Video: New view of Starliner pad abort test

Video credit: Boeing

Boeing has released a new video of the company’s Nov. 4 abort test demonstrating the Starliner crew capsule’s ability to escape a launch pad emergency.

Officials from Boeing and NASA briefed reporters Thursday on the initial results from the pad abort test, in which the abort engines pushed the spacecraft off its test stand in New Mexico with some 180,000 pounds of thrust.

The capsule used thrusters to flip around and point its base heat shield toward the ground after the five-second firing of the ship’s abort engines. Only two of the three main parachutes deployed, an issue Boeing has attributed to the lack of a secure connection between the pilot chute and one of the main chutes.

The capsule’s service module then jettisoned to fall to the ground, and the Starliner released its base heat shield and inflated airbags to cushion the craft’s landing around a mile downrange from the launch site.

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