back to article NASA is Boeing to get to the bottom of that Starliner snafu... plus SpaceX preps to blow up a Falcon 9

It's a been a busy start to the new year in this week's SpaceX-heavy round-up of news for rocket fanciers. NASA and Boeing to find the cause of the Starliner Snafu Boeing's attempt to send its commercial crew capsule, the CST-100 Starliner, to the International Space Station (ISS) famously went a bit wrong last year. The …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Can't help but wonder who did the Starliner programming and if they have worked on airliners?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I think they should crowd-source the Starliner model for mission simulation on GMAT. Thousands of students and postgrads around the would would enjoy finding fault and feeding it back.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Start with testing it in KSP, and only continue when it has enough boosters and/or struts.

    2. jzl

      VBA

      I think I used to work with the guy who did the Starliner programming.

      It's mostly a collection of spreadsheets and VBA macros. The bug in question was on line 586 of Module35.Timer37_OnTick().

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: VBA

        I think I used to work with the same chap.

        He's dead now.

        Those two facts are not related.

  2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

    Rich guy looking for a single female to join him for a date in a cramped spaceship with no possibility of escape, for a flight that will last days. What could possibly be wrong with that?

    1. OssianScotland Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      I couldn't possibly comment until after the video of the quarter-million mile high club hits the internet

      Paris - obviously

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

        considering his Twat handle (@yousuck2020), "seriously creepy" is not enough...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      Yes it's creepy all right. My daughter fits the bill in every way, even speaks a bit of Japanese. I don't think she's tempted though.

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      Maybe it depends on your cultural perspective but from my perspective, yes, it's seriously creepy.

    4. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      I have no expertise in Japanese language/culture, but reading the comments from people who are, there is a custom in Japan called Miai, which is a type of matchmaking (so far, I doubt this is deflecting the creep-o-meter any more than online dating). In this case, it's been incorporated into reality TV - probably as a way for Yusaku Maezawa to offset some of his ticket cost (which is probably a bit steep, even for him).

      In summary, more gimmicky than creepy, if I'm reading it right.

    5. phuzz Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      It does sound creepy, but on the other hand, if his tastes instead ran to older men, then I'd totally be up for whatever to get a free trip around the moon.

      1. sbt Silver badge
        Coat

        if his tastes ran to older men

        Or, the required surgery and happy pills are probably still way cheaper than buying your own ticket. Even if you don't get picked, you're still a 20-something Japanese woman. Some might call that a win.

        London to a brick the 'winning' contestant is closer to 20 than 30.

        Mine's the one with the Hello Kitty picture on the back and pink fluffy hood fringe. -->

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

        I'm really uncomfortable about this. That's a very big rocket for anybody to accommodate.

    6. Hopalong

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      Not so cramped, Starship as the same pressurised volume as an A380, in the order of 1000M^3.

    7. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      It's going to be tricky for him to go through the established routine:

      1. I dropped her off at a nearby island. Honest.

      2. Ok I didn't drop her off at an island. She fell overboard.

      3. Well she didn't actually fall overboard. She fell through the hatch and then I panicked and threw her overboard.

      4. Correction: The hatch fell on her head, and was responsible for the head injuries. Now that you've found the body.

      5. And it must have been the sharks that dismembered her body so neatly.

      6. One of the sharks must've had a knife, hence the puncture wounds.

      7. OK I dunnit.

      I can see immediate problems with 1, 5 and 6. Unless Space Sharks of course.

    8. Brangdon Bronze badge

      Re: Is it me or is this seriously creepy?

      Remember that this flight isn't expected to happen until 2023 at the earliest, so she will have had 3 years to get to know him. If she still doesn't trust him, she shouldn't go. Also, it won't just be him and her. There will be a dozen of so artists along too. And the Starship isn't some cramped capsule.

      Really this is just a dating show with 1 eligible bachelor and several prospective women. It's a common format. The Dear Moon flight is a hook.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it may not be the only way that Boeing is able to demonstrate its system's full capabilities

    'cos that sort of attitude worked *so* well with getting the 737 MAX certified didn't it?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      They're already skipping the in flight abort test as well because "they can simulate it just fine".

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Specifically they can simulate the paperwork of having done the test

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And they have the obits ready for when it fails to orbit, just insert names...

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Unhappy

    On a clear moonless night

    When my sprogs were still young, we'd sit watching satellites (& the odd shooting star) whizz overhead every couple of mins playing 'first to see ten', great fun.

    Now with literally thousands of starlink boxes about to be cluttering up the sky the game will totally lose appeal to youngsters, look up and see a continuous stream of boxes popping in and out of view from dusk to dawn.

  5. FIA

    SpaceX has responded by trying out a darkening treatment to stop the things looking so gosh darn bright.

    I wonder if it was VANTA black?

    1. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Or NIVO? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIVO

  6. Chris 239
    Mushroom

    Kaboom required

    The IFA Test does not seem totally realistic to me.

    "programmed to shut down its engines" AFAIK most RUD events for rockets taking off are not normally preceded by a shutdown of the engines - don't they normally start with a "kaboom"? Even the CRS-7 event where there was an obvious issue before the kaboom (which was a self destruct I think) it looked like the engines were on all the way to the self destruct.

    Surely for a realistic test the booster should be made to malfunction in a spectacular fashion to trigger the IFA.

    1. Chris 239

      Re: Kaboom required

      But this Space.com item :

      https://www.space.com/spacex-crew-dragon-launch-abort-test-critical-milestone.html

      says the IFA will be before the Falcon 9 engines shutdown:

      "During Saturday's test, that will happen about 90 seconds after liftoff, after which the Falcon 9's first stage engines will shut down. "

      i.e. the opposite of this Registem article which says the early engine shutdown will trigger the IFA.

      I'm guessig space.com is the right one.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Brangdon Bronze badge

      Re: Kaboom required

      Typically the engines shut down shortly after the kaboom, if not shortly before. Where "shortly" is quick enough not to matter.

      It worth remembering that the LOX and fuel tanks are kept separate, so the kaboom is more of a slow fire than a well-mixed gas explosion, and much slower than a detonation. It's also worth remembering that SpaceX will have simulated various situations and will be testing what they consider to be the toughest case - and that Boeing consider simulation alone to be adequate.

      1. Chris 239

        Re: Kaboom required

        So would that be a kablooey?

        Anyway, in the actual test the Kablooey was much later, after the capsule was well away. It looked more like a self detruct than a break up to me.

        I guess thay have done lots of analysis and as you say Boeing are not doing an IFA test at all.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    "Boeing is going to need NASA's nod"

    What ? You mean, Boeing can't self-certify this time ?

    What a bummer.

    1. NetBlackOps

      Re: "Boeing is going to need NASA's nod"

      "If it's Boeing, I ain't going." This safety-critical engineer means it, too. And a serious WTF. Spreadsheets? VBA? There's no way that even appears anywhere near anything I do. Pencil and legal pads before that. At least you can document internal logics and maths.

  8. xyz

    Creeping it up to 11....

    Surely the Japanese bloke's banner should read Cum on the moon with me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Creeping it up to 11....

      I meet all this requirements except one, being female....

      1. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

        Re: Creeping it up to 11....

        Nobody's perfect.

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