In what has largely been an open secret for several weeks, NASA and Boeing formally announced the delay to Starliner’s upcoming uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) that had been scheduled for this month. The NASA statement says OFT is now targeting a “working date” in August 2019.
But the most curious part of the announcement was the NASA statement’s desire to place the blame for this delay on Starliner’s launch provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA).
In the statement released this morning, NASA stated that Starliner’s uncrewed OFT mission was being delayed to a “working date” in August 2019 because of “limited launch opportunities in April and May, as well as a critical U.S. Air Force national security launch – AEHF-5 – atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 in June.”
This is a curious statement given that the OFT Starliner mission NET April launch target has been known by all parties for months.
At face value, the statement would seem to indicate an ever-present desire for various companies to work with one another to give certain missions priority on the launch schedule and the Eastern Range.
NASA and @BoeingSpace have agreed to target August ...