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.
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.
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.
– Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) April 10, 2019
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.