Boeing's Starliner launch could face delay of several months - WSJ

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Yahoo Finance 12 August, 2021 - 06:28pm 34 views

Boeing's Spaceship Problems Show Just How Amazing Musk's SpaceX Is

The Verge 13 August, 2021 - 09:59am

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Boeing continues to work on valve problems that delayed the launch of its Starliner space capsule. No new date for the launch, originally scheduled for July 30, has been set, and The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening the delays could last months.

Everyone knows that getting to space is hard, and the delays aren’t really affecting Boeing ‘s (ticker BA) stock. Boeing, of course, has a much bigger business selling commercial airliners. What’s more, the delays aren’t all caused by Boeing. There has to be space to launch and everything has to be in the right orbit. Instead, the Starliner story shows just how impressive SpaceX is.

The Starliner is a reusable crew capsule designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station, or ISS, and back. The program is part of NASA plans to bring crewed launch capabilities back to the U.S. After the Space Shuttle was retired about a decade ago, America relied on foreign countries to take astronauts into space.

But America can now launch astronauts into space again, thanks to SpaceX. Elon Musk’s space company has ferried astronauts to the ISS twice—first in May 2020 on a certification flight and then this April.

The SpaceX success seems even more impressive considering that SpaceX’s Dragon capsule sits atop SpaceX rockets with engines built by SpaceX. The Boeing Starliner capsule sits atop a United Launch Alliance, or ULA, rocket. Some of the engines are made in Russia, while others come from suppliers such as Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD).

ULA—a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LMT)—and Aerojet are established space players. SpaceX was founded in 2002. It’s a teenager.

Now SpaceX has contracts with NASA and the Defense Department. Its products will eventually end up on the moon and Mars. The next test flight space investors get to see might just be an orbital flight for SpaceX’s huge Starship.

SpaceX also has a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit capable of delivering Wi-Fi service. The company seems so far ahead. How they do it is an open question.

Musk did lay out a five-step process he follows for manufacturing in a recent tour of Starbase in Texas. These are the elements: (1) Make requirement less dumb, (2) delete parts or processes, (3) simplify, (4) accelerate cycle times or “go faster” and (5) automate.

Maybe that process is why Musk believes SpaceX can also deliver space suits for the Moon mission faster than NASA can. The space suits are far behind schedule.

Based on history, it’s a good bet SpaceX can develop space suits quickly.

Sometimes success brings complaints. Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin is protesting SpaceX’s contract win for the Human Landing System for the moon, but Blue Origin hasn’t achieved orbital flight yet. The protest prompted a jab by Musk.

All the success is yielding financial benefits for Musk’s company. Investors show a lot of faith in SpaceX, valuing it at about $74 billion in private markets. Boeing, for comparison, has an enterprise value—which is market capitalization plus net debt—of about $180 billion. Of course, Boeing is more than 100 years old and has a huge commercial airplane business too.

Boeing stock is up about 5% since the initial Starliner launch was halted on July 30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have both gained about 2%, over the same span.

Space is still only a portion of Boeing’s overall defense business. Investors care much more about the commercial airplane business.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

Boeing continues to work on valve problems that delayed the launch of its Starliner space capsule.

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Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.

Boeing's Spaceship Problems Show Just How Amazing Musk's SpaceX Is

NASA Video 13 August, 2021 - 09:59am

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers visit http://www.djreprints.com.

Boeing continues to work on valve problems that delayed the launch of its Starliner space capsule. No new date for the launch, originally scheduled for July 30, has been set, and The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening the delays could last months.

Everyone knows that getting to space is hard, and the delays aren’t really affecting Boeing ‘s (ticker BA) stock. Boeing, of course, has a much bigger business selling commercial airliners. What’s more, the delays aren’t all caused by Boeing. There has to be space to launch and everything has to be in the right orbit. Instead, the Starliner story shows just how impressive SpaceX is.

The Starliner is a reusable crew capsule designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station, or ISS, and back. The program is part of NASA plans to bring crewed launch capabilities back to the U.S. After the Space Shuttle was retired about a decade ago, America relied on foreign countries to take astronauts into space.

But America can now launch astronauts into space again, thanks to SpaceX. Elon Musk’s space company has ferried astronauts to the ISS twice—first in May 2020 on a certification flight and then this April.

The SpaceX success seems even more impressive considering that SpaceX’s Dragon capsule sits atop SpaceX rockets with engines built by SpaceX. The Boeing Starliner capsule sits atop a United Launch Alliance, or ULA, rocket. Some of the engines are made in Russia, while others come from suppliers such as Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD).

ULA—a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LMT)—and Aerojet are established space players. SpaceX was founded in 2002. It’s a teenager.

Now SpaceX has contracts with NASA and the Defense Department. Its products will eventually end up on the moon and Mars. The next test flight space investors get to see might just be an orbital flight for SpaceX’s huge Starship.

SpaceX also has a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit capable of delivering Wi-Fi service. The company seems so far ahead. How they do it is an open question.

Musk did lay out a five-step process he follows for manufacturing in a recent tour of Starbase in Texas. These are the elements: (1) Make requirement less dumb, (2) delete parts or processes, (3) simplify, (4) accelerate cycle times or “go faster” and (5) automate.

Maybe that process is why Musk believes SpaceX can also deliver space suits for the Moon mission faster than NASA can. The space suits are far behind schedule.

Based on history, it’s a good bet SpaceX can develop space suits quickly.

Sometimes success brings complaints. Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin is protesting SpaceX’s contract win for the Human Landing System for the moon, but Blue Origin hasn’t achieved orbital flight yet. The protest prompted a jab by Musk.

All the success is yielding financial benefits for Musk’s company. Investors show a lot of faith in SpaceX, valuing it at about $74 billion in private markets. Boeing, for comparison, has an enterprise value—which is market capitalization plus net debt—of about $180 billion. Of course, Boeing is more than 100 years old and has a huge commercial airplane business too.

Boeing stock is up about 5% since the initial Starliner launch was halted on July 30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have both gained about 2%, over the same span.

Space is still only a portion of Boeing’s overall defense business. Investors care much more about the commercial airplane business.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

Boeing continues to work on valve problems that delayed the launch of its Starliner space capsule.

An error has occurred, please try again later.

This article has been sent to

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.

WSJ News Exclusive | Boeing’s Starliner Launch Could Face Delay of Several Months

The Wall Street Journal 12 August, 2021 - 05:46pm

Such a delay would be a setback for Boeing’s space program. The company has spent years developing the Starliner and was supposed to launch it late last month to dock with the International Space Station, without crew on board—after a failed attempt a year and a half ago. Ultimately, the capsule is supposed to ferry astronauts to the space station.

Boeing engineers have been working to repair a problem with some of the valves in a propulsion system on the Starliner that was discovered earlier this month while the vehicle sat on a launchpad. The company first said it was investigating the valve issues last week, and on Monday disclosed that 13 valves had failed to open as expected during preflight checks.

Nine of the valves are now functioning and Boeing engineers are working to address the other four, the company said Thursday.

“Over the past couple of days, our team has taken the necessary time to safely access and test the affected valves,” said John Vollmer, a Boeing executive overseeing the Starliner.

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