Elon Musk shades Boeing ahead of Starliner's long-awaited first piloted launch, ‘SpaceX finished sooner’ - Hindustan Times
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Elon Musk shades Boeing ahead of Starliner's long-awaited first piloted launch, ‘SpaceX finished sooner’

ByArya Vaishnavi
May 07, 2024 02:27 AM IST

Though Boeing received a larger budget of $4.2 billion compared to SpaceX's $2.6 billion, the latter's Crew Dragon beat Starliner to the launchpad in 2020

After years of delays, Boeing's Starliner is finally set to attempt its first piloted launch on Monday night. Active-duty NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Willmore and Sunita “Sunni” Williams are the crew members for the mission called Crew Flight Test (CFT). As opposed to its rival, Crew Dragon, Starliner has faced numerous setbacks despite receiving almost double the funding than SpaceX's spacecraft. In 2019, the Boeing spacecraft launched its first uncrewed flight test, where it failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS).

Elon Musk throws shade at Boeing ahead of Starliner's first crewed launch (REUTERS)
Elon Musk throws shade at Boeing ahead of Starliner's first crewed launch (REUTERS)

Elon Musk takes a dig a Boeing's Starliner ahead of first crewed launch

With the mission scheduled for 10:34 pm EDT, Starliner's first crewed launch is just hours away. Ahead of the CFT, SpaceX founder Elon Musk took to social media to throw shade at his rival company. “Although Boeing got $4.2 billion to develop an astronaut capsule and SpaceX only got $2.6 billion, SpaceX finished 4 years sooner. Note, the crew capsule design of Dragon 2 has almost nothing in common with Dragon 1. Too many non-technical managers at Boeing,” the tech billionaire wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Musk's tweet came in response to Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica Eric Berger's “deep dive into why Starliner is seven years late” in the article- The surprise is not that Boeing lost commercial crew but that it finished at all. The article explores the years of setbacks and losses the company faced due to its “structural inefficiency,” among other factors. Berger discusses various factors, including software issues and problems with the propulsion system, in the days leading up to the first crewed mission of Starliner.

In 2014, NASA chose both Boeing and SpaceX to transport US astronauts to the ISS. Though the former received a larger budget of $4.2 billion compared to the latter's $2.6 billion, SpaceX beat Boeing to the launchpad in 2020. Nearly four years later, Boeing is now attempting to launch NASA pilots into space for the first time. In that time span, SpaceX has launched 13 successful piloted Crew Dragon flights.

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