Boeing is one of the main competitors of SpaceX in terms of private companies. Even though they are very much behind in terms of technology, we can expect the company to eventually catch up or at least come to a close second to SpaceX. And yes, in order to do so, the company is building a similar crewed vehicle that SpaceX used to carry astronauts to the ISS. And the test flight for the vehicle was planned for 25th March. But due to some hardware damage, the mission has been postponed by a week. And now Boeing’s Starliner is supposed to have its test flight on or after 2nd April.
What caused the delay in the Starliner launch?
Reports suggest that during the processing of the aircraft, the avionic units were damaged. The damage has supposedly happened due to a power surge, as said by NASA. This led to an almost one-week delay in the test launch of the vehicle. One of the main issues that the company ran into in their last test flight was the software of the vehicle. And this time, Boeing is working extra hard on the software of the Starliner. NASA has also confirmed that 95% of the work related to software was completed almost a year back.
Test flight mission targets!
Boeing said that another major issue in their last test flight was the rack of any real-time mission stimulations. This had left the software buggy and hence resulted in a lot of problems when the mission actually took place. So this time around, the company also plans to do an “end-to-end mission rehearsal” that aims at solving this issue.
NASA has also been working very hard with the company to help in the test flight mission. From providing the final certifications, doing hazard analysis, and testing software, the teamwork between the organizations, has been commendable. An official of NASA said that this mission is very necessary for taking astronauts to the ISS. But it’s best to wait and do the test flight when they are fully ready. Another major problem that the company needs to tackle is the very low temperatures in Houston. This has resulted in many power outages, which inherently delays the procedures of the test flight launch.
The interesting thing to see will be if Boeing’s Starliner is able to compete with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon rocket. With how ahead the latter is in terms of technology, I don’t think Boeing is going to beat them anytime soon. What are your thoughts on the same? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.