Boeing Delays First Starliner Test By 3 Months
Bad news today coming from Boeing as the company is pushing back their first test launch of the starliner commercial launch vehicle by six months.
Originally Boeing's Starliner was to have its first uncrewed launch in the middle of April. That has now been pushed back by three months due to development and safety issues. This means that Boeings first crewed launch might not happen until November.
NASA recently warned Boeing and SpaceX of safety concerns the companies would need to address before flying humans into space. These safety issues could be what's causing Boeings delays.
Boeing and SpaceX are part of NASA's commercial crew development program as NASA has provided $6.8 Billion to both companies to develop a new launch platform to allow astronauts to launch from the United States once again. Something that hasn't been possible since the Space Shuttle was cancelled back in 2011.
SpaceX just this month completed their first uncrewed flight to the International Space Station. The next test for SpaceX is a launch abort test, then is all goes well the first crewed launch will happen sometime in July.
Overall its an unfortunate setback for Boeing and NASA but one that shouldn't be frowned upon. Taking humans into space is a dangerous task, and developing new vehicles to do that shouldn't be something we rush to meet a deadline. On the other hand, any more setbacks for Boeing and they might not be test launching till next year. That would put them a whole year behind SpaceX, and could seriously affect NASA's adoption of the craft going forward.