Dragon SpX-17 (CRS-17), OCO-3, STP-H6 - Falcon 9-071 (B1056.1) - CCAFS SLC-40 - 04.05.2019 06:48 UTC

Автор tnt22, 20.03.2019 19:48:30

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ЦитироватьNASA‏Подлинная учетная запись @NASA 20 мин. назад

We're opening our doors for social media users to come behind the scenes for the next @SpaceX cargo launch to the International @Space_Station, currently targeted for late April. Apply to attend this #NASASocial event at @NASAKennedy in Florida: https://go.nasa.gov/2FogkGD 

Chris B - NSF‏ @NASASpaceflight 15 мин. назад

This one is Range Approved (but still NET, as always) for April 25 (early morning T-0)

Chris G - NSF‏ @ChrisG_NSF 8 мин. назад

Per @NASASpaceflight's last tweet about #CRS17 #Dragon confirmed on the Range for 25 April, launch that morning would be at 06:20 EDT (1020 UTC). A pre-dawn launch from the Cape. #SpaceX #NASASocial #NASA


ЦитироватьNASA's OCO-3: A New View of Carbon (mission overview)

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Опубликовано: 2 апр. 2019 г.

NASA's OCO-3 mission is ready for launch to the International Space Station. This follow-on to OCO-2 brings new techniques and new technologies to carbon dioxide observations of Earth from space.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GMjU5pSufkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GMjU5pSufk (2:26)


ЦитироватьSpaceX CRS-17 Targets April 26 Launch

Anna Heiney
Posted Apr 9, 2019 at 4:38 pm

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 2, 2018, carrying the SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft on the company's 14th Commercial Resupply Services contract mission to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray, Tim Powers, Tim Terry

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 5:55 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 26, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This will be SpaceX's 17th Commercial Resupply Services contract mission to the International Space Station for NASA.

Launch on April 26 results in an arrival at the space station for a robotic capture by Expedition 59 crew members David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Nick Hague of NASA on Sunday, April 28, at 7 a.m. EDT for a month-long stay.


ЦитироватьNASA's OCO-3: Watching Plants Grow and Glow

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Опубликовано: 9 апр. 2019 г.

OCO-3 will be mounted on the International Space Station where it will measure both atmospheric carbon and plant activity from orbit. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and emit a small amount of light. Measuring this "solar-induced fluorescence" will help scientists better understand the role plants have in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x-VzdEeq0chttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x-VzdEeq0c (0:42)


ЦитироватьCrew Trains to Capture U.S. Spaceship and Studies the Brain and Breathing

Mark Garcia
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at 3:40 pm

The Expedition 59 crew is now training to capture a U.S. cargo ship when it arrives at the International Space Station next week. ...
SpaceX has announced April 26 as the launch date for its next Dragon cargo mission. The private space freighter will blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida arriving at the station April 28. This time Saint-Jacques will lead the robotics capture activities while Hague backs him up.


26 апреля к МКС отправится грузовой корабль Dragon c миссией снабжения CRS-17. Предполагается, что для запуска будет использоваться новая первая ступень Falcon 9 B1056

Помимо грузов для экипажа и оборудования для исследований и экспериментов, Dragon доставит на станцию в своём негерметичном отсеке два прибора.

Космическая углеродная обсерватория - 3 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory/OCO-3) и Space Test Program-Houston-6 (STP-H6) уже установлены в негерметичном отсеке корабля Dragon в космическом центре Кеннеди во Флориде 23 марта 2019 года. 

 STP-H6 - это исследование рентгеновской связи, которое будет использоваться для демонстрации в космосе новой технологии генерации пучков модулированных рентгеновских лучей. Эта технология может быть полезна для обеспечения эффективной связи с исследовательскими зондами дальнего космоса или для связи с гиперзвуковыми транспортными средствами, где плазменные оболочки во время их движения препятствуют традиционной радиосвязи.

 OCO-3 будет установлен на внешней стороне японского экспериментального модуля космической станции, где он будет измерять и наносить на карту количество двуокиси углерода, поступающей из космоса, чтобы обеспечить более глубокое понимание взаимосвязи между углеродом и климатом. 

Запуск миссии CRS-17 планируется со стартовой площадки SLC-40 базы ВВС на мысе Канаверал.


ЦитироватьHighlights of Science Launching on SpaceX CRS-17

NASA Johnson

Опубликовано: 18 апр. 2019 г.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft scheduled to launch in late April takes supplies and a variety of scientific experiments to the International Space Station. Lifted into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the craft represents the 17th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services contract mission for NASA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI9bgWEwv8chttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI9bgWEwv8c (1:24)


ЦитироватьApril 18, 2019

Dragon's 17th Flight Carries Science to the Space Station

Dragon's 17th Flight Carries Science to the Space Station

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft scheduled to launch in late April takes supplies and a variety of scientific experiments to the International Space Station. Lifted into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the craft represents the 17th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services contract mission for NASA.

Read more about some of the scientific investigations traveling to the space station on this launch.

Measuring atmospheric CO2 from space
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) examines the complex dynamics of Earth's atmospheric carbon cycle. Installed on the Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility, called JEM-EF, it collects measurements to quantify variations in a specific type of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Having the observatory on the space station enables sampling during all sunlit hours and targeted local mapping of emission hotspots.

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) and Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6) shown in the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for launch to the space station. Robotically installed on the outside of the space station, OCO-3 measures and maps atmospheric carbon dioxide to provide further understanding of the relationship between carbon and climate.
Credits: NASA

OCO-3's precise measurements will provide scientists with a better understanding of surface carbon dioxide sources and storage sinks on regional scales, as well as the processes controlling their variability from seasonal cycles. Understanding these sources and sinks can help in forecasting increased atmospheric heat retention and reducing its long-term risks. The investigation preserves continuity of previously collected atmospheric records.
Putting microalgae on the menu
Current life support systems in space use physicochemical processes, such as steam and chemical reactions, to generate oxygen and water and remove carbon dioxide from the space station. The Photobioreactor investigation demonstrates using biological processes to create a hybrid life support system. The investigation tests the cultivation of microalgae for food and as part of a life support system to generate oxygen and consume carbon dioxide.

On future long-duration missions, this approach could reduce the amount of food, water and other essentials that crews have to bring from Earth. This type of research on the station is critical for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight, and necessary for a sustainable presence on the Moon and missions deeper into the solar system, including Mars.
Organs on Chips advance human health research
Tissue chips, or organs on chips, are small devices that contain human cells in a three-dimensional matrix. Scientists use them to test how those cells respond to stresses, drugs and genetic changes. This launch includes four Tissue Chips in Space investigations:
  • Lung Host Defense in Microgravity uses a lung and bone marrow organ-on-a-chip to compare response to infection in microgravity and on Earth. The investigation expands understanding of the biological basis of immune system suppression in space and provides insight into ways to counter it.
  • Cartilage-Bone-Synovium Microphysiological System studies how spaceflight affects musculoskeletal disease and tests potential drugs for preventing progression of Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis, arthritis that occurs after loss of cartilage and bone due to a traumatic joint injury.
  • Organs-On-Chips as a Platform for Studying Effects of Microgravity on Human Physiology analyzes the effect of microgravity and other space-related stressors on the brain blood barrier. This may provide insight into the relationship between inflammation and brain function and a better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
  • Effects of Microgravity on the Structure and Function of Proximal and Distal Tubule MPS (Kidney Cells) examines how kidney health is affected by microgravity and other factors of space travel, including water conservation and recycling, and altered dietary intake. Knowledge gained can help protect the health of astronauts and contribute to better treatments for kidney related conditions on Earth.

An example of a Tissue Chip in Space device. These contain human cells in a three-dimensional matrix used in investigations that test how various types of cells respond to stresses, drugs, and genetic changes.
Credits: NASA Photo/Josh Valcarcel

These investigations are a collaboration between the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes for Health and the ISS U.S. National Lab in partnership with NASA
Multi-use microgravity experiment platform
Hermes is a reconfigurable on-orbit facility that provides a platform for investigations with applications to asteroids, planetary science, and exploration. These investigations will provide researchers with insight into the formation and behavior of asteroids and comets, impact dynamics, and planetary evolution. The facility is capable of accommodating up to four experiments at a time and can operate for hours, days, or even months. Hermes is equipped with lighting to illuminate experiments as necessary and four sets of cameras to provide imagery or video for experiment monitoring. Depending on a particular investigation, Hermes may contain different mechanical components and sensors to obtain additional data.

The Hermes Facility headed to the International Space Station supports material investigations with applications to asteroids, planetary science, and exploration.
Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center
Watching cells make DNA repairs
Increased exposure to radiation in space can cause damage to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)   known as double strand breaks. Cells repair these breaks but such repairs are prone to errors, causing insertions or deletions of DNA bases. Buildup of these errors can have detrimental effects, such as cancer, and affect the long-term health of astronauts.

The miniPCR is used for Genes in Space investigations aboard the International Space Station. Spaceflight causes many changes to the human body, including alterations in DNA and a weakened immune system and this technology enables DNA studies in space that can help safeguard crew health.
Credits: NASA

Genes in Space-6 evaluates the process of DNA repair in the spaceflight environment by causing double strand breaks in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and assessing the subsequent mutations and repairs while still in space. The Miniature Polymerase Chain Reaction (miniPCR) and the MinION sequencer tools aboard the space station make this assessment possible.
Melissa Gaskill

International Space Station Program Science Office
Johnson Space Center
Last Updated: April 18, 2019
Editor: Michael Johnson


ЦитироватьSpaceX CRS-17 Launch Now Scheduled for April 30

Sarah Loff
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at 10:35 am

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is now scheduled to launch at 4:22 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 30, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This will be SpaceX's 17th Commercial Resupply Services contract mission to the International Space Station for NASA.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured attached to the International Space Station's Harmony module. Credit: NASA

SpaceX will take advantage of the additional time to perform a static fire test and pre-flight checkouts. Falcon 9 and Dragon are on track to be flight ready for an earlier launch attempt, however, April 30 is the most viable date for both NASA and SpaceX due to station and orbital mechanics constraints.

NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. Monday, April 22, to discuss sel ect science investigations the Dragon will deliver to the astronauts living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory. NASA will stream audio fr om the discussion at http://www.nasa.gov/live.


ЦитироватьNASA Television Upcoming Events

All times Eastern

April 25, Thursday
9:30 a.m. – SpaceX CRS-17 What's On Board Briefing (All Channels)
1 p.m. – SpaceX CRS-17 Pre-Launch News Conference (All Channels)
April 30, Tuesday
3:45 a.m. – Coverage of the Launch of the SpaceX CRS-17 Dragon Cargo Craft Mission to the International Space Station; launch is scheduled at 4:22 a.m. ET (All Channels)
5:30 a.m. – SpaceX CRS-17 Post-Launch News Conference (time subject to change) (All Channels)

May 2, Thursday
5:30 a.m. – Coverage of the rendezvous and capture of the SpaceX CRS-17 Dragon cargo craft at the International Space Station; capture scheduled at 7 a.m. ET (All Channels)
9 a.m. – Coverage of the installation of the SpaceX CRS-17 Dragon cargo craft to the International Space Station (All Channels)
UTC = (EDT + 4h) MOD 24


ЦитироватьЗапуск грузового корабля Dragon к МКС перенесли на 30 апреля

МОСКВА, 19 апр - РИА Новости. Запуск американского корабля Dragon с грузами для экипажа Международной космической станции состоится 30 апреля, сообщило в пятницу НАСА.

Ранее НАСА сообщало, что старт планируется на 26 апреля.

На сайте НАСА отмечается, что запуск Dragon состоится 30 апреля в 11:22 мск.

В качестве причины отсрочки старта названо то, что дата 30 апреля наиболее подходящая по баллистическим условиям.


ЦитироватьJeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 13 мин. назад

At a beginning of a media telecon on the science flying on the next Dragon cargo mission, NASA says the mission is still scheduled for launch April 30, the date reported last week week prior to this weekend's Crew Dragon incident.


ЦитироватьNew Life Science Begins; Next Dragon Cargo Mission Due Next Week

Mark Garcia
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm

... The 17th SpaceX Dragon mission is now due to launch next week to replenish the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is due to join the five other spacecraft parked at the station after it launches from Florida April 30. Dragon is scheduled to arrive May 2 and Saint-Jacques will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and capture the cargo vessel. Dragon will deliver over 5,000 pounds of new science, supplies and hardware to the orbital lab.


ЦитироватьEmre Kelly‏Подлинная учетная запись @EmreKelly 4 мин. назад

Both NASA and the 45th Space Wing have confirmed #SpaceX is still targeting April 30 to launch a *cargo* Dragon from CCAFS. NASA put heavy emphasis on "as of today," so it could change depending on investigation into Crew Dragon or other factors. Targeted for 0422 ET (0822 UTC).


ЦитироватьEmulate Tissue Chip Research on the International Space Station

Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS)

Опубликовано: 22 апр. 2019 г.

Emulate is an innovative and emerging biotechnology company sending a tissue chip investigation to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. Learn about tissue chip technology, and how the microgravity environment of the space station can influence science to benefit patient care on Earth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5i9WCHbkz0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5i9WCHbkz0 (2:05)


ЦитироватьM.I.T. Osteoarthritis Tissue Chips to the International Space Station

Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS)

Опубликовано: 22 апр. 2019 г.

There are no disease-modifying drugs for any type of osteoarthritis on Earth other than painkillers, which do not halt the progression of disease. These investigations on the ISS National Lab, which involve human tissue explants of cartilage, bone and synovial tissue, have the potential to lead to the discovery of treatments and treatment regimens that, if administered immediately after a joint injury, may halt the progression of the disease before it becomes irreversible. The goal of this research is to treat the root cause of post-traumatic osteoarthritis disease and prevent permanent joint damage, rather than mask the symptoms with painkillers later in life, as is currently done.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33o8W3qehu4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33o8W3qehu4 (1:46)


ЦитироватьISS National Lab Research Overview, SpaceX CRS-17

Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS)

Опубликовано: 22 апр. 2019 г.

The International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory is sponsoring an array of research projects that will launch onboard SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. This mission includes biotechnology, plant biology, pharmaceutical drug delivery research, and more. To learn more about this science on SpaceX's 17th resupply mission to the space station, check out the ISS National Lab research video!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZD-e_PrJuQhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZD-e_PrJuQ (2:32)


ЦитироватьMichael Baylor‏ @nextspaceflight 3 ч. назад

#SpaceX may move the first stage recovery for #CRS17 to a droneship according to FCC filings. This comes after Landing Zone 1 was contaminated with toxic hypergolic during the Crew Dragon anomaly this weekend.

Map of the potential droneship location:

3 ч. назад

Note that this filing is pending FCC approval. Let's see if this gets processed in time!


ЦитироватьEmre Kelly‏Подлинная учетная запись @EmreKelly 1 ч. назад

Confirmed: #SpaceX will likely attempt to land Falcon 9 booster on OCISLY drone ship after next week's (April 30) CRS-17 launch from Cape Canaveral. This will help preserve valuable information during investigation into Crew Dragon incident.


ЦитироватьSpaceX likely to move next rocket landing to drone ship
April 23, 2019Stephen Clark

File photo of a Falcon 9 booster landing on SpaceX's drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean following a launch in November 2018. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is likely to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket set for launch April 30 on a drone ship just off the coast of Cape Canaveral, not at the company's onshore recovery site as originally planned, after a ground test of the company's Crew Dragon capsule at the landing pad ended in an explosion Saturday.

Workers were examining wreckage fr om the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Landing Zone 1, the site wh ere Falcon 9 boosters return to Cape Canaveral, prompting the company to apply for authority from the Federal Communications Commission to land the first stage on next week's mission on SpaceX's drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, featuring a brand new first stage, is set for liftoff at 4:22 a.m. EDT (0822 GMT) April 30 from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad. The launcher will carry into orbit a Dragon cargo capsule packed with several tons of supplies and experiments heading for the International Space Station.

Industry officials confirmed Tuesday that SpaceX will likely attempt a drone ship landing on next week's mission to "ensure the integrity" of the Landing Zone 1 area and "preserve valuable information" in the aftermath of Saturday's Crew Dragon test mishap.

According a SpaceX license application dated Monday, the drone ship will be positioned roughly 17 miles (28 kilometers) southeast of pad 40, or due east of the easternmost point of Cape Canaveral. Weather permitting, the rocket's predawn return to Earth should be visible from land.

The landing will allow SpaceX to refurbish and re-fly the booster on a future mission. Falcon 9 launches with Dragon cargo freighters carry sufficient fuel reserves for the first stage to reverse course and return to Cape Canaveral, rather than land on SpaceX's drone ship.

Information in SpaceX's new license application to the Federal Communications Commission suggests the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage will likely target a landing aboard the company's drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean a few minutes after liftoff April 30 on a space station resupply mission. Credit: Google Maps/Spaceflight Now

A NASA spokesperson said, as of Monday, that the Dragon cargo mission remained scheduled for launch April 30. It will be SpaceX's 17th resupply mission to the station since 2012 under a NASA contract valued at more than $3 billion.

A hold-down firing of the Falcon 9's Merlin main engines at pad 40 is scheduled for Thursday.

SpaceX and NASA officials in the coming days are expected to review any potential impacts on the resupply mission stemming from the investigation into the Crew Dragon test accident.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, also known as Dragon 2, is a much different spacecraft than SpaceX's first-generation Dragon capsule.

Saturday's accident occurred during a hotfire test of the Crew Dragon's SuperDraco abort thrusters, according to SpaceX and NASA officials. The SuperDraco thrusters, which would be activated to save astronauts from a failing rocket, do not fly on the Dragon variant set for launch next week.

The spacecraft that exploded on the test stand Saturday was the same vehicle that completed a six-day test flight to the International Space Station last month. SpaceX was conducting ground tests on the capsule in preparation for its reuse on an in-flight abort demonstration in the next few months, a test intended to verify the SuperDraco thrusters can safely propel the spacecraft away from a Falcon 9 rocket under extreme aerodynamic pressures.

SpaceX and NASA have said little about Saturday's accident, but the mishap is expected to delay the Crew Dragon program by months. A different test vehicle will have to be used for the in-flight abort test, which was planned to be one of the final milestones before NASA approves the spacecraft to carry astronauts to the space station.

With the Demo-1 capsule no longer available for the in-flight abort, SpaceX will have to shuffle its plans and outfit a different vehicle for the high-altitude escape test.

The unpiloted Crew Dragon test flight to the space station in early March, designated Demo-1, achieved all of its major objectives, including the first automated docking of a U.S. spacecraft to the station. But NASA officials said at the time that engineers needed to complete further testing and analysis on the Crew Dragon's thrusters and parachutes, along with pressurant tanks on the spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket, before deeming the capsule ready for human occupants.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft backs away from the International Space Station after undocking March 8. The same spacecraft was involved in an accident during ground testing Saturday at Cape Canaveral. Credit: SpaceX

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are assigned to the Crew Dragon's first piloted mission, named Demo-2.

The most recent schedule indicated the Demo-2 launch was targeted for no earlier than July 25 from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Officials familiar with the schedule said before Saturday's mishap that the Demo-2 mission was likely to be pushed back to late September or early October.

The Crew Dragon is one of two commercial spaceships funded by NASA to ferry astronauts to and from the space station.

SpaceX has won a series of NASA contracts totaling more than $3.1 billion since 2010 to develop the human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft. The crew contracts are separate from SpaceX's multibillion-dollar cargo-carrying deal with NASA.

A similar set of contracts were awarded to Boeing, worth more than $4.8 billion, to support the design and development of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

The Crew Dragon is designed to launch aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at Kennedy, while the Starliner capsule will lift off on United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5 rocket from nearby pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Both are designed to accommodate up to seven crew members, but will typically ferry four astronauts at a time, along with cargo.

SpaceX's crew capsule returns to Earth with a splashdown at sea under four parachutes. Cushioned by airbags, the Starliner will land under chutes on the ground in the Western United States.

Both vehicles use liquid-fueled "pusher" escape systems to quickly boost the capsules away from a launch emergency. Other crew capsules, such as Russia's Soyuz, NASA's 1960s-era Apollo and future Orion spacecraft, use a "tractor" abort system relying on top-mounted towers with solid-fueled rocket motors to "pull" the vehicle away from its launch vehicle.

Once the rocket is out of the atmosphere, the abort towers are jettisoned because they are no longer needed. The Crew Dragon's SuperDraco thrusters, which SpaceX originally designed to support propulsive pinpoint touchdowns, stay with the spacecraft from liftoff through landing.

SpaceX did away with the propulsive landing plan in 2017, electing to return the Crew Dragon capsules to Earth with more conventional ocean landings.

The Crew Dragon's thrusters consume hygergolic hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants, which chemically ignite when mixed together. The ship's Draco thrusters are used for in-orbit maneuvers and pointing, while eight larger SuperDraco thrusters — packaged in pairs into four propulsion modules — are used for launch aborts.

Each SuperDraco engine has a 3D-printed chamber and can produce up to 16,000 pounds of thrust, with the ability to restart multiple times.

Boeing has also run into trouble during abort testing.

During a hotfire of the Starliner's abort engines last year, stuck valves in the craft's propulsion system led to a fuel spill on a test stand in New Mexico.

Each CST-100 service module carries four launch abort engines, built by Aerojet Rocketdyne. The engines would only fire in flight in the event of a launch emergency, igniting with 40,000 pounds of thrust each for a few seconds to propel the capsule away from its rocket.

Like the Crew Dragon's SuperDraco engines, the Starliner abort engines burn a mixture of toxic hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants, and are designed to almost instantly ramp up to full thrust and fire for only a few seconds. The requirement demands the abort engines to guzzle huge quantities of propellant pushed into the thrusters at high pressure.

Boeing officials said the fuel leak did not damage the test article, but the mishap forced engineers to make minor design changes to part of the Starliner's propulsion system, including hardware and software modifications.

Earlier this month, Boeing said new valves were being installed into the Starliner's abort engines for another hotfire test, followed by a pad abort test to prove the system's ability to safely propel the capsule away from danger on the launch pad.

SpaceX successfully accomplished the pad abort test in May 2015 using a boilerplate version of the Crew Dragon. When the agency negotiated the commercial crew contracts, NASA did not require either company to complete an in-flight abort demonstration, and Boeing decided to forego such a test.

Boeing now plans the Starliner's first orbital test fight, without astronauts, in mid-August, followed by the capsule's first test flight with astronauts in November. Both demo missions will dock with the space station.