24 July 2018
The Los Angeles Times (7/23) reports on an “anomaly” suffered by The Boeing Company’s astronaut test capsule “during an engine test fire last month, which analysts said is likely to delay the Chicago aerospace giant’s first flight of astronauts from US soil even further.” The issue happened when a test version of the integrated service module underwent a “hot-fire test of its launch-abort engines.” In a statement Monday, Boeing explained that the engines successfully ignited and ran for the full duration of the test, but that “an anomaly occurred” during engine shutdown that caused a propellant leak. Both Boeing and SpaceX are scheduled to perform crewed tests by the end of the year, but “industry observers have believed the NASA timelines listed on their website were unrealistic, even before the anomaly.” According to Teal Group Senior Space Analyst Marco Caceres, “My sense is that it all gets pushed back at least two to three months at minimum.” Caceres added that the companies “may still meet the uncrewed flight test this year, but then the crewed one will be pushed back to next year.” In its statement, Boeing added that it did not have any schedule updates to make at this time. (Image Credit: NASA
More Info (Los Angeles Times)