NASA continues to stand behind Boeing as the company works to resolve a valve problem with its CST-100 Starliner that will push back operational missions of the commercial crew vehicle into 2023.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner was within hours of launch on its second uncrewed test flight in early August when stuck valves in the spacecraft’s propulsion system forced a launch scrub that has turned into a delay that will extend well into next year.
NASA and Boeing are targeting the first half of 2022 to launch the rescheduled test flight of the CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle as engineers continue to investigate a valve problem that postponed the mission two months ago.
NASA has reassigned two astronauts from Boeing commercial crew missions to a SpaceX one as the agency addresses delays in the development of the CST-100 Starliner and works out a seat barter agreement with Russia.
NASA and Boeing say they’re ready to make a second attempt to launch the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on an uncrewed test flight after an incident at the International Space Station called off the first attempt last week.
A Russian module that docked to the International Space Station July 29 started firing its thrusters hours later, briefly knocking the station out of its normal attitude and forcing NASA to delay a commercial crew test flight that was scheduled to launch July 30.
Boeing has completed all the activities recommended by an independent review of the company’s first uncrewed CST-100 Starliner mission, allowing a second uncrewed mission to proceed for launch in late July.
Boeing said April 17 that the next test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle won’t take place until at least August, confirming a lengthy delay widely expected because of the schedule of other launches and International Space Station missions.
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.
As NASA’s management of its human spaceflight programs evolves to incorporate greater roles for companies, the agency needs to take a strategic look at its workforce and infrastructure requirements, a safety panel advised.
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.