• Thursday, 01 December 2022
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Boeing tries to catch up to SpaceX after plenty of drama

Boeing tries to catch up to SpaceX after plenty of drama

Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company, a primary US defense contractor, and a titan of a global aviation duopoly. A few years ago, the idea that it would dominate commercial space was a given, and companies like SpaceX, a relatively young business relying on a strategy of moving fast and breaking things, would take a back seat to the move level-headed and experienced Boeing.

That, however, did not come to fruition.
Errors, delays and failures beleaguered the spacecraft's development. There was a botched test flight, software issues, sticky valves and a lawsuit involving an executive at a subcontractor who is said to have lost his leg during a Starliner test.
 
 
After initially giving SpaceX closer scrutiny than Boeing, officials later said they regretted that as many of Starliner's issues slipped through the cracks. SpaceX, Elon Musk's relatively new entrant into the spaceflight business, ultimately beat Boeing to the launch pad. The company's Crew Dragon spacecraft has now logged five astronaut launches for NASA since it entered service in 2020.
Meanwhile, Boeing is still trying to get through an uncrewed test flight. The company will make its second attempt this week, hoping a flawless performance will mend its image as the fallen star of human spaceflight.
NASA astronauts Suni Williams, left, Barry "Butch" Wilmore, center, and Mike Fincke, right, watch as a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft aboard is rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ahead of the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
 
The controversies surrounding Starliner have also added to other woes within Boeing's commercial aircraft division that have chipped away at the company's formerly rock-solid image over the past several years.
 

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