Boeing Starliner valve issues were caused by Florida weather
image: Boeing

Boeing Starliner valve issues were caused by Florida weather

Boeing’s Starliner’s plan to ferry astronauts to the ISS has be derailed, at least for some time. NASA has been investigating the spacecraft after a valve issue necessitated the scrubbing of a test flight last year. The test flight was then scheduled for 2022, but the space agency and Boeing officials say they are trying to figure out the underlying cause of the issue.

The issue with valves on board the Starliner might have been caused because of the humidity in the launch region, as per Michelle Parker, chief engineer of Space and Launch at Boeing, and Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The spacecraft was supposed to take off from Cape Carnival in Florida, but the state’s humid air might have caused corrosion to the valves, which made them stick in place, causing complications during the flight.

Boeing is confident for next test flight

To fix this issue, Boeing could install heaters in the valve system and add desiccant material that can soak up any excess moisture. Boeing says this could fix most of the valves and get them working in time for the test flight next year.

The company is confident that the capsule would successfully complete the flight; however, the development process is 4 years behind the schedule and has faced serious problems which could have destroyed the craft during a previous uncrewed test flight. Their main aim is to perform the next unscrewed flight in the first half of next year.

NASA reassigns Starliner astronauts to SpaceX

NASA, in a routine astronaut assignment announcement, hinted it is taking away something big from Boeing. Astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada were reassigned and will now be available as commander and pilot respectively for the Crew-5 SpaceX mission next year,

The duo was previously assigned to a crewed mission with the Boeing Starliner, and now it seems NASA has decided that the problem-riddled spacecraft was taking too long to take its first-ever successful flight. Mann and Cassada will still be flying with Boeing’s spacecraft besides the new SpaceX assignments.

Close Menu