Boeing announced that it would be deploying its second CST-100 Starliner commercial space vehicle not later than the end of March. This mission comes exactly one year and three months after its previous mission flailing. Boeing is partnering with NASA to facilitate the deployment of the Orbital Flight Test (OFT) 2 tasks by 29th March via the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket at Cape Canaveral. This mission will be later than anticipated to ensure that the company’s engineers make the necessary adjustments on the payloads before the take-off. The two agencies’ executives outlined that the spacecraft’s software is undergoing revision as planned before moving to other touchy sections of the space vehicle.
NASA’s commercial program manager, Steve Stich, noted that the software is undergoing preparation before assembling and implanting into the spacecraft. Initially, the launch was anticipated to be in the first quarter of next year, but the two agencies became more specific by scheduling the end of March. Stich explained that they would make the launch date clearer when they have finished developing the spacecraft software. NASA revealed that Boeing had spent implementing the recommendations from the previous mission by over 90 percent. Stich stated that the two agencies have been partnering on developing the flight software before giving a comprehensive report of the changes they have adjusted.
Starliner’s program manager at Boeing, John Vollmer, explained that each vehicle development, code testing, and documentation is pitching to develop a working and automatic space vehicle. Boeing experienced problems with its previous mission, which ended the mission prematurely without clicking with the International Space Station. Some of the issues that required analysis include timer miscalibration and a software flaw that resulted in the crew capsule’s collision after detachment from the other capsules. Nevertheless, the engineers have confirmed the spacecraft service module’s completion, with the engineers making final changes and adjustments to the craft’s minor details.
Additionally, NASA and Boeing intend to deploy the Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission later on after this mission. NASA stated that Mike Finckle, Nicole Mann, and Barry Wilmore are its astronauts aboard this mission heading to the International Space Station. Wilmore is replacing Chris Ferguson, who dropped out of the CFT mission for personal reasons. NASA was adamant to reveal the timeframe that this mission will take, although the agency thought of proceeding with the task for not less than six months.