My dad used to work for Boeing. He was an aerospace engineer. He worked on the Saturn 5 rocket. I wonder what he would say about the Starliner project today.  

Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 Prelaunch
NASA via Getty Images

NASA and Boeing have been working on the Starliner project since 2010. And his maiden voyage was supposed to take place. A week or two ago. It's been scrubbed several times because of a helium leak. (Thank God it's not hydrogen.) There is still a potential for this helium leak, but it looks like NASA and Boeing have decided to light the candle on this thing anyway. According to
"We can handle this particular leak if that leak rate were to grow even up to 100 times," said Steve Stich, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Moreover, it impacts just one of a set of 28 thrusters used to control the spaceship's attitude, he added. Instead, teams will monitor the leak during the hours before launch, scheduled for June 1 at 12:25 pm (1625 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.”

Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 Landing
NASA via Getty Images

To me, it's not much of A consolation that they say that they have flown space missions with leaky craft before. (specifically, the space shuttle and the “dragon”) 

The problem with trying to fix the leak completely is that Boeing says that they would have to take the craft off the rocket, take it back to the factory, and tear it all down. Nobody wants to do that. Now, we all know that astronauts in the NASA program are made of sterner stuff, but I don't know that I would be interested in flying in a craft that had a leaky valve even if the boss says it's “manageable”. 

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner Spacecraft Is Rolled Out To Launch Ahead Of Its May Launch
Getty Images

This is a challenging time for Boeing, and I honestly am rooting for them, but this does make me take a little bit of a pause. It seems like they're rolling the dice just a little bit. 

So, what would my dad say about all this? I really can't put part of it in this article, but I know he'd be laughing as he said it. 

I want our space program to succeed. I want it to expand, and I would like to be alive when we put the first colony on the moon. That would make me very happy. 

Boeing won't fix leaky Starliner before flying first crew to ISS ( 

Fourteen Michigan Natives Have Spent Time in Space


The International Space Station

Initially constructed in 1998, the International Space Station (ISS) is approximately 250 miles above the earth's surface, traveling at 17,500 mph. The ISS orbits Earth every 90 minutes and completes around 15 orbits daily.

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice


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