15 thoughts on “Boeing’s Spaceship”

  1. What bothers me most is that a vehicle with so many flaws, and such abysmal testing and oversight, was cleared to attempt to go to ISS. I’m old enough to remember when NASA decided that Dragon Cargo’s software wasn’t robust enough, and forced a re-write prior to clearing for ISS berthing.

    So, what if Starliner had reached ISS, and its docking code was as bad as so much else? I think this was a close call in more ways than one.

  2. Facing an 80-problem to-do list, Boeing would have to settle a list item every two days in order to finish the list by year’s end. That simply isn’t going to happen. So the only mystery about the do-over OFT-2 mission is just how far into 2021 it will occur. Personally, I think the soonest plausible date is something well into 2H 2021. Which will, in turn, push the CFT mission into 2022.

    The completed report was just handed down, but NASA has obviously long since figured out just how bad things really are in Starliner-ville in the time it has had to dig since the OFT-1 near-debacle last Dec. Once it became clear that Starliner had at least two more years of remedial work ahead of it before certification, NASA could see that SpaceX would have to carry the entire Commercial Crew ball during that interval. Accordingly, it made the eminently sensible decision to drop its prior insistence on all-new crew vehicles from SpaceX rather than make the company double its Crew D2 production rate. With Bridenstine running the whole show and Kathy Lueders now running HEOMD, good sense seems to be making a strong comeback at NASA.

      1. Good to know.

        Returning NASA to a state of rationality and relevance is a process, not an event. But it is a process that can now be easily seen to be picking up steam.

    1. How difficult is it for you to remember a commenter on another forum going on and on about the Boeing professionalism and safety culture? And of course the “software company without a clue”?

      1. Not difficult at all given that I was one of his principal rhetorical opponents – under my Disqus ID “duheagle” – on those other forums. For those not familiar with the long-time Boeing booster/SpaceX detractor in question, I presume you refer to Capt. Bob Oler. Yeah, that sneering about SpaceX being a “software company” whereas Boeing was a “real aerospace company” could hardly look more lame now.

        But there’s still hope for Capt. Bob. He doesn’t drink even a drop of the SLS Kool-Aid, for example.

  3. It’s been about a decade since Boeing had anything to do with flying astronauts to orbit. It’s a highly technical endeavor. It takes practice. They might get there eventually. I have my doubts about their catching up to the competition, but anything can happen.

  4. And NASA gave Boeing $2,000,000,000 more than SpaceX for the same thing. Almost double what SpaceX received. And SpaceX had to jump through more hoops.

  5. Maybe if Boeing could drop the Atlas V as the LV in favor of SLS they could be right back on schedule with millestones that align?

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