October 26, 2020

Crucial first fueling test on tap for SLS core stage later this month

October 9, 2020

If all goes according to plan, engineers in southern Mississippi later this month will load cryogenic propellants into the core stage of a rocket NASA says will launch astronauts back to the moon, exposing its tankage and internal plumbing to extreme operating conditions hundreds of degrees below zero for the first time. The fueling test — a major milestone in its own right — is a precursor to a high-stakes eight-minute test-firing of the Space Launch System’s four shuttle-era main engines planned as soon as November.

Commander of first piloted Starliner test flight steps down from mission

October 7, 2020

Christopher Ferguson, commander of the final space shuttle flight and now a Boeing executive, has stepped down as commander of the first piloted test flight of the company’s troubled CST-100 Starliner commercial spacecraft, he and Boeing announced Wednesday. He has been replaced by NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore.

Boeing plans second Starliner test flight in December or January

August 25, 2020

Boeing said Tuesday it is “making excellent progress” toward launching a second unpiloted test flight of its Starliner crew capsule to the International Space Station by the end of this year or in early January, setting the stage for the first Starliner demonstration mission with astronauts in mid-2021.

SES orders two more Falcon 9 launches from SpaceX

August 20, 2020

SES announced Thursday it has tapped SpaceX for two additional Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral to deliver more Boeing-built O3b mPower broadband satellites into orbit, adding to a pair of Falcon 9 flights ordered by SES last year to launch the first batch of mPower platforms beginning in late 2021.

Safety panel concerned about quality control on Boeing crew capsule

July 27, 2020

Members of NASA’s independent panel of aerospace safety advisors raised concerns last week about quality control problems that “seemingly have plagued” Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule program, while urging NASA to closely monitor SpaceX’s plans to reuse Crew Dragon spaceships on astronaut flights to the International Space Station.

NASA outlines recommendations to clear path for Boeing to resume Starliner flights

July 7, 2020

NASA has completed an exhaustive review of software problems and procedural oversights that prevented an unpiloted Boeing Starliner capsule from docking with the space station last year. The agency is implementing 80 recommendations to clear the way for a second test flight later this year and, if all goes well, Boeing’s first piloted flight next spring, officials said Tuesday.

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