Elon Musk FINALLY Ousted Boeing Starliner!
In the world of manned spaceflight, Boeing’s attempt to compete with SpaceX is proving to be an expensive risk that is on the verge of failure.
Since being awarded its $4.2 billion NASA contract in 2014 to conduct “Commercial Crew” space flights to and from the International Space Station, Boeing has suffered losses of around $900 million. Boeing’s manned spaceflight program was severely delayed as a result of the losses, which started with a failed test flight in 2019. Two and a half years later, an unmanned Starliner finally struggled in to dock with the International Space Station. At that point, Boeing was meant to be back on schedule for the Starliner launch, which was scheduled for July 2023.
But it appears that things won’t go as planned for Boeing now. And so, in today’s episode, let’s find out how SpaceX just transformed the space race!
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Boeing announced earlier this month that it is delaying its July attempt to send Starliner to ISS with crewmembers aboard for the first time due to problems with the spacecraft’s parachute system – used to return the space capsule and its astronaut occupants to Earth after a mission, and a potential fire risk with the “P-213 glass cloth tape” used to wrap wiring inside the spacecraft. The decision was motivated by safety, according to Mark Nappi, program manager for the Boeing Starliner.
That’s a noble idea, however it’s still unclear when Boeing will be able to carry out the “Crew Flight Test” mission, which is the Starliner’s first crewed test flight. Nappi dodged the question of whether Boeing has had “serious discussions” about completely scrapping the Starliner program, but he did say that he “wouldn’t want to commit to any dates or timeframes” for trying to launch.
Will Boeing eventually end its operations?
Though that sounds gloomy, the vultures are already swarming since Boeing is unable to provide even an optimistic timeframe for the restart of its Starliner program.
The Hill published an opinion piece earlier this week asking, “Is it time to cancel the Boeing Starliner?” Calling the program a “snake bit” after its first flight test failed, its second barely succeeded, and now its third has been canceled and postponed indefinitely, space policy writer Mark Whittington notes that if Boeing had gone ahead with its July test flight as planned, either of the identified problems could have resulted in “catastrophe.”
Starliner is also already extremely bad for Boeing stock. Furthermore, because of the short duration of the Starliner program, it is unlikely that Boeing will have the time to recover those costs and turn a profit on Starliner. The initiative has already cost the defense and aerospace giant nearly $1 billion in losses. Remember that despite Boeing and SpaceX receiving the same number of six Commercial Crew flights from NASA in 2014, SpaceX has now won every mission due to its success with the Crew Dragon program and Boeing’s shortcomings with Starliner.
Credit to : Elon Musk Evolution