The Orbital Flight Test Starliner being processed by technicians after return from White Sands Missile Range. (Credit: Boeing)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Boeing PR) — On Wednesday, January 8, the Starliner that flew the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test returned safely to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After launching from Cape Canaveral on December 20, 2019, and landing at the White Sands Missile Range on December 22, the Starliner was recovered and prepared for shipment across the country, and then left the desert on January 3.
In general, the plan for post-flight processing of this spacecraft is as follows:
Thorough external inspectionHatch opening and visual verification the seal is in good shape and will keep pressure integrity and people safe as the telemetry data indicatesInterior inspection and verification the capsule is as clean as the telemetry data would indicateRemoval of cover panels and some key components across systems including avionics, propulsion and life support, detailed inspection and verification of those key components after first flightDetailed inspection of chutes, rigging and airbags with emphasis on unexpected chafing and wear-and-tearAssessment of how heat loading during ascent and entry affected docking system and capsule sidewalls, will compare results against pre-flight thermal modelsTransition to ...