Boeing finds new problems with Starliner space capsule and delays first crewed launch

Boeing has indefinitely delayed the first crewed launch of its Starliner capsule due to new issues found during preparations.

The backdrop: Boeing’s Starliner capsule has faced years of development delays and has yet to fly its first crewed mission.
* NASA awarded Boeing more than $4 billion in 2014 to build the capsule under its Commercial Crew program.
* SpaceX, a competing system, has already sent humans into space ten times, including seven missions for NASA.

Details: Engineers discovered the use of flammable adhesive tape and defects with the spacecraft’s parachute system.
* The adhesive tape used to wrap and protect wiring inside the capsule could be flammable under certain circumstances.
* The lines connecting the capsule to its parachutes were not as strong as believed and could have snapped during landing, potentially endangering the crew.

State of play: Boeing will take the next several weeks to investigate the design issues and work on potential solutions.
* Boeing is fully committed to the program and has no plans to stop developing Starliner, despite being years behind schedule.

View original article on NPR

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