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13 valves failed to open on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft

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 ( Altro...

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ADXbear 6
Hmm sounds like a MCAS situation.. its getting hard too trust any Boeing product..
mbrews 2
Paywalled site.
bentwing60 1
Surely you guys don't expect bezos to miss a meal do you?
mbrews 2
Alternate article that describes the Starliner valve problem --

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 ?
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?
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.
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.
Do you mean hypergolic?
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).
James T 2
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 ..."
This issue has now led to the launch being postponed indefinitely:
John Vollmer, vice president and program manager of Boeing's Commercial Crew Program, informed 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.

I remember the era of DC planes, plz come back
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.
The link takes me to a site that requires a subscription, which is of no interest to me whatsoever.
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.
How is this FlightAware's fault? This is an open forum for anyone to contribute.
ADXbear 1
Or ad lib the information to your readers without violating copyright.
Roy Hunte 1
Remember that Washington post is a tabloid, not an aviation website.


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