It looks pretty bleak there.
Boeing’s Starliner, Its crew capsule, which rivals SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, was clearly cursed from the start – and its recent troubles run far deeper than initial reports suggested.
The good news is that there’s still a chance Starliner will set its May 19 launch date for the International Space Station after plenty of turbulence. CNBC reports.
The bad news is that the underlying valving problem that has caused repeated setbacks will likely require a complete redesign, another potential complication.
“A valve redesign is definitely on the table,” Boeing vice president Mark Nappi said during a news conference Wednesday after news of a collision between Boeing and valve maker Aerojet Rocketdyne broke. “Once we have all the information we need, we will make that decision.”
When CNBC Notes that Boeing has spent over $600 million additional to date due to repeated setbacks in launching its Starliner spacecraft.
The cursed launch was seen by many as a losing gambit by the planemaker to compete with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. Both companies have signed a deal with NASA to develop a new reliable way to launch astronauts into space.
While SpaceX has launched five manned missions to the ISS so far, Boeing is stuck in development hell and has yet to send an unmanned Starliner to the orbiting outpost.
Still, the continued delays — many of which appear to be due to the same valve issue — seem to have displeased NASA, which is reassigning in a rare U-turned astronauts to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon from Starliner last year after Boeing failed to get its capsule into stable orbit.
In other words, it looks like there’s even more trouble in the aerospace paradise than we thought.
CONTINUE READING: Boeing is considering redesigning the problematic valve that kept Starliner from flying NASA astronauts [CNBC]
More on Starliner’s failures: Piece falls from Boeing Starliner as it taxis toward launch pad