Boeing, NASA Prep Starliner Vehicle After Disrupted Test Flight to ISS

Boeing plans to continue processing and assessment activities for the CST-100 Starliner capsule following timer issues during its disrupted orbital test flight to the International Space Station, Space News reported Sunday.

Starliner, nicknamed “Calypso,” was launched aboard United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket on Dec. 20 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for the eight-day uncrewed mission to the ISS.

The timer had an 11-hour discrepancy and triggered the capsule’s thrusters, resulting in Starliner’s unscheduled landing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Dec. 22.

The spacecraft will be delivered to Boeing engineers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida over the next few weeks ahead of refurbishment operations in preparation for a crewed test flight to the ISS.

“We are surprised. A very large body of integrated tests, approved by NASA, didn’t surface this,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president for Boeing’s space and launch segment and a former Wash100 winner.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a 2019 Wash100 awardee, noted that the abrupt flight will not prevent teams from “moving forward quickly.”

Boeing said it intends to release videos of the test flight from onboard cameras next week.

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