At the White Sands Missile Range proving grounds in New Mexico, Boeing is preparing for a critical test of their Starliner vehicle – notably the Pad Abort Test.
Scheduled to occur within a 3-hour test window that opens at 09:00 EST (14:00 UTC) today, Boeing will test the Launch Abort Engines and Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control thrusters aboard Starliner that would be used to pull the vehicle and crew away from a failing Atlas V rocket either on the launch pad or during flight.
Pad Abort Test Timeline/Profile:
The system of 48 Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control (OMACS) thrusters and four Launch Abort Engines (LAEs) was successfully test-fired earlier this year following a redesign mandated after a failure of the abort system last year.
“The Pad Abort Test is one of Starliner’s last major milestones ahead of crew flight, and it is also the program’s first test flight,” noted Boeing.
“The mission is a crucial part of collecting data for crew flight certification, and the main goal of this test flight is to demonstrate the end-to-end functionality of Starliner’s integrated launch abort system.”
Each of the four LAE engines produce 40,000 lbf thrust and will be the ...