Boeing is trying to catch up with SpaceX after too much drama

However, it did not come to fruition.

Meanwhile, Boeing is still trying to pass an uncrewed test flight. The company will make its second attempt this week, hoping that the flawless performance will repair its image as a rising star in human spaceflight.

The Starliner controversies have also added to other problems within Boeing’s commercial aircraft division. This has detracted from the company’s previous solid image in recent years.

Here’s a look back at Starliner’s previous attempts.


In 2014, NASA awarded fixed-price contracts—meaning the space agency would pay only the pre-agreed price and not a penny more—to Boeing and SpaceX. The move solidified its openings as companies that will return NASA astronauts to space under the Commercial Crew program. Boeing’s prize pool totaled $4.2 billion, a significant amount compared to SpaceX’s $2.6 billion, although the company said that because SpaceX has already paid millions to develop an unmanned version of the Dragon spacecraft.

While both vehicles were expected to carry astronauts into space just a few years later, by the end of the decade it had become clear that SpaceX was outpacing Boeing.

By the time the company’s first unmanned orbital flight test, dubbed OFT-1, reached the launch pad in December 2019, SpaceX had already beaten it by six months.

And right after the Starliner was released on December 20, 2019, it was clear that something was wrong.

NASA and Boeing officials told reporters that it was later revealed that the Starliner’s internal clock had been off for 11 hours, causing the spacecraft to crash and stumble. Starliner was forced back to Earth early.

Months later, a second serious software problem was exposed, which a government security official said had caused a “disastrous failure”. Boeing (Bachelor’s in) He was able to identify and correct the error before it affected Starliner’s behavior.

Boeing agreed to fix the problems and pay for the second attempt of the unmanned test flight, saving nearly half a billion dollars. After months of troubleshooting, reviews and security investigations, the test flight.

A former astronaut leaves the mission

Former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, who left the state astronautics body in 2011 to help Boeing design and build the Starliner, was to lead Starliner’s first manned mission as a private astronaut. But after the first flight test failed, Ferguson announced he could no longer drive the vehicle, citing scheduling conflicts.

NASA and Boeing announced this in late 2020, saying Ferguson made the decision “for personal reasons.” Ferguson said in Tweet follow Because he planned to prioritize his family, he “made so many commitments that I can’t risk losing.”

Although the manned mission has been rescheduled several times, there appear to be no plans to bring Ferguson back into the mission.

NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore was employment to take Ferguson’s place.

Viscoelastic and Humidity Valves FL

Boeing thought it was ready to return the Starliner for testing last year, and scheduled a second attempt at orbital flight testing – this one dubbed OFT-2 – for August.

The United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket with the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on board is seen after its exit from the vertical integration facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 prior to the Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) mission.  , Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Launch Station in Florida.

More problems arose quickly. When the spacecraft was moved to its launch pad and began conducting ground checks before flight, engineers discovered that the Starliner’s main valves were malfunctioning. In the end, Boeing announced that the problem could not be fixed on the launch pad, and the entire vehicle had to be returned to the assembly building for troubleshooting.

In mid-August, Boeing gave up trying to solve problems on the ground. The Starliner had to be shipped to the Boeing plant.

In press conferences leading up to the test fight Thursday, Boeing officials revealed that they will fly the OFT-2 this week with a “short-term” review, but that the company may ultimately choose to redesign the fuse system.

Other cases

Adding to questions surrounding Boeing’s safety practices as Starliner returns to the launch pad this week is a recent Reuters report highlighting a previously overlooked lawsuit against Boeing last year by a subcontractor that would have had its leg partially removed. 2017 test parachute starliner.

Boeing confirmed in a statement that a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the employee and the subcontractor. “The issue has been resolved by all parties and the terms of the agreement are confidential,” the statement said.

Court documents confirm that the matter was resolved in December 2021.

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