Starliner investigation to be completed within weeks, Space Florida expects

Commercial Crew focus shifts to SpaceX ahead of January ascent abort test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – After the Orbital Flight Test of Boeing's Starliner was cut from eight days to two, Florida's space authority expects the investigation into how the spaceship's clock was not aligned with the actual mission time to be complete within weeks.

It's unclear if the astronaut capsule will have to re-attempt autonomously flying to the International Space Station before the crew climbs on board.

"The timing issue is a simple fix because it's one that could have been overridden by humans if humans had been on board," Dale Ketcham with Space Florida said.

Fortunately for Boeing, Sunday's landing in New Mexico worked out even better than Starliner's pad abort test in November because this time, all three parachutes helped the spaceship touch down in the desert.

Only two worked during the test.

While NASA investigates Friday's incident, SpaceX returns to the spotlight of the Commercial Crew program.

The Dragon spaceship for astronauts is targeting an in-flight ascent abort test no earlier than Jan. 11.

Ketcham said about the race between Boeing and SpaceX to return astronauts to space from Florida, “You’ve got two different programs competing with different technologies, more or less. It’s up to NASA to decide who’s going to be the first one to fly.”

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