General, Research, Technology

Boeing Starliner has not yet flown to the ISS. How does this relate to the 737 Max?

Sunday, December 22, a spaceshipBoeing CST-100 Starliner made a successful landing in New Mexico (USA). Although not everyone believed that the Starliner would reach Earth, the ship was still able to complete its first test flight. It’s good that he passed without a crew on board, because at the initial stage of the flight a serious malfunction was revealed near the ship, and instead of 8 planned days Starliner spent only 3 days in the air. Therefore, although Boeing managed to land his brainchild without incident, he is still very far from Crew Dragon.

The Starliner flew for 3 days and returned to Earth. Why?


  • 1 What happened to the Starliner
  • 2 How the Boeing 737 Max and Starliner are related
  • 3 Which ship is better - Starliner or Crew Dragon
  • 4 What awaits Boeing

What happened to the Starliner

At first, nothing boded trouble - likeIt was planned that on December 20, the Atlas V rocket, equipped with Russian RD-180 engines, launched from the launch site at Cape Canaveral and successfully launched Starliner into its original orbit. However, subsequently, a failure occurred in the flight time reference system - because of this, the ship was unable to adjust its own orbit in order to enter the trajectory and draw closer to the ISS.

Despite the fact that the engines of Starliner arethey turned on a bit later, he no longer had fuel left for a flight to the International Space Station. Therefore, the docking was canceled, and after 3 days the ship returned to Earth.

Boeing Starliner after landing on December 22, 2019

How the Boeing 737 Max and Starliner are related

After two disasters involving Boeing aircraft737 Max the manufacturer was not able to obtain permission to resume their flights. In the company's huge hangars and just in the field, there are a lot of planes that customers do not take, because they will not be able to release them on regular flights without the permission of the aviation committee. According to unconfirmed reports, some of the software for these Boeings was written by programmers from India who worked on outsourcing for ridiculous money.

Boeing 737 Max, which still can not fly into the air

It turned out that Boeing is not only engagedaircraft manufacturing is also a major NASA contractor. After the scandals with the Boeing 737 Max, many were worried that such a company was involved in the development of space programs, but then everyone was reassured that these were two completely unrelated units. However, the incident with the Starliner makes us think that the creation of software for airplanes and spaceships in Boeing is in no way connected.

In fact over software forspaceships and software for aircraft really work different teams. Moreover, these are different companies - Boeing Space is the "daughter" of the parent Boeing. But somehow there are too many jambs with software for such a large corporation.

In the case of the Boeing 737 Max, the problem was in the systemMCAS. The company soon released a patch to fix the problem, but so far has not received the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration for the operation of aircraft. The reasons for the incident that occurred with the Starliner remain to be seen.

Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System(MCAS - Aircraft Performance Improvement System) is an automatic pilot assistance system that helps programmatically address some of the design flaws of the Boeing 737 MAX. It allows you to avoid "stall" and dive by mistake of the crew.

Which ship is better - Starliner or Crew Dragon

Back in 2018, Boeing tested engines"Starliner." The ship's engines worked as expected, but soon after they turned off, an “anomaly” occurred, leading to a fuel leak. As it turned out later, the problem was in the fuel supply valves - they turned out to be defective and could not completely close. This forced Boeing to postpone the originally planned spacecraft test launches to a later date.

See how Boeing tested Starliner spaceship parachutes

Delay also allowed Boeing rivalSpaceX was the first to conduct unmanned tests of its new manned spacecraft Crew Dragon, sending the latter to the ISS. To date, Crew Dragon has already flown to the ISS without a crew and returned to Earth.

Starliner Engine Tests, 2019

Boeing tested the parachutes successfully - so the Starliner landed without problems

Of course, Crew Dragon didn’t have everything from the very beginning.smooth. This year, during one of the engine tests, the SpaceX spacecraft exploded at a test site. In addition, Crew Dragon had problems with the parachute system. However, later SpaceX corrected all the shortcomings, which allowed the company to conduct a successful flight to the ISS.

What awaits Boeing

If earlier Boeing and SpaceX were on an equal footing, thenNow the aircraft manufacturer is clearly an outsider. Since the closure of the space shuttle program, the United States has not had the opportunity to deliver its astronauts to the ISS and return them back. For this, America used the services of the Russian Roscosmos and Soyuz ships. New ships for manned flights under contracts with NASA were developed by private US companies SpaceX and Boeing. Only now, so far, they have hope only for Ilona Mask and his brainchild. It was not for nothing that NASA secured itself and announced its desire to reserve several more places on the Russian Soyuz for 2020.