Is this thing ever gonna launch?
A Curse Upon You
Boeing’s Starliner, it seems, may be cursed.
As Reuters reports, Boeing and its supplier, Aerojet Rocketdyne, are playing the blame game as the May 19 launch date for Starliner approaches swiftly — even as the rocket itself continues to have major issues.
Just a week after a part appeared to fall off of Starliner as it was being taken to the launchpad for tests, this latest trouble stems from a fuel valve issue for which both Boeing and Aerojet both blame the other, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
In a statement provided to the news agency, Boeing admitted that it is “working on short- and long-term design changes to the valves,” alluding to a serious issue, first reported last year, that’s pushed back the test date for the spacecraft significantly.
There’s been a bevy of problems with the Starliner project, meant to establish Boeing as a proper competitor to SpaceX capable of ferrying crew and cargo to the International Space Station.
From burning fuel way too fast to ever reach the International Space Station to skipping crucial software tests, Starliner’s history has been fraught with setbacks that make it hard to believe it will ever truly be able to compete with SpaceX — which, in spite of its own repeated setbacks and failures, has become the only private spaceflight company capable of moving astronauts and goods to and from the space station.
The big question now? What we’re going to see on that May 19 launch date.
READ MORE: Boeing clashes with key supplier ahead of Starliner spacecraft launch [Reuters]
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