If it's Boeing, they're not going Author: TriSecDate:03/23/2019 10:09:24
Just a brief follow on to last week's blog to get things started. Here is the Starliner space capsule.
While the Space-X Dragon has been getting all the recent space headlines, there's always redundancy in government work. Boeing has been working on a competing space capsule for a number of years. It was almost ready for flight testing, but then Boeing mysteriously announced a project delay.
Boeing has delayed the first spaceflight of its CST-100 Starliner crew capsule â€” an uncrewed test mission to the International Space Station (ISS) â€” from next month until August at the earliest, according to Reuters.
The target date for Starliner's first crewed ISS flight has also been pushed back, from August until November, Reuters reported Wednesday (March 20), citing unnamed industry sources. One of these sources said that technical issues weren't the sole factor; scheduling issues at Starliner's launch site, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, also contributed.
Spokespersons for Boeing and NASA declined to comment, but the NASA official said an updated launch schedule will be published next week, Reuters reported.
Boeing is developing Starliner to carry astronauts to and from the ISS, under a $4.2 billion contract the aerospace giant signed with NASA in 2014. SpaceX holds a similar commercial-crew deal, valued at $2.6 billion, to get that company's Crew Dragon capsule up and running.
It's convenient that there's congestion at the launch pad...which is a variant of a pilot's announcement that we're all familiar with from riding Boeing's other products. (We're currently fifth in line for takeoff...)
But of course there's something else at play here, pure speculation on the part of your loyal TriSec.
Boeing hasn't exactly been getting good press these last few weeks. With 346 dead, and the Max8 fleet grounded, Boeing can't afford any more bad news. Space travel, despite all the 'routine' feel to it these days, is still very dangerous, as these early rocket tests will show.
Just imagine this happening to another vehicle with the name "BOEING" painted prominently on the side on national television, and you can readily understand why this launch has been delayed.