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  [Discuss] Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test
perineau
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posted 08-09-2023 02:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Point taken, although I think a manned version of the Dream Chaser space plane would be a better option for LEO transportation.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-09-2023 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not really. It would be more complex, expensive and harder to fly. Landing on a dry lakebed is almost just as good.

p51
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posted 08-09-2023 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perineau:
I think the Starliner is redundant at best...
Privatization of space to me always seemed to me like tax dollars are paying for multiple overlapping efforts, making it more expensive in the end.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-09-2023 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All of the cost overruns caused by delays and technical issues with Starliner have been paid for by Boeing. No public funds have gone to the company other than the original award amount (and even that has yet to be paid in full, as it is broken into payments on a schedule driven by deliverables).

Without the government's investment though, it is unlikely any vehicles would exist right now, whether they are flying or not.

328KF
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posted 08-09-2023 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That’s been my issue with Commercial Crew all along. Despite the “cool” factor, some day down the road all of these systems will be used purely for profit, and all at the taxpayers’ expense. Because, as was said “none of these would exist without gov’t funding.”

So the only benefit comes to the companies who operate them and those wealthy enough to fly on them.

Jim Behling
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posted 08-10-2023 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It also benefits the government. It isn't at "taxpayers' expense." The government isn't funding the flights or companies to provide the capability to make those flights.

This is how it works. The government helps (which is not providing all of it) fund a contractor to develop a service and then also gets the services at a lower cost. The contractor gets to market the service to other users and as a result, the cost to the government is again lowered because the other users help offset the operating costs.

Versus the government paying for all the development costs and then eats all the operating costs whether it is using the service or not.

This is how NASA has been buying launch services since the early 90's and ISS cargo since early 2010's. Commercial crew is no different, except it has a lower flight rate.

p51
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posted 08-10-2023 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim, think about it how the DoD would do it.

Say that the Army wants a new type of tank. Normally there's a standard contract and evaluation phase, with a handful of prototypes built for testing. Then, the best (and cheapest) tank eventually is supposed to be chosen and later fielded.

But no, what we have here is several companies are each building their own tank types, with SOME of the company money used to design and build them, with an expectation that the moment uniformed crews step into them, the buck is passed to the taxpayer. Meanwhile, the Army has three or four different types of tanks running around the battlefield in small numbers, when it was always better to have a large number of ONE type.

And once the tanks get rolling, the government will have spent money on several different processes to similar ends as opposed to ONE doing so.

This isn't how we went to the Moon and you can't convince me (or two friends of mine at NASA HQ) that this is better. It just looks like scattering line items around the spread sheet to make it look like less of an expense to the taxpayer than a single program.

SkyMan1958
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posted 08-10-2023 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Using the example of how we went to the Moon in the 1960's is rather quaint these days, as it pays no attention to the politics of funding the space program in the 1960's (Cold War at the top of the list) versus the politics of funding of the space program and space hardware in the current political era.

Also, last I checked, pretty much all major US military hardware contracts these days are cost plus, so there is no such thing as a firm contract. Another point that is different is that the expectation of commercial crew capsules/rockets was that anyone could buy a ticket aboard a commercial spacecraft, not just NASA astronauts.

To me, these contracts are more along the lines of the US Government in the second half of the 1800's deciding that railroads were a necessary step to knit together the East and West Coasts. There were both economic and strategic reasons to build out the railroads.

The US Government gave land to the railroad line builders, Stanford, Crocker etc., and the railroad lines got built. The Big Four got filthy wealthy off of this (after all, where do you think Stanford U. came from), but the US Government, even though it had to pay to move freight or people on the railroad lines that it funded, made plenty more money off of the boom in development allowed by the railroad lines, than it ever spent on funding the building of the lines. Further, the strategic aspect of the railroad lines was something that all nation state competitors (mainly the British Empire, and later the Japanese Empire) had to deal with in their military planning.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-12-2023 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA and Boeing are now planning Starliner's Crew Flight Test for no earlier than mid-April 2024. Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will spend approximately eight days docked to the space station before returning to Earth.

NASA will provide an update on the status of CFT readiness as more information becomes available.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-20-2023 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per today's NASA Advisory Council meeting, the launch of CFT is now targeted for no earlier than April 14, with backup dates of April 15 and April 19, pending a successful parachute test in January.

Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will spend a minimum of 8 days on the space station before returning to a landing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-21-2024 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From United Launch Alliance (ULA):
Today we begin stacking the 100th Atlas V, but this flight will be unlike any of the previous. This rocket will launch NASA Commercial Crew Program astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on the Crew Flight Test (CFT) for The Boeing Company's Starliner to the International Space Station!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-08-2024 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per a NASA release today, the Crew Flight Test is currently scheduled to launch in early May due to space station scheduling.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-02-2024 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Following a review of the International Space Station operations, the Crew Flight Test is is now targeted for no earlier than Monday, May 6.

According to a NASA update, the date adjustment "optimizes space station schedule of activities planned toward the end of April, including a cargo spacecraft undocking and a crew spacecraft port relocation required for Starliner docking."

MSS
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posted 04-12-2024 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The official crew portrait for NASA's Boeing Crew Flight Test. Left is Suni Williams, who will serve as the pilot, and to the right is Barry "Butch" Wilmore, spacecraft commander. Photo credit: NASA/JSC

star61
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posted 04-15-2024 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Accurate weight and CG measurements are critical to the nominal performance of both the entire integrated spacecraft and launch vehicle during ascent and the spacecraft during on-orbit maneuvers and reentry.
The center of gravity seems to have pretty tight parameters. I hope Boeing are aware that a crew will be on board. A crew that has mass and moves!

Facetious maybe, but overall not impressed with Boeing. The problems in their civil aviation sector seem to be present in their space business. I mean, flammable tape? parachute straps that don't work? I presume they have heard of Apollo.

As for the requirement for a more flexible and advanced spacecraft than Crew Dragon, just what else is there to do in LEO? Rendezvous, docking, orbital plane and altitude changes... been there, done that 50+ years ago.

KSCartist
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posted 04-16-2024 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course they (we) need Starliner. There will be space stations after the ISS.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-16-2024 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by star61:
...but overall not impressed with Boeing.
You may not be, but the people flying Starliner seem to be. From Butch Wilmore:
I'll give you an example. SpaceX has flight computers. Let's say you had this catastrophic failure — it never will happen, but let's say it does happen and you lose all your computers. You have to reboot them. You have to have a computer or you can't come home. Can't. If you can't get the computers back online, you don't survive. That's just the way it is. That's the way the system is designed.

If Starliner loses its computers and you can't get them back, we still come home. Under this backup mode, we still have full displays. It's through a different box, because the computers died. So it's through the integrated propulsion control, IPC, into the DMC, the display management computer, which gives us our displays. And we still come home and we still hit the bullseye.

That's just one of the examples he gave when describing Starliner's advantages.

SkyMan1958
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posted 04-16-2024 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish Boeing well. Still, in my opinion, the most important aspect of a spacecraft is that it (safely) flies. In this regard Starliner has been woefully lacking, in particular when you consider the size of the Commercial Crew Boeing contract compared to the size of SpaceX's Commercial Crew contract.

With regards to Starliner being used to fly flights to follow on space stations, my understanding is that Boeing has cut its projected "fleet" of three ships down to two due to Boeing's recognition that the it won't be able to compete with SpaceX in commercial crewed flights once the current NASA contract for six flights is completed. Perhaps by then Dream Chaser will be able to haul humans.

star61
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posted 04-16-2024 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Being on the flight crew for any mission in any particular craft gives one more insight than I will ever have. I don't contest that. But as Gus Grissom said to John Young, complain too hard and you aren't on any mission! Somewhat paraphrased but as we know, Gus would have flown block 1 Apollo whatever.

I truly hope Starliner is all they hope for. But I reiterate, its only got to replicate what we've been able to do for 50+ years.

ejectr
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posted 04-17-2024 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If it's all we have right now, let's enjoy what we got until we get more.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-25-2024 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA video
Join us in welcoming the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to Kennedy Space Center. The crew will be spending the next few days completing final preparations before launch.

NASA, Boeing and United Launch Alliance are targeting no earlier than 10:34 p.m. EST on Monday, May 6 for the launch of the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test mission to the International Space Station.

SpaceAngel
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posted 05-01-2024 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct if I'm right or wrong; this mission will be the first manned launch out of Cape Canaveral (Air) Space Force Station since Apollo 7?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-01-2024 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, and no. From an accepted dateline point of view, yes, Starliner CFT is the first human spaceflight from Cape Canaveral (versus Kennedy Space Center) since 1968.

But that's not entirely accurate as Pad 41 is on Kennedy Space Center property, as confirmed by NASA.

The Land Use Map shows current and future land use areas at KSC. The land use areas noted on the map are described below:

Vertical launch: includes all facilities and land areas directly related to vertical launch operations, including launch pads 39A, 39B and 41, and notional future vertical launch facilities.

Either way, Starliner CFT is the first human spaceflight since 1968 to not use the Launch Complex 39 complex.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-02-2024 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today's forecast from the 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 90 percent chance of acceptable conditions for the CFT launch on Monday night (May 6).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-04-2024 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps a new tradition in the making: Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams came out to see their ride after the Atlas V topped with Starliner rolled out to the pad earlier today (May 4).

This, of course, runs counter to Russian tradition, which considers it bad luck for the prime crew to see their rocket before launch day.

OV-105
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posted 05-05-2024 05:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice Mustang they are next to, definitely not an electric Tesla. I wonder if that was done on purpose?

Headshot
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posted 05-05-2024 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cropping out a third of that gorgeous car is a sin. I would hope that the photographer got the entire car in the original image. The blue flight suits provided such a nice color contrast to the car. At least the whole rocket and Starliner can be seen.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-05-2024 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a United Launch Alliance photo that captures the full Mustang and Atlas (as well as captures the bumper of the second Mustang that was parked at the pad).

SpaceAholic
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posted 05-06-2024 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boeing Starliner brings astronaut launches back to Atlas rocket and Cape Canaveral
Atlas rocket but Russian RD-180 Booster engine. not quite the same thing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2024 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A point made in the article as well:
Although they are in the same family of rockets, the Atlas D and the Atlas V have very little, if anything in common, other than their name. The modern Atlas, designed by Lockheed Martin, is powered by a Russian RD-180 engine on its first stage and a Centaur upper stage.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2024 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX just launched a Falcon 9 carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40. During ascent, a camera mounted on the rocket showed LC-41 with Atlas V and Starliner waiting to launch tonight...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2024 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA live video
Watch live as two NASA astronauts launch from Boeing's Starliner spacecraft as one of the final steps on the road to certification. Launch of the ULA (United Launch Alliance) Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft is targeted for 10:34 p.m. EDT Monday, May 6 (0234 UTC Tuesday, May 7) from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2024 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scrub! Tonight's launch attempt has been cancelled about two hours before the planned lift off "out of an abundance of caution" due to off-nominal readings from an oxygen relief valve on the Centaur upper stage.

The next available window, if the problem can be addressed in time, is Tuesday, May 7 at 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT May 8).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2024 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to ULA CEO Tory Bruno...
If this was a satellite ... the satellite would already be in orbit.
The scrub tonight was called based on flight rules, not because of the severity of the issue. For crewed missions, ULA's agreed upon flight rules are not to change the state of the fueled vehicle when the crew is present.
Every now and again, in rare occasions, a valve like this can get into a position where it's just off its seat and it'll flutter, or buzz like in this case.

We've seen short buzzes maybe three or four times and what we would typically do is activate the solenoid, which forces the valve closed, cycling the valve. Then you turn that off and you let it return and [the buzzing] almost always stops.

In fact, this valve stopped. Once we had the crew off, we cycled the valve and it stopped buzzing.

The issue now is if the buzzing was the result of the valve fully cycling at a rapid pace — fully opening and closing — and if so, how many times did it cycle.

ULA has tested and certified the valve to 200,000 cycles. It is possible it could go for much more than that, but the valve was never tested to destruction. So tonight, engineers will be combing through data to count how many cycles have been put on the valve.

If there is sufficient margin remaining, it is possible that a launch attempt could be made on Tuesday night. If not, then the valve needs to be replaced and that will take several days. The vehicle will need to be rolled back to the vertical integration facility (VIF) and pressure would need to be taken off the Centaur for the valve to be replaced.

If that is the situation, the soonest ULA might be ready to proceed with a launch would be on Sunday (May 12). NASA would then need to see what it could support, likely landing the next attempt mid-next week (May 14 or 15).

An answer should come sometime on Tuesday on how they will proceed.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-07-2024 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance update
Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the flight and pad crew, we scrubbed the Crew Flight Test (CFT) launch attempt due to an observation on a liquid oxygen self-regulating solenoid relief valve on the Centaur upper stage.

The team needs additional time to complete a full assessment, so we are targeting the next launch attempt no earlier than Friday, May 10.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-07-2024 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boeing update
United Launch Alliance has decided to replace the Centaur liquid oxygen self regulating valve, which is a pressure regulation valve on the upper stage.

To allow for the valve replacement work, the NASA-Boeing team is now targeting no earlier than May 17 for the next launch opportunity.

A launch on May 17 would take place at 6:16 p.m. EDT (2216 GMT).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-10-2024 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per NASA, Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will return to Houston this weekend as work progresses on a valve replacement on the Atlas V's Centaur. They remain under quarantine and will return to Kennedy Space Center at a date closer to their next launch opportunity.

SpaceAngel
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posted 05-13-2024 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has the issue been resolved with the Atlas rocket?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2024 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA, ULA and Boeing have not issued an update since deciding to roll back the Atlas to the vertical integration facility, where the rocket is today.

NASA still has the launch targeted for Friday (May 17).

SpaceAholic
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posted 05-13-2024 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are also addressing an RCS helium leak (one of the thruster valves).


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