WASHINGTON | Nasa has established a list of 80 recommendations that the giant us aerospace Boeing will have to apply before sent his space capsule Starliner, after the failure of a demonstration mission not inhabited could have been serious if astronauts had been aboard.
The recommendations concern in the first place the software on board, to the origin of the main problem of the flight of December last; the capsule could not be placed on the proper orbit due to a clock error, and had to return to Earth at the end of two days, then she should join the international space Station.
Boeing then realized that other software problems have been clinking the capsule and the rocket at the time of the separation, which could be very dangerous for a crew.
Most of the problems identified are profound and organisational, in particular the verification procedure by the Nasa, who is a client of Boeing, but would have put too much reliance on its partner’s industrial history.
“Perhaps were we too focused on SpaceX,” admitted Steve Stich, head of the program of flights of the Nasa, in a call with journalists.
SpaceX, a newcomer to the space industry, is another company to have been chosen by Nasa to develop a vehicle for the agency; but in contrast to Boeing, the capsule Dragon has succeeded in its mission to empty in 2019, then its first manned flight at the end of may, with two astronauts aboard.
“We were more accustomed to the process of Boeing,” said Steve Stich.
The new test flight, unmanned, of the Starliner could take place “at the end of the year,” he said, without any warranty. Boeing will not carry, therefore, no astronauts before 2021, while the second manned flight of the Dragon from SpaceX is expected as early as this summer.