tourists.”