The Boeing company successfully completed a static test firing of the engine it was developing a manned spacecraft CST-100 Cockpit after almost a year of involuntary delay caused by any incident that occurred during previous tests. According to the website Space News, in an official statement the company says that the test firing of all elements of the propulsion system, including fuel tanks and related systems was held may 23 at the NASA test site in new Mexico in an environment as close to real flight.
During the series of tests simulated the conditions and load, which will be the main engines Cockpit, engines abort when maneuvering in space, and in the case of forced interruption of the run at low and high altitudes. The company noted that all tests completed successfully, preparations are under way to further tests.
“The safety of astronauts is always on the first place. These successful tests prove that our system works properly and will be able to protect the crew and the spacecraft Cockpit in all phases of the upcoming flight,” said Vice-President and Manager of commercial space programs, Boeing’s John Mulholland.
Recall that in June last year, the company carried out similar tests. The engines worked as expected, however shortly after their shutdown happened “anomaly” that led to the fuel leak. As it turned out, the problem took place in the valves of fuel – they were defective and could not be closed. The incident with the engine did not lead to any damage to the hardware or the test bench, but has forced Boeing to postpone the originally planned test of a space launch vehicle at a later date.
The delay also allowed the “competitor” Boeing, SpaceX to conduct the first unmanned test of their new manned spacecraft Crew Dragon, sending the last one in early March 6 days at the ISS. But now the two companies are again equal, because during one of the last tests of the engines the spacecraft SpaceX exploded at the test site. In addition, the Dragon Crew observed problems with the parachute system.
According to recent reports, Boeing plans to conduct test launch of the spacecraft, the CST-100 Cockpit unmanned this summer (sometime in mid-August). Piloted the launch of two NASA astronauts, as well as Boeing test pilot on Board to be held towards the end of this year.
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