NASA announced July 7 that it has completed two major reviews that stemmed from Boeing’s flawed commercial crew test flight last December as the agency and company prepare for a second test flight later this year.
Boeing and Northrop Grumman will each build two geostationary communications satellites for SES designed specifically for C-band services in the United States, SES announced June 16.
A NASA safety panel believes the agency’s plan to launch a SpaceX commercial crew test flight in late May is feasible, although some issues still need to be resolved before the launch.
SpaceX won a NASA contract to deliver cargo to the lunar Gateway by offering what the agency determined to be the most effective solution and at the lowest price.
Boeing announced April 6 that it has decided to fly a second uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle later this year to confirm it has corrected problems encountered in a test flight last December.
NASA has completed the crew for the first operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station, one that will not include any Russian cosmonauts after Roscosmos officials said they would not fly on what they consider an unproven vehicle.
Although an independent review team has wrapped up its investigation into issues with last December’s uncrewed test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, NASA says it will be some time before it decides if a second uncrewed test flight is needed.
As the independent review of last December’s test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle nears completion, the company said it will perform more rigorous testing to catch errors that slipped through on that flight.
Intelsat has abandoned plans to order a one-for-one replacement for the Intelsat-29e satellite that failed last year and will rely instead on leased capacity, a borrowed satellite, and the newly ordered Intelsat-40e spacecraft to fill a coverage gap over North and South America.
DirecTV’s Spaceway-1 satellite has been retired to a graveyard orbit 500 kilometers above the geostationary arc, eliminating the risk of the malfunctioning satellite exploding in an orbit populated by active satellites.
Boeing will reverify all the software on its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft after an ongoing investigation found “numerous” problems in the original development process that allowed at least two major problems to escape detection.
A NASA safety panel is recommending a review of Boeing’s software verification processes after revealing there was a second software problem during a CST-100 Starliner test flight that could have led to a “catastrophic” failure.
Spaceway-1 began relocating Jan. 29, two satellite trackers told SpaceNews, and is continuing to raise its altitude to a “graveyard orbit” about 300 kilometers above active geostationary communications satellites.
Boeing is taking a $410 million charge to its earnings to cover a potential additional uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner, although company officials say there’s no decision yet about whether such a flight is necessary.
The battery malfunction that put DirecTV’s Spaceway-1 satellite at risk of exploding has a “very low likelihood” of occuring on other satellites, according to the satellite’s manufacturer, Boeing.