Boeing is delaying a series of test flights of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle by up to six months, pushing back the first operational mission of the capsule until the end of 2018.
Boeing spokesman William Barksdale said Oct. 11 that a number of development and production issues with the spacecraft led the company to reschedule the test flights that are part of its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with NASA. News of the delay was first reported by Aviation Week.
Under the revised schedule, a pad abort test of the CST-100, previously scheduled for October 2017, is now planned for January 2018. An uncrewed CST-100 flight, called the Orbital Flight Test, has shifted from December 2017 to June 2018.
A crewed flight test of the CST-100 to the International Space Station, carrying a NASA astronaut and Boeing test pilot, has been delayed from February to August 2018. If that schedule holds, Being anticipates flying its first operational, or “post-certification,” CST-100 mission to the ISS in December 2018.