Boeing to retest Starliner capsule
On December 20st 2019 in the early morning Boeing launched the CST-100 Starliner capsule abord an ULA Atlas V rocket in their first unmanned test to return men into orbit from the United States. Liftoff was looking good, and all systems seemed to operate perfectly. Shortly after liftoff word was passed that there was a glitch into the system. A few days later the capsule landed successfully in White Sands, New Mexico and contractors went to work analyzing data from the flight.
Monday April 6th NASA announced that Boeing would be redoing the test flight, at no expense to the taxpayers at that. The company stated, “Flying another uncrewed flight will allow us to complete all flight test objectives and evaluate the performance of the second Starliner vehicle at no cost to the taxpayer.”. Originally the retest was not ordered by NASA until sufficient cause was found. In February of 2020 a NASA safety panel found that Boeing narrowly missed a catastrophic failure.
OFT or Orbital Test Flight will happen again for the Starliner towards the end of this year. “We will then proceed to the tremendous responsibility and privilege of flying astronauts to the International Space Station.” Boeing officials said in their announcement. Having already planned for this outcome an additional 410 million dollars had been set aside by the company in case a retest was needed. Boeing has been working with NASA contracts, most recently, a 4.2 billion dollar deal signed in 2014 which went towards completing the development of the crew transporters and six operational launches to the ISS.