The Starliner Saga Continues: Boeing Skipped End-to-End Test

Great scoop from Chabeli Carrazana, writing for the Orlando Sentinel:

But speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, members of NASA’s safety advisory panel expanded on some of the testing decisions Boeing made that drew questions about whether Starliner was ready to fly.

Critically, the panel learned early this month that Boeing did not perform a full, end-to-end integrated test of Starliner in a Systems Integration Lab with ULA’s Atlas V rocket. The test typically shows how all the software systems during each component of the mission would have responded with each other through every maneuver — and it could potentially have caught the issues Boeing later experienced in the mission.

End-to-end testing is crucial in just about any project, but is especially so when that project involves mating two complex vehicles built by two (or more) different organizations.

This continues the same story I’ve been harping on with Starliner’s issues since December: Boeing is making mistakes that even to non-technical audiences sound downright stupid.

I’m sure there’s more going on behind the scenes, but it’s a problem to have so many issues that sound so basic even to the general public.

Boeing scheduled a media roundtable for later today, so we’ll see what kind of spin comes out of that.