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In space collision could have been caused by the Boeing’s second Starliner software glitch

Boeing might just have escaped a massive loss, pending a slight miscalculation in their software. The space flight that took place seven weeks ago was a failure as its intent mission to reach the International space station did not go as planned. Space agency NASA is yet to release a detailed investigative report set to reveal what went wrong with the satellite 

The launch of the satellite named the CST-100 was launched on the Atlas V. The CSTs mission was to land and connect with the International Space Station. This endeavour would be a breakthrough for NASA if it had been successful. The mission was meant to portray the orbital space station’s ability to expand with additional components from the ground base.

Nevertheless, the Starliner did not manage to reach its designated destination. It missed orbit and instead circled the earth to eventually make a landing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on the 22nd of December 

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, while addressing a teleconference on February 7th, stated that the mission is under review. Bridenstine gave an assurance that a capable investigative team is on the task to investigate the cause of failure of the Orbital Flight Test mission. The task force will be mainly invested in finding the software failure that led to the error. 

Despite the somewhat fluid running of the mission, experts speculate that the software glitch had the potential of ramming the CST100 into its components. Further research into the Starliner disclosed a faulty on board timer alongside the software error. The timer failed to correctly administer the orbit-insertion burn that led to a different trajectory in its mission, blowing it off course 

However, more was to add on to the Starliner woes. Further scrutiny leads the engineers to discover another potential hazard the Starliner encountered. While on its orbital route, a slight miscalculation would have thrown it off its course and placed it on a collision path with the service module that disjointed from the crew module 

That’s not all, though. The Starliner also faced communication problems when it encountered radio interference between the capsule and ground controllers. Following the failure to execute the orbital burn. In ground-based controllers tried to initiate subsequent commands for the Starliner. However, this venture did not bear much as communications with the Starliner were disrupted 

The exact cause of communication disruption is not known. However, an investigative team is tasked to seek out the reason for the glitch and find remedies

Natalie Heinrich

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