But, it did not come to fruition.
Meanwhile, Boeing is trying to go on an unmanned test flight. The company hopes to make its second attempt this week, fixing its image as a fallen star of flawless performance human spaceflight.
Look back at the past of Starliner’s effort.
In 2014, NASA awarded fixed price contracts – meaning that the space agency would pay only the price initially agreed upon, and not even a penny – to Boeing and SpaceX. The move confirmed the NASA astronauts’ return spacecraft under the Commercial Crew program. Boeing’s awards totaled $ 4.2 billion, a significant markup compared to $ 2.6 billion given to SpaceX, although the company claims that SpaceX has already received millions to build an uncrowned version of its Dragon vehicle.
Although both spacecraft were expected to send astronauts into space a few years later, as the end of the decade drew to a close, it became clear that SpaceX had surpassed Boeing.
As soon as Starliner was launched on December 20, 2019, it became clear that something was wrong.
Later, NASA and Boeing officials told reporters that the spacecraft had been mistakenly shot and stumbled as Starliner’s internal clock failed for 11 hours. Starliner was soon forced to return to Earth.
Boeing agreed to fix the problem and pay a second attempt, thereby allocating nearly half a billion dollars. Adjustments, safety reviews and inquiries for several months following the test trip.
Former astronaut retires
Former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson left the government astronaut force in 2011 to help design and build the Boeing Starliner, which was scheduled to command Starliner’s first crew mission as a private astronaut. But after its initial flight test failed, Ferguson announced that the vehicle could no longer fly, citing planning conflicts.
Although the team has been reassigned several times, there do not appear to be any plans to send Ferguson back to work.
Sticky Valves and Florida Humidity
Boeing hoped to test the Starliner again last year, and planned a second attempt at an orbital flight test in August – known as the OFT-2.
More problems arose quickly. When the spacecraft rolled to its launch site and began to go through pre-flight ground tests, engineers discovered that key valves were stuck in the Starliner. Eventually, Boeing announced that it could not fix the problem at the launch site.
At press conferences that led to Thursday’s test fight, Boeing officials revealed this week that they would fly the OFT-2 with a “short-term” fix, but the company may eventually choose to redesign the valve system.
Boeing confirmed in a statement that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the employee and the subcontractor. “The matter has been resolved by all parties; the terms of the settlement are confidential,” the statement said.
Court documents confirm that the case was settled in December 2021.
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