NASA and Boeing will cooperate on an investigation into a timer anomaly that cut short December’s uncrewed test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as NASA weighs whether to require another such test flight.
The Boeing CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle that flew an abbreviated test flight this month appears to be in good condition as an investigation into the timer problem that shortened the flight continues.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft will return to Earth Dec. 22, just two days after launch, as the company and NASA investigate a timing problem that prevented the spacecraft from visiting the International Space Station.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle launched early Dec. 20 on a critical uncrewed test flight, but appeared to suffer thruster problems after reaching space.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft passed another in a series of final reviews Dec. 17 as it proceeds towards a critical uncrewed test flight.
Boeing said Nov. 18 that a report issued last week by NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding the commercial crew program, including claims that the company considered withdrawing from the program, was inaccurate.
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.