back to article NASA's lunar spy looks for hide-and-seek champ Vikram, Starliner test success, and more

Unlike SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which plops down in the ocean at the end of a mission (ideally in one piece), Boeing's CST-100 Starliner is designed to land on, er, land. As NASA and Boeing inch ever closer to its first crewed launch, rehearsals were conducted last week to practice locating a capsule, safing it and preparing for …

  1. navidier

    English as she is corrupted

    "safing" ??? Never heard that word before...

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: English as she is corrupted

      Space agencies, like militaries, make their own jargon. In this case, 'safeing' would mean the act of making something safe.

    2. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: English as she is corrupted

      "verbing weirds language" (not originally mine, but I'm mineing it now)

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: verbing weirds language

        Good enough for Shakespeare, good enough for me.

  2. RichardEM

    forgotten anniversary

    Have forgotten the first craft to give us astronauts. Can you guess what craft that was?

    It was the X-15 60 years ago had its first flight and soon gave the Human species it's first astronauts.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: forgotten anniversary

      Don't have to guess. It is featured in "First Man", in theaters a few weeks ago and now in rotation on cable TV.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: forgotten anniversary

      It might have been created ahead of the Vostok and Mercury crafts, but didn't give us the first astronauts. The first x15 space flights weren't until July '62 or July '63, depending on which definition of space you subscribe to (50 miles, or 100km).

      Yuri Gagaran and Alan Shepard had already become the first astronauts/cosmonauts before then.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Extraterrestial Explanation?

    While the Indian Space Research Organisation (IRSO) has claimed to have located the lander, the agency has yet to officially release any pictures, and its social media orifice has kept mum on the matter.

    Maybe on their last fly-over they saw little green men removing all the useful parts?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Extraterrestial Explanation?

      More likely tardigrades.

      Tough little buggers

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Extraterrestial Explanation?

        If we're going for D I S C O references, I reckon Ensign Tilly got there first.

        Never underestimate the resourcefulness of a fuller-figured red-head who's somewhere on the spectrum.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Extraterrestial Explanation?

          I think he was referring to this, rather than ST:Discovery,

  4. Blofeld's Cat

    Shutttle shuttle ...

    The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft has the following legend next to the attachment points for the Shuttle itself:

    "Attach orbiter here NOTE: Black side down"

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shutttle shuttle ...


  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Designed to land on land

    Crew Dragon was designed to land on land as well... since Mars is distinctly lacking in oceans. That's why it's got the great big SuperDraco thrusters.

    It's NASA that got cold feet and forced them to use parachutes, which forced them to use a water landing.

  6. sbt Silver badge

    Please remain seated.

    "...the recovery team managed to locate and prep a Starliner test capsule for hatch opening in less than an hour."

    Probably OK as long as there aren't any crew that insist on immediately standing in the aisle as soon as the Starliner rolls to a stop.

    1. Mike Henderson

      Re: Please remain seated.

      And presumably there is an Emergency Exit procedure if the lucky meatbags on board need to get out RIGHT NOW?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Please remain seated.

        Emergency exit procedure?

        That would be the Swiss Army knife with can opener on board

        1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

          Re: Swiss Army knife with can opener on board

          assuming the Space TSA didn't confiscate that prior to boarding.

  7. nematoad Silver badge


    "...the mission will place the spacecraft in a near-rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon."

    Excuse my ignorance but I thought that describing something as "rectilinear " meant that it had straight sides. Now the piece does qualify the statement as "near-rectilinear" but even so I can't see how a satellite is going to be able to turn corners in orbit without a huge expenditure of fuel.

    I may be missing the point here but this does not make sense to me.

    1. sbt Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      The conspiracy has widened. Not only have we never been there, but the moon is flat, too.

    2. dvhamme

      Re: Eh?

      I too had to look it up. around 1:05 you see how the orbit closes in on the moon periodically and makes a sharpish turn around it every time. Very interesting.

  8. drankinatty

    Enterprise Ages by 3 OV Magically?

    I may be mistaken, but Enterprise was OV-98 not OV-101 and was the Drop-Test vehicle used at Edwards AFB for landing tests. 102-Columbia, 103-Discovery, 104-Atlantis and 105-Endeavour. (no, I don't recall why there was a jump from 98-102, but I am almost certain 101 never existed...)

    1. drankinatty

      Re: Enterprise Ages by 3 OV Magically?

      Okay, Ov-99 was Challenger. So we have 99-Challenger, 102-Columbia, 103-Discovery, 104-Atlantis, 105-Endeavour -- and for some reason they decide to number the drop-test vehicle that was never to see flight as 101 between Challenger and Columbia. I'm getting old, but working on the Shuttle at JSC from just after Return to Flight post 51L, up though STS-73, I sure recall OV-98 being Enterprise. Chock it up to infant Alzheimer's or somebody has a copy/paste number error that been promulgated across a large number of wiki pages. (dunno which is more probable..)

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