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Boeing’s Starliner may allow private spaceflight in future

Mark Nappi, Boeing’s Starliner project manager, said that the company is fully focused on NASA’s first manned mission to send NASA astronauts into space, and may allow private spaceflight in the future.

Astronauts are flying on the Starliner spacecraft to carry out space exploration missions, but currently, the focus is still on NASA’s manned space missions.

Boeing’s crew on the mission are NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, who will fly aboard the United Launch Alliance (ULA) as early as May 6 Atlas V rocket lifts off.

“(This flight test) is the focus of all of us right now,” Nappi said at a news conference. After completing this mission, Boeing will ensure that it builds enough spacecraft for future flights to carry NASA astronauts (expected to be 6 to 7 flights).

He also added that private flights are a possibility, but not a major consideration at the moment because they are busy executing NASA missions until the International Space Station is decommissioned in 2030. “We still have plenty of time to think about things after that.”

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It is worth mentioning that since 2019, repeated technical problems with the Starliner spacecraft have forced the postponement of its manned flight test mission by four years and cost Boeing $1.4 billion (Currently approx. unexpected costs of RMB 10.164 billion).

After a long period of repair work, Starliner’s second unmanned test flight successfully achieved rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station in 2022. However, due to the discovery of critical problems with the parachute in 2023, its manned flight test mission was postponed again.

“The entire NASA, Boeing, United Launch Alliance team and all contractors did a great job solving the numerous problems, completing the certification work, and getting us to this point,” said Steve Stich, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. today.”

According to reports, Wilmore and Williams, two former U.S. Navy test pilots, have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center and will be responsible for conducting isolation and preparations for manned flight test missions. They will perform a thorough inspection of the spacecraft and all systems, including extensive manual driving and testing emergency procedures such as activating solar panels, to help certify the Starliner spacecraft for the six-month mission.

If the manned flight test mission goes as planned, the first mission (Starliner-1) will start as early as early 2025, including NASA astronauts Mike Finck and Scott Tingle, as well as the Canadian Space Agency’s Joshua Kutrik.

James Ovie
James Ovie
James Ovie is a tech Blogger with vast experience in mobile devices and other gadgets.

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