Boeing announced the delay of the launch of its space taxi. The vehicle named CS-100 Starliner, so far will not help NASA become addicted to the Russian rocket. Its first start will take place only at the end of 2018.
After NASA officially closed the shuttle program a few years ago, it became completely dependent on the Russian Soyuz missiles that provide American astronauts for the International Space Station. But these are very high costs, amounting to tens of millions of dollars for one flight, so the agency wants to make the Russians independent.
Boeing, whose engineers are working on a new CS-100 Starliner, will be the space taxi. NASA hoped to finish it very quickly so that it could be used next year. But that does not happen.
CS Weekly Starliner will not be ready as early as 2018, according to Aviation Week magazine. Boeing engineers decided to change one of the key structural elements of the new vehicle in which the design defect was detected. In addition, the company’s engineers are experiencing serious problems with the production of the most complex spacecraft components, which will significantly lengthen the work.
Project manager John Mulholland assures that engineers are trying to solve any problems, but it will take them months to do so. It is impossible to keep up with the original deadline for commissioning, which was planned for December 2017. It was postponed to June 2018 and the first test flights will begin in February of the same year. On the other hand, regular flights will not be available until December.