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NASA, Boeing Team up to Investigate Root Cause of Spacecraft Mishap

Boeing plans to work with NASA to determine why the corporate’s latest passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, experienced a mishap during its first uncrewed launch to space at December-end.

The two organizations will form a joint “independent investigation group,” following a NASA blog post, which will spend two months determining the root cause of the failure.

The Starliner is Boeing’s space capsule designed to carry future astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Before any people fly onboard the automobile, Boeing hoped to perform a dress rehearsal mission with Starliner, launching the capsule to dock with the ISS without a crew.

After years of development, the Starliner launched this debut project on December 20th, efficiently lifting off on top of an Atlas V rocket from Florida.

However, the Starliner never made it to the space station. A bug with the capsule’s internal clock stopped the Starliner from burning its engines at the right time throughout flight.

Because of this, the capsule ultimately got into the wrong orbit and didn’t have sufficient gasoline to fulfill up with the ISS. The take a look at the mission, meant to last about a week, lasted two days, as Boeing determined to bring the Starliner home early to reveal its landing capabilities.

Although NASA and Boeing seem to have a preliminary understanding of what went wrong, the new investigation group will spend the next couple of months digging into all of the data collected throughout the mission, and they’ll decide if there have been any other “contributing elements” that led to the accident.

Once complete, they might suggest design modifications to the capsule, in accordance with NASA.

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Jerry Bennett

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