1st Boeing Starliner crew launch pushed back to 2024

More delays announced for program already delayed years

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. – Starliner, the crew capsule struggling with years of technical issues still isn’t ready to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA and Boeing announced Monday.

In its first update in two months, Boeing said it’s still working on the Starliner’s latest problems.

Now, the crewed flight test might not happen until at least next March.

Despite more delays, NASA said it’s still committed to the Starliner program.

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“Our plan all along has been to have two different unique and diverse space transportation systems,” Commercial Crew program manager Steve Stich during a teleconference. “We’re working hard to get that in place.”

But as Starliner’s first flight with astronauts continues to get delayed, Boeing is reporting $1.5 billion in losses for the program.

Nine years ago, NASA awarded Boeing more than a billion dollars more than SpaceX to build spaceships capable of ending America’s dependence on Russia to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.


Boeing’s reusable Starliner capsule embarked on its second-ever orbital test flight Thursday evening, taking off without a crew from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

While SpaceX this month prepares to launch its seventh full-length crew to the space station, Starliner in the last four years has only launched two uncrewed test flights, and they each had technical issues.

Boeing said astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams won’t ride Starliner until the spaceship might finally be ready next year in March.

First, Boeing said new parachutes should be delivered in December.

NASA said workers are also addressing another issue by removing pounds of flammable tape that protect wiring.

“That new parachute is the critical path, the delivery of that parachute,” Starliner program manager Mark Nappi said. “It’s being built by Airborne as we speak.”

NASA and Boeing said they’re also putting in place independent reviews of Starliner.

That way, if another issue comes up they said it won’t go unaddressed.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.