According tomedia BGR, the reasons for the change in the crew of Boeing’s Starliner mission became clearer because one of the reasons for Commander Chris Ferguson’s withdrawal from the mission was already understood. Just a few days ago, astronaut Chris Ferguson announced that he would step down as commander of Boeing Starliner’s first manned test flight in 2021.
Ferguson did not elaborate in his statement at the time. He pointed out that he had made promises before, but that they could not be ignored. According to the company’s statement, at least one of Ferguson’s promises was that he would have to attend his daughter’s wedding.
The new crown pandemic has severely disrupted many, many plans, both in the United States and around the world. In fact, NASA and Boeing have noticed that the Starliner project has also been affected by the outbreak, which is not surprising given the project’s historical delays and setbacks.
Starliner’s launch has been delayed several times, rather than a major setback for a manned test mission failure, pushing Boeing’s schedule sharply back. Now that the launch time (for now) overlaps with Ferguson’s family time, he has made the family-first decision.