NASA officials said March 1 that the next SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station remains on schedule for late April, but that a Boeing uncrewed test flight is facing further delays.
Boeing has completed a requalification of software on its commercial crew spacecraft as it prepares to launch the vehicle on a second test flight as soon as late March.
A second uncrewed test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft is now scheduled for no earlier than the end of March, 15 months after its first, flawed mission.
Satellite manufacturers expressed optimism that overall demand for satellite communications would remain strong.
WGS-11+ will join the WGS constellation that provides broadband communications to the U.S. military and allies.
Chris Ferguson, the former NASA astronaut who was to command the first crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle, has withdrawn from the mission for personal reasons, the company announced Oct. 7.
Rather than pushing the state-of-the art, Boeing, Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman are emphasizing reliability in satellites they are manufacturing to help Intelsat and SES clear C-band spectrum, according to speakers at the Satellite Innovation 2020 conference.
A NASA safety panel said that while Boeing was making good progress on implementing changes to its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle, it had doubts that work could be done in time to allow another test flight this year.
The contract is for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program, known as Evolved Strategic Satcom.
Fleet operator SES on Aug. 20 said it selected SpaceX to launch four recently ordered O3b mPower broadband satellites.