In December, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS) as planned due to software flaws and communication problems during its first orbital test flight,media reported. This is the preliminary conclusion of a joint investigation by NASA and Boeing.
NASA summarized the incident in a statement released Friday local time, citing:
An error in the Mission History Timer, which incorrectly polled the time of the Atlas V booster nearly 11 hours before launch;
The service module handles software issues in the Service Disposal Module Sequence and incorrectly converts the SM processing order to the Integrated Propulsion Controller;
An intermittent space-to-ground forward link problem hampers the ability of the flight control team to direct and control the aircraft.
In short, two software flaws and a communication outage prevented Starliner from reaching its destination.
Although Starliner project manager John Mulholland told reporters on Thursday that the mission had not been successfully completed and that there was a link to “noise” that could be associated with the frequency of the tower, the investigation into the communication problems was ongoing.
NASA and Boeing are continuing their follow-up analysis to determine whether the first two problems were caused by defect codes or user or system errors.
In addition, the investigation found that these problems were not detected through pre-flight safety checks.
“Software defects are not surprising, especially in complex spacecraft code,” NASA wrote in a statement. In many cases, however, Boeing’s software quality is either defective or may have been found. “
In addition, the Joint Investigation Team said it had developed a list of priority corrective actions, but that they would continue their investigation until more detailed findings were released at the end of February. Meanwhile, it is unclear when Starliner will be able to fly again.