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First Starliner crewed flight further delayed

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WASHINGTON — NASA has postponed the first flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew carrying astronauts. This will postpone the spacecraft’s first operational mission to his 2024.

NASA announced on November 3 that a Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission with NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams is scheduled for April 2023. This mission was previously scheduled for him in February.

NASA said the new date would avoid conflict with the SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station, which is currently scheduled to launch in mid-February. We will clear spacecraft traffic collisions at the space station to achieve flight readiness,” the agency said, noting that both Starliner and its Atlas 5 rocket are “on track for early 2023 readiness.” I am,” he added.

But at the Oct. 27 meeting of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Committee, members questioned the vehicle’s readiness for both the CFT and subsequent operational missions.

“While the United States is fortunate to have a manned launch vehicle for the ISS, we must continue to express serious concern about the impact of ongoing delays in the CST-100 program on commercial manned programs. ” panel member. The impact, he said, includes the program’s intended lack of redundancy by choosing his two companies.

He noted that the Starliner’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT) 2 unmanned test flight in May had “many in-flight anomalies” that needed to be resolved before the CFT, and that the latest version of the flight software pointed out that an additional test of

Cilangello said NASA’s commercial crew program will help the Starliner, including transitions to first operational or post-certification missions, transitions from the United Launch Alliance’s retired Atlas 5 vehicle, and the availability of spare hardware. Added that it is following additional long-term issues regarding A second source could further delay his provider coming online. ”

At the Oct. 31 meeting of the NASA Advisory Board’s Human Exploration and Operations Committee, Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA headquarters, hinted at possible delays to the CFT mission, with a new launch date soon to be announced. said to be. However, he downplayed the spaceship issue.

“There were some in-flight anomalies that had to be evaluated,” he said, from the OFT-2 mission. “Some of it is still in progress. That work must be completed and completed before the CFT flight.”

Asked later about the specific issues Starliner is being researched, McAllister said work continues on the parachute and software. There have also been thruster issues on unmanned missions, but those are “pretty well understood and on hand,” he said. “I wouldn’t characterize anything as a major one.”

CFT delays will impact the schedule of subsequent operational missions. When his CFT was scheduled to launch in February, NASA was tentatively planning to follow suit with its first Starliner mission, dubbed Starliner 1, in the fall of 2023.

However, NASA said it had pushed SpaceX’s Crew-7 mission, previously planned for spring 2024, to fall 2023, making it unlikely that Starliner would be certified in time for its fall 2023 operational mission. It shows that you are not thinking. .

“The launch date for NASA’s Boeing Starliner 1 mission will be determined after successful flight testing by astronauts and the completion of NASA certification work,” NASA said in announcing the delay.

As part of its quarterly results on Oct. 26, Boeing said: An additional $195 million will be charged for Starliner delay revenue.This brings the company’s total recorded losses to $883 million. The company warned in its regulatory filing that it “may record additional losses in the future.”

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