NASA’s inspector general warned in a new report that, because of commercial crew delays, utilization of the International Space Station will drop sharply in 2020 and that NASA runs the risk of losing access entirely by next fall.
NASA paid Boeing nearly $300 million more than originally planned in its commercial crew contract in part because of agency concerns that the company might drop out of the program, a new report claims.
Boeing said Nov. 7 that a misplaced pin prevented a parachute from deploying during a pad abort test of its CST-100 Starliner vehicle three days earlier, the only flaw in a key test of that commercial crew vehicle.
Boeing and SpaceX are on schedule to perform two critical tests of their commercial crew vehicles in the next week with hopes that both vehicles will be ready to carry astronauts by early next year.
Potential customers include partner countries of the U.S. government's WGS constellation.
WGS program and Boeing leaders are preparing for an upcoming “system requirements review."
Boeing expects to carry out a pad abort test for its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle in early November, followed by an uncrewed orbital flight test in mid-December, a company executive said Oct. 8.
Boeing is asking the government to force a teaming arrangement with Northrop Grumman for the GBSD program.
Manufacturers say software-defined satellites that can redesign beams and capacity have shifted from a wish-list feature to a requirement for operators.
Boeing has joined the growing list of manufacturers offering smaller satellites for geostationary orbit, saying new digital payload technology can reduce the weight of its typical communications spacecraft by half.
Boeing and SpaceX said Aug. 19 that they expect to carry out critical test flights of their commercial crew systems this fall, with SpaceX still hopeful of launching astronauts to the International Space Station this year.
Intelsat says a micrometeorite impact or an electrostatic discharge coupled with a “harness flaw” are the most likely reasons Intelsat’s first high-throughput satellite suffered a mission-ending failure in April.