In December 2019, Boeing’s Starliner crew ship failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS) during its Orbital Flight Test mission. Later it was discovered that multiple errors in Starliner’s software caused the failure. Because of this, if Boeing wanted to test Starliner again, its software would need to achieve a formal requalification.
Today, Boeing announced that it has completed its formal requalification of Starliner’s flight software and that the crew ship will indeed be partaking in Orbital Flight Test-2. During the second test, which is scheduled to occur in March, Starliner will again be crewless and attempt to reach the ISS.
Before Starliner embarks on Orbital Test Flight-2, it will also go through hardware and software integrated test events with the launch provider, United Launch Alliance, and NASA’s ISS program. Boeing will then run an end-to-end simulation of the mission at the company’s Advanced System Integration Lab to test the final version of the flight software and model the spacecraft’s expected behavior.
Starliner’s software test and verification manager, Aaron Kraftcheck, had this to say on the progress the Boeing team has made:
Throughout all the turmoil 2020 handed us, this team remained energetic and inspired to be successful. They want to do their very best for their country and their fellow citizens by helping to restore the pride NASA has in flying humans safely in space.
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