Boeing has revised the schedule for its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with NASA and delayed the program for another six months as the company works to address production issues on the CST-100 spacecraft, Aviation Week reported Monday.
Guy Norris writes the company expects to send the first batch of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station by December 2018 — instead of June 2018 — in light of the new schedule.
Under the revised timeline, Boeing plans to conduct a pad abort test in January 2018, an unmanned orbital flight in June 2018, the first crewed test flight in August 2018 and the first operational mission to ISS by the end of that year, according to the report.
John Mulholland, vice president and program manager for commercial programs in space exploration at Boeing, told the publication there are three main factors that contributed to the company’s decision to postpone the test and certification activities.
These factors are the production delays in the supply chain, a production issue related to the second CST-100 spacecraft’s lower dome and issues associated with qualification tests on minor parts, Norris reports.
“We also put in an additional one-month margin because you carry risk as you move into the integrated qualification test campaign,” Mulholland told Aviation Week.
Mulholland added that Boeing remains on track to complete the main precertification flight tests and continues to conduct qualification tests of key spacecraft components, Aviation Week reported.