Boeing Tests Starliner Parachute

SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM, March 10, 2017 (Boeing PR) – Boeing test teams reached a significant milestone for the CST-100 Starliner program by testing the parachute system Starliner will use on its return to Earth.

Using a helium-filled balloon, it took about 30 minutes for the test vehicle to reach 38,300 ft. The ride down took four minutes and reached speeds of 300 mph. A series of mortars deployed parachutes at different altitudes, ultimately slowing the vehicle down to gently land.

  • windbourne

    Glad to see some progress. Oddly, Boeing is the one making progress of late, not spacex.

  • duheagle

    SpaceX did parachute tests quite a while back including, notably, the one that concluded the launch pad abort test. Dragon 2 continues to progress within the walls of the Hawthorne Mother Ship and probably at McGregor as well. But SpaceX hasn’t put any new Dragonfly video out for public consumption for awhile. The next scheduled “right out in front of God and everybody” tests are the initial unmanned mission to ISS followed by the in-flight abort test followed by the 1st manned test run to ISS. No high-profile news releases lately does not equal no progress.

  • Saturn13

    All those Boeing aircraft and they use a balloon. A first I think.

  • JamesG

    Perhaps they are all to busy building rockets and spacecraft to produce hyperbolated press releases?

  • windbourne

    thats the problem. They have not really shown anything in ages. No dragonfly. No dragon V2. No Raptor. No BFR (other than the tank test, but I think that was some time ago).

    SpaceX used to be the best in the space industry and keeping everybody up to date with what they are up to. Not anymore.

    All I can think of, is that they want everybody focused on RTF, along with the re-usability issue.

  • windbourne

    What is up with you lately and SpaceX?
    Did they p155 in your wheaties?
    You just seem to hate anything with spaceX these days.

    Personally, I was congratulating Boeing for making progress faster than what they said they would.

  • redneck

    What did I miss. On this post it seemed like he was saying they are busy working instead of bragging. I tend to prefer people to concentrate on their real job, which is hopefully performance rather than hype.

  • JamesG

    Read again.

  • windbourne

    James has been ripping into spacex of late. Not like him.
    As to this, spacex has always spent time telling ppl what they are up to.
    Suspect that musk very busy with model 3, solar city integration, and getting SX RTF on course.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Maybe because the CST-100 is a private development project, unlike Orion, and they want to save money. Recall they used a Shycrane Helicopter for the first parachute test for it.

    They did use a C-17 for Orion.

    But then its a regular NASA cost plus contract so no one cares about money 🙂

  • Steve Ksiazek

    Boeing has plenty of aircraft, but the balloon seemed to be a pretty decent idea for a commercial test. They got the test fixture up to 38K feet, which is much higher than the helicopter is probably capable of doing.

  • Steve Ksiazek

    I think the reason for announcing the lunar orbit mission was get themselves back in the news again. Boeing had just shown their Boeing Blue spacesuits and BO was about to announce the first customer had booked a flight on their brand new launcher. It would be better for them as a company to just focus on operations (building / launching rockets, cutting into that huge manifest backlog), but that doesn’t keep the fanbois happy

  • ReSpaceAge

    The reason for the announcement was to let the world know that progress is being made in affordable Spaceflight. Also to set a goal for the first paid for by tourist flight around the moon. I would suspect that politics played a role as well, letting The Trump folks know that lunar goals can be accomplished without dumping 3 billion dollars a year into the SLS Orion Jobs Program.
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that more affordable reusable launch and space flight systems are the path forward Beyond Earth Orbit.

    Time for NASA to be reduced in size by chopping of the old cost Plus projects that are holding up progress.

    Reduce government waste, Drain the Swamp. Dump Boeings SLS and Lockheed Martin Orion.

  • Lee

    No, the two drogues that deploy first clearly cut away before the mortars fire out the mains. You can even see smoke from the mortars when they fire out the first drogues and then the mains.

  • Douglas Messier

    Probably correct. At least partly.

    I think all of SpaceX’s PR needs to flow through Elon. There’s a lot he seems to do himself. So, time limits may explain the lack of recent press releases. Although I think announcing a moon mission was a BFD.

  • JamesG

    And their last PR guy quit to go fight Trump’ or… somethin’.