Boeing Starliner Flight of NASA Astronauts Is Scrubbed | Science

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Four years ago, SpaceX flew its equivalent of this week’s Starliner mission — the first launch of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with two NASA astronauts aboard.

The agency celebrated loudly as the flight ended NASA’s nearly decade-long dependence on Russia’s Soyuz rocket to send astronauts to orbit. In part, that has made the debut of Starliner on Monday night almost like an afterthought, with Boeing seemingly light-years behind SpaceX.

Indeed, on Monday, before Starliner’s launch, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, posted on his social media site, X, “The world doesn’t need another capsule.”

In a separate posting, Mr. Musk sharply criticized Boeing. “Although Boeing got $4.2 billion to develop an astronaut capsule and SpaceX only got $2.6 billion, SpaceX finished 4 years sooner,” he wrote. “Too many non-technical managers at Boeing.”

A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment.

While Mr. Musk might think Starliner is superfluous, NASA officials have often said it is important to have contingency options if something goes wrong.

“This will give us that additional capability because we always look for a backup,” Bill Nelson, the NASA administrator,…

Source www.nytimes.com

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