Boeing plans another space taxi launch after failed test last year
Boeing is taking another crack at launching its astronaut ferrying capsule called the “Starliner.”
Boeing plans another unmanned launch of the space taxi in the late fall, hoping to put the failed first test flight of the capsule last year in the rearview.
The first flight last December went wrong almost immediately, with a series of software problems that doomed the mission.
“Their initial test flight last December was hit by a variety of software problems and other glitches that prevented a planned docking with the International Space Stations,” CBS space consultant Bill Harwood said.
That failed first flight has likely put any chance at piloted test missions off by months, well behind Space X, which plans a manned launch of its competing Dragon capsule next month.
“Boeing says it will pay for the re-flight in hopes that it will prove they have resolved all the problems from that first flight,” Harwood said. “If the mission goes well, Boeing should be clear to press ahead with piloted missions.”
Boeing will pay for this second test flight out of its own pocket. The company is taking a $410 million charge to offset the costs.
Space X has already completed a successful unmanned mission to the space station. It is also already flying cargo to the space station.