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Boeing Statement on Independent Review Team Recommendations for the Starliner Orbital Flight Test Anomalies

Press Release From: Boeing
Posted: Friday, March 6, 2020

We accept and appreciate the recommendations of the jointly led NASA-Boeing Independent Review Team (IRT) as well as suggestions from the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel following Starliner’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT). Their insights are invaluable to the Commercial Crew Program and we will work with NASA to comprehensively apply their recommendations.

  • Regarding the Mission Elapsed Timer anomaly, the IRT believes they found root cause and provided a number of recommendations and corrective actions.
  • The IRT also investigated a valve mapping software issue, which was diagnosed and fixed in flight. That error in the software would have resulted in an incorrect thruster separation and disposal burn. What would have resulted from that is unclear.
  • The IRT is also making significant progress on understanding the command dropouts encountered during the mission and is further investigating methods to make the Starliner communications system more robust on future missions.

We are already working on many of the recommended fixes including re-verifying flight software code.

Our next task is to build a plan that incorporates IRT recommendations, NASA’s Organizational Safety Assessment (OSA) and any other oversight NASA chooses after considering IRT findings. Once NASA approves that plan, we will be able to better estimate timelines for the completion of all tasks. It remains too soon to speculate about next flight dates.

NASA has issued the following advisory:

February 07, 2020
MEDIA ADVISORY M20-023
NASA, Boeing to Provide Update on Starliner Orbital Flight Test Reviews

NASA and Boeing will host a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 7, to discuss the status of the joint independent review team investigation into the primary issues detected during the company’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test in December as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Participants in the briefing will be:

·        NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

·        Jim Chilton, senior vice president, Boeing Space and Launch

·        Douglas Loverro, associate administrator, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate

·        Kathy Lueders, program manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

·        John Mulholland, vice president and program manager, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Program

Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Kathryn Hambleton at kathryn.hambleton@nasa.gov by 3 p.m. Friday for the dial-in information.

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