737 Max crashes put Boeing’s Starliner under extra scrutiny

Boeing

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Boeing's Starliner crew capsule atop an Atlas V rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force station.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – In the wake of Boeing’s 737 Max fiasco and resulting 346 deaths, the company’s Starliner crew capsule is coming under extra scrutiny.

The spacecraft failed to reach the International Space Station during a pivotal test flight in December. The company said a software glitch caused some of Starliner’s thrusters to fire at the wrong time.

Software issues were behind the crashes of two 737 Max aircraft as well. The plane has been grounded since March while Boeing works to correct the problems.

Last week, an independent government review found that Starliner suffered from additional software issues that could have resulted in a catastrophic failure of the spacecraft had they not been detected.

“We don’t know how many software errors we’ve got. We don’t know if we have just two or we have many hundred,” said Doug Loverro, NASA’s head of human spaceflight.

Space drama:Boeing Starliner capsule softly lands in New Mexico

NASA is now conducting a full organizational safety assessment of Boeing. Loverro said the decision to look into Boeing’s safety culture was based on “press reports that we’ve seen from other parts of Boeing,” the software issues and the failed orbital flight test.

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