Monday, December 23, 2019

NASA, Boeing Complete Successful Landing of Starliner Flight Test

via Press Release.
Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed the first land touchdown of a human-rated capsule in U.S. history Sunday at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the company's uncrewed Orbital Flight Test as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner settled gently onto its airbags at 7:58 a.m. EST (5:58 a.m. MST) in a pre-dawn landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings at the same site. The landing followed a deorbit burn at 7:23 a.m., separation of the spacecraft's service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.

"Congratulations to the NASA and Boeing teams on a bullseye landing of the Starliner. The hardest parts of this orbital flight test were successful," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "This is why we conduct these tests, to learn and improve our systems. The information gained from this first mission of Starliner will be critical in our efforts to strengthen NASA's Commercial Crew Program and return America's human spaceflight capability."

How did so many American forget that space flight is hard.  People have died. Tests are for testing!

Football fans can watch a college or pro game and forget the real beauty of the thing.  You have 11 men that are acting as one.  One misstep can cause the whole thing to blow up (figuratively).  On just a running play you have the exchange from center to quarterback that can get jumbled.  Then you have all the linemen blocking in a certain direction and/or performing stunts so that a hole can be created.  Then you have wide receivers that are either running routes to deceive or blocking to aid the run.  We then get to the exchange from quarterback to running back.  That leaves the running back to hit the right hole and complete this entire action.

Multiply all that by about a billion and you're approaching the complexity of space flight...except you also toss in some complex engineering, rocket science and probably a ton of calculus that will boggle the mind (at least mine).

This thing wasn't a failure.  It was a stepping stone to American domination in space.

Personally I'm pleased with the effort and don't see a failure.  Hopefully you won't either (although the Boeing haters certainly will).

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