Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is now being destacked by its crew and management, after several valves have refused to open again, after testing the components of the spacecraft. This means that its mission with NASA, otherwise known as the "Commercial Crew" program would come to an indefinite halt, as the company takes apart the ship.
The Illinois-based space company has been seriously lagging behind SpaceX in terms of the Commercial Crew flights for NASA, as the Starliner has flown none, compared to Dragon's fourth mission.
Both are required to have at least six missions with NASA to and from the ISS, but it remains a challenge for Boeing and its malfunctioning engines.
Boeing Starliner: Valves Malfunction, Now Destacks
Boeing has troubleshot and investigated what made several of its valves malfunction and refuse to open, with it initially reported to have 13 valves, and now, four remains. It may be progress for Boeing to have resolved several of its valves to open, but it needs full cooperation among the systems for them to continue their tests.
Now, Boeing is bringing it back to the factory for a "deeper-level" diagnostics and investigation to find out what causes the problem. That being said, the Starliner would be destacked by the company and brought back to its facilities to further its investigation process and identify the problem behind its misfortunes.
The company said that it has decided with NASA to postpone the launch and stand down from any test flights it would do. This is an integral part of the engines, as it may be a life and death reason for when it malfunctions on an actual mission.
For now, Boeing has not revealed what it is to do with the Starliner, but it seems that they would go deep into the problem and have it fixed as soon as possible.
For that, it may be an overhaul for its engines, wirings, and everything which connects to the said valves, especially as it is the one that has caused the space company the problems.
This is an important step for Boeing, especially if they want to ensure that more missions would be held with them and that no problems would occur in the future. The company needs to make sure that its valves and other systems would work, as they bring it back to the launch facility.
NASA Commercial Crew: Starliner to be Extended
NASA has given the Starliner an extension, and it would do so because of the contract the two has, despite it being a massive setback for the planned launches that were made by the space agency. The Commercial Crew program was entrusted to two companies, one is Boeing, and the other is SpaceX.
Related Article: Boeing's Starliner Faulty Valves Continue to Delay Mission to ISS
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Written by Isaiah Richard