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13 valves failed to open on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft

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13 valves failed to open on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, a more widespread problem than previously reported. The company said it has been able to fix a number of them and still holds out hope for a test flight this month (www.washingtonpost.com) Mais...

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ADXbear
ADXbear 6
Hmm sounds like a MCAS situation.. its getting hard too trust any Boeing product..
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 2
John Vollmer, vice president and program manager of Boeing's Commercial Crew Program, informed space.com that the hypergolic oxidizer, di-nitrogen tetroxide, or NTO had permeated through some of the valves.

As a result, it mixed with traces of moisture trapped in the valve and formed nitric acid. That acid buildup caused corrosion which in turn made the valves stick closed.

Source https://www.space.com/boeing-starliner-oft-2-indefinite-delay-factory-return
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 2
This issue has now led to the launch being postponed indefinitely:
https://www.space.com/boeing-starliner-launch-delayed-indefinitely
mbrews
mbrews 2
Paywalled site.
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Surely you guys don't expect bezos to miss a meal do you?
mbrews
mbrews 2
Alternate article that describes the Starliner valve problem --

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-scrubbed-starliner-spacecrafts-launch-after-13-valves-failed-to-open/

Unforch, the story doesn't identify the fluid handled by the valves. Do they handle a cryogenic fluid and possibly affected by ice buildup like the Challenger in 1986 ? Do they handle propellant for attitude control ?
markaharris
Mark Harris 2
Thanks for the link - that worked OK. BTW the article mentions (twice) that the valves are in the propulsion system, though I've no idea what the actual propellant is?
T4RR
Richard Firth 3
Challenger was lost due to ambient temperature compromising the flexibility of the O-ring which couldn’t then do its intended job, not having been evaluated as a failure mode. Any valves handling cryogenic propulsion liquids should be tested and certified to operate at cryogenic temperatures reliably, as for the launch abort it uses RS-88s from Aerojet Rocketdyne which run Ethanol and Liquid Oxygen; pretty chilly. I find it very odd that this didn’t surface until so late in the programme although I recall they did have issues with stuck valves previously And the parachute system, sorry I mean a “deployment anomaly.” (We mustn’t say a parachute didn’t open). I don’t wish to be harsh on Boeing but someone needs to wake up.
T4RR
Richard Firth 3
My apologies - I posted incorrect info. The Starliner uses hyperbolic fuels in these RS-88s which are faster to get going when the situation demands urgent action. Teach me for being a smartass. Sorry folks.
nifty1a
Paul Britton 2
Do you mean hypergolic?
T4RR
Richard Firth 3
I do indeed mean hypergolic - no Idea where that “b” came from. I’ll see myself out. Thank you for pointing out that error, sir. I appreciate it. (Genuinely).
vdi74
James T 2
https://www.scientiststudy.com/2021/08/13-valves-failed-to-open-on-boeings.html
mbrews
mbrews 2
James, thanks for the follow-up article. Has an interesting photo of two technicians working on Starliner in the high-bay. excerpts --

" ....Work progressed to restore functionality to several valves in the Starliner that did not open as designed during countdown for the Aug. 3 launch attempt.

The valves connect to thrusters that enable abort and in-orbit maneuvering ..."
tsilver473
Tony Silverstrå 1
I remember the era of DC planes, plz come back
nifty1a
Paul Britton 1
Wrong grease?

non-cryo compatible grease could stick the valves closed...

or debris, causing jammimg? I know a well known valve manufacturer had problems about a decade ago.
markaharris
Mark Harris 1
The link takes me to a site that requires a subscription, which is of no interest to me whatsoever.
patpylot
patrick baker 0
dear flightaware: this is another paywalled site, and that fact impedes your audience from becoming better informed without having their pockets picked. THis is bad on your part, and i think you have the power to influence these sites to give up information toll-free.
KicksOnRoute66
Roger Anderson 2
How is this FlightAware's fault? This is an open forum for anyone to contribute.
ADXbear
ADXbear 1
Or ad lib the information to your readers without violating copyright.
royhunte92
Roy Hunte 1
Remember that Washington post is a tabloid, not an aviation website.

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