NASA Wants Boeing Starliner Crew Capsule To Add More Safety Before Takeoff


NASA commercial crew program will see only SpaceX rockets for a while. Boeing, the other company signed under the program, requires some more safety measures, NASA said. The premier space agency has added more safety recommendations for the Boeing Starliner crew capsule before it can fly astronauts.

Boeing Starliner Crew Capsule Needs More Safety Fixes: NASA


The Boeing Starliner launched in December last year in an uncrewed mission. However, it ended up in the wrong orbit and couldn't reach the International Space Station. The ground crew barely managed to solve a few software problems that could have been fatal for the capsule.

Following the failure, NASA began an investigation and chalked out recommendations to fix the Boeing space capsule. Now, seven months into the investigation, NASA officials have identified 80 corrective actions, mostly involving software and testing. This needs to be done before the Boeing Starliner launches again, NASA said in a statement. Previously, 61 recommendations were given.

This isn't the first time NASA and Boeing have partnered for space missions like the space shuttle and space station. For the same reason, NASA didn't emphasize enough on the software portion of the Boeing flight, as NASA was "a little more used to the Boeing process," Steve Stich, manager of NASA's commercial crew program.

"It's often natural for a human being to spend more time on that newer approach, and maybe we didn't quite take the time we needed with the more traditional approach," Stich further added. Since the initial accident with Boeing, NASA has added more staff to monitor the software aspects of both Boeing and SpaceX.

On the other hand, SpaceX has been having a success streak. SpaceX achieved a milestone as the first private space company to successfully launch two NASA astronauts to the space station in May. The astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth aboard the Dragon capsule next month.


Further, NASA added that it is borrowing SpaceX's approach to software, "which involves going back to the designers following testing for feedback," said Kathy Lueders, NASA's new human spaceflight chief. With added recommendations, Boeing will need several more months to complete the software upgrades. Boeing plans to repeat the test flight once again later this year.

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