Russia Claims to Know All About American Spacecraft Offers Help with Starliner Ever since America dumped its use of the Soyuz rocket and found another, Crew Dragon way to reach the International Space Station (ISS), there seems to be a lot of angry looks being shots across the planet all the way from Russia. From time to time, aided by otherwise explainable mishaps with the second ISS-bound spacecraft, the Boeing Starliner, those angry looks become borderline mockery.
Starliner arrives at the Vertical Integration FacilityStarliner arrives at the Vertical Integration FacilityStarliner arrives at the Vertical Integration FacilityStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flightStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flightStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flightStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flight
But first, some context. Back in 2019, after the SpaceX Crew Dragon successfully reached space, Boeing tested its own capsule, the Starliner. Because of a software glitch, it failed to reach its intended target in orbit and came back down, tail between its legs.
After more than a year of hard work fixing the issue, the Starliner attempted another flight at the beginning of this month. Only this time it didn’t even leave the pad, as systems signaled yet another problem and the launch was postponed.
Well, postponed, and then scraped altogether, at least for the foreseeable future, as NASA and Boeing “will take whatever time is necessary to ensure Starliner is ready.”
Secondly, historically speaking, even when they were Cold War adversaries, America and Russia did work together from time to time when it came to space exploration. So the announcement made this week by the Moscow-based Keldysh Research Center, “the leading organization in the rocket and space industry in the field of rocket propulsion,” that it wants to lend a helping hand in fixing the Starliner does not come as a surprise.
What is a bit disturbing is the way the Center announced its willingness to help. According to general director Vladimir Koshlakov, speaking for the Tass news agency, Russia is “well aware of the level of development of American engine building, we are well aware of all their developments, therefore, if we apply, we will be ready to help.”
And that from the guys that just caused one of the largest incidents involving the ISS in space..