Software Troubles On Boeing Starliner Spacecraft; NASA To Investigate Deeper

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NASA is leading the investigations regarding the Boeing Starliner spacecraft. Investigators found widespread and fundamental software problems that could lead to potentially hazardous accidents than previously known. Now, Boeing is reviewing all the one million code lines in the capsule's computer system. It's still unknown how long the complete review will take.

Software Troubles
 

Software Troubles

It all started after the crash of two Boeing 737 Max airplanes that killed nearly 346 people. Widespread software issues surfaced and led to the grounding of the plane last year. Back then, NASA hadn't commented when asked if there could be a connection to the 737 Max and the Boing Starliner spacecraft.

Boeing Starliner

Doug Loverro, the head of the human exploration for NASA, said that freshly discovered software issues on the Starliner's software indicated that there are real issues. "We don't know how many software errors we have - if we have just two or many hundreds," Loverro said to The Washington Post. He added that Boeing had a good program, but it wasn't executed correctly.

The recently conducted Starliner capsule test didn't take any astronauts. But looking at the software issues, NASA says that it could have caused "catastrophic spacecraft failure." What's worse, NASA officials also acknowledged that they had failed to test Boeing's work, which was supposed to detect such problems and failures.

 

Boeing Starliner Software Issues

The recent test flight of the Starliner spacecraft failed to dock with the space station. With continued investigations, NASA has acknowledged the severity of the safety issue. And although the Starliner landed safely two days after the initial failure, NASA said there were multiple breakdowns along the way.

NASA Investigations

A blog post by NASA says that "there were numerous instances where the Boeing software quality processes either should have or could have uncovered the defects." Back then, Boeing said that the failure was caused because the Starliner's time was off by 11 hours, the reason why the thrusters failed to fire.

But it's come to light that the issue isn't an isolated one and could have other multiple concerns. NASA and the Boeing team are hunting for the root cause. NASA officials said that while they had been planning on a full review of Boeing even before the flight, that review took on a greater sense of urgency after the mission was marred by the software problems, reports TWP.

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