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DoD practices offshore Starliner recovery for the first time – NASASpaceFlight.com



In a critical first for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner capsule, the crew member puts the DoD and Air Force rescue team through their steps as they seek to understand and refine what is needed to rescue a Starliner crew from the capsule.

Starliner at Sea Rescue Exercise / Process:

The test is a critical part of Starliner's certification to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

SpaceX & # 39; s Dragon capsule went through similar tests last year, and NASA has performed similar exercises with its Orion spacecraft.

Starliner itself will nominally land on land in the US southwest, but interruption / off-nominal emergency records from lane will / may result in Starliner spraying into the sea.

Despite the planned difference in an off-nominal vs nominal landing of Starliner, equipped rescue personnel would use Starliner the same as for Dragon and Orion.

Keep arriving at Starliner to begin assessing his condition. [Credit: Chris Gebhardt for NSF/L2]

When Starliner jumps into the sea and the members of the 304 th Rescue Squadron reaches the spacecraft, the first thing the team considers is that the vessel is orienting itself.

If Starliner has landed upside down or tipped upside down after landing, first and foremost, action will be the right spacecraft.

This process was not described in detail, but Air Force Major Marcus Maris, DoD (Department of Defense), Human Space Flight Support, office rescue department head and captain Paul Fry, 304. RQS Assistant Director of Operations, reiterated that the team – while novices to such a practice at Starliner – have practiced the basic training in both the Orion and Dragon procedures.

In addition, part of today's test – this afternoon – will target the capsules Starliner mockup, so the teams can practice the right process.

When the capsule is aligned, or if it lands in the correct upright orientation, the next order will be for rescue teams to measure vessel stability in the given sea states (wave heights, wind, etc.).

If justified, the rescue team will deploy a abilization collar around the base of Starliner to help steer the vessel during rescue operations.

Hold attach the stabilization collar to Starliner during the first part of the rescue attempt at sea. The claims would be deployed by divers wrapped around the Starliner base, the orange cords / lines on the collar attached to the spacecraft, and the collar then inflated by drafts.

The rescue divers / team would use the same stabilization collar for Starliner as they want for Dragon.

The collars have different colored wires / lines, with orange used for Starliner and blue used for SpaceX.

This was built into the design, so the rescue equipment is as standardized as possible between the three US crew spacecraft.

Only Orion has another stabilization collar simply because of how much larger its base is then Dragon's and Starliner's.

After the stabilization collar is attached, rescue teams will equip and inflate "Front Porch", a custom-built liferaft that will install in front of Starliner's side week.

Front Porch has enough space and can carry enough supplies (food, water, medical) to support 4 Starliner crew members and 9-person rescue dive teams for up to 72 hours.

Like the stabilization requirement, Front Porch for Starliner is the same as that used for Dragon and Orion off-nominal water landing gear.

Front Porch is inflated in front of Starliner. [Credit: Chris Gebhardt for NSF/L2]

When Front Porch is deployed, the crews will then open Starliner's side week and start assessing and extracting the crew.

If for some reason it cannot close the side door or is not safely opened due to water break-in problems from the high seas, the rescue teams can open the top hatch to reach and extract the crew.

The crew would then take refuge in the front porch fleet with 9-member dive team to await evacuation back to a ship or land.

The first part of the test today went well and was performed in the middle of the pool in Port Canaveral on the Air Force controlled side of the port.

Based on the experience of today's first test, Major Marcus Maris and Captain Paul Fry hope to continue to open sea tests by the end of this week.

These open sea tests will appear roughly 10 miles off Cape Canaveral.

NASA Sea Rescue Requirements for Starliner, Dragon and Orion:

While today's test was the first in-water Starliner drill exercise, it represents a much larger DoD engagement in space Starwiner launches on an Atlas V N22 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, which brings new crew members to the International Space Station (Credit: Nathan Koga, for NSF / L2).

During ascent to Starliner, Dragon and Orion, 304 th Rescue Squadron will have two teams stationed along the US east coast, one at Patrick Air Force Base (just south of the Cape) and the other in Charleston, South Carolina .

Patrick team, Rescue 1, will be in charge of the on-pad interrupt this place a capsule in the water or to interrupt the first few minutes of flight, placing the capsule within a 200-mile zone from the Cape.

After the distance has passed, Charleston crew (Rescue 2) would be responsible for rescuing a launch-breaking crew machine elsewhere across the Atlantic.

The third tea I'm stationed in Hawaii (also part of Rescue 2) would be responsible for any relaunch of the immediate landing needs or off-nominal Station Return eventuality that places a Starliner or Dragon in the Pacific .

If an off-nominal from the orbital reversal with splashdown in the Atlantic, an emergency search within 200 miles of Cape Canaveral would fall to Rescue 1.

Any other Atlantic splashdown would fall to Rescue 2 from Charleston because they have more powerful aircraft that could reach Starliner or Dragon or Orion faster than Patrick support craft.

Rescue 1 requires a crew on the way back to land within 6 hours of splashdown.

Rescue 2 is required to have The closure of a capsule opened within 24 hours after splashdown and a crew evacuated (via helicopter or ship) from the landing area within 72 hours after opening the hatch.

These southern rescue operations are led by the 45th Ops Group Detachment 3 – Human Spaceflight Support Office – in Cape Canaveral, in collaboration with NASA.

The main diving rescue force is 304 th Rescue Squadron based in Portland, Oregon – which is part of 920 th Rescue Wing based on Patrick Air Force Base, FL.


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