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Astronaut capsule built by Boeing charges near $700 million

Astronaut capsule built by Boeing charges near $700 million

Boeing reported a $93 million charge for its Starliner astronaut capsule program in the second quarter, raising the program’s overrun costs to over $700 million. Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) and increased expenditures linked with it, according to the aerospace giant, were “major driving factors” in the most recent charge.

As Boeing gets ready for the Starliner to transport people, the second unmanned flight of the spacecraft concluded a six-day mission in May with successful docking with the International Space Station. Boeing has already incurred $688 million in expenditures as a result of delays and extra work on the capsule, according to the company’s most recent Starliner-related charge.

With contracts worth around $5 billion to construct the capsule, the corporation has been working on the Starliner spaceship as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Competition for Boeing’s program comes from SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, which has completed the development of its Crew Dragon spaceship and is now conducting its fourth operational human mission for NASA.

Boeing Starliner
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is seen before docking with the International Space Station on May 20, 2022 (NASA)

When it came to competing with SpaceX to launch NASA astronauts, Boeing was previously thought to be on par, but development setbacks caused it to lag.

The Crew Flight Test, or CFT, which will transport the first humans inside the capsule, is anticipated to be the following Starliner trip. Although the propulsion valves on Starliner manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne malfunctioned during the company’s first attempt to launch the OFT-2 mission in August 2021, Boeing is considering whether to rebuild them.

Source: CNBC

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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