Boeing Just Tested a Crucial Safety System While Taking Footsteps Towards Its Lunar Lander

Boeing Just Tested a Crucial Safety System While Taking Footsteps Towards Its Lunar Lander

Science

Boeing aims to make one the Artemis program lunar landers that will ferry astronauts to the surface of the Moon. Now, the aerospace company has presented a proposal to NASA for a combined Human Lander System (HLS). Boeing says the effort will enable them to reach the moon in a small number of steps as possible. NASA has been accepting proposals from private space companies, and it will likely select a minimum of two of them by January 2020. Blue Origin has announced its independent embark on a lunar lander – Blue Moon. The aerospace company aims to develop the same in association with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Draper.

For now, let’s see what Boeing has attempted in its latest space capsule test. The company has tested a crucial system on CST-100 Starliner, Boeing’s most recent passenger space capsule. The trial is a significant milestone that gets the company ready for the vehicle’s first journey to space. The present-day test has turned-on the emergency abort engines on the capsule, specially designed to carry the spacecraft to safety if there is some major issue during a future launch. The entire test took around 95 seconds to complete. Boeing has invested five years of hard work for developing Starliner, a vehicle to transport astronauts to and from the ISS as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The vehicle is meant to launch atop an Atlas V rocket, developed by the United Launch Alliance. The capsule can ferry up to seven crew members at a time to the orbit.

Today, the aerospace company has performed so-called a pad abort test, which has revealed Starliner’s potential to escape a dangerous situation during a launch. The spacecraft hosts four launch abort engines that can fire up if the rocket carrying the capsule starts to break apart on the launchpad or just after takeoff. The trial did not include actual missiles. But the team has experienced a significant setback when only two of Strarliner’s three main capsules deployed. Well, those two were enough to get down the spacecraft gently on the ground. The spacecraft’s next big day is on December 17th. At the time, the company will check for an Orbital Flight Test, which will see an empty Starliner launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral.