September 23, 2021

WOEING: Boeing still studying Starliner valve issues, with no launch date in sight.

Since returning Starliner to Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility in Florida, engineers have been able to gather data about the “dry” side of the valves, but they may need to remove the valves from the spacecraft to assess the “wet” side, Lueders said. This would be a cumbersome process.

Boeing and NASA will reach a decision point in the “next few weeks,” she said, when they will decide whether to remove the valves from the service module for additional study. If this is the case, Boeing would likely pull forward a service module intended for a future crewed flight and use it for the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 mission.

A new date for this OFT-2 mission has yet to be set, and Lueders indicated one may not be set any time soon. She suggested the mission probably will slip to 2022. “My gut is that it would probably be more likely to be next year, but we’re still working through that timeline,” she said.

Plus this from the comments: “Sticking valves not identified until flight hardware is on the pad is bad but what is worse is the kind of processes that woudl allow that to happen. What else is wrong that they just don’t know about yet? They may not know regardless but at least another uncrewed flight gives Boeing and NASA more real world data (not Boeing’s cost saving simulations which showed everything good to go).”

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