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Boeing Fights with Key Supplier

The issue involves fuel valves in the propulsion system.

Boeing and an important supplier for the aerospace company, Aerojet Rocketdyne, are in the midst of a feud regarding the Starliner spacecraft.

The CST-100 Starliner is scheduled for a Florida launch on an Atlas 5 rocket to the International Space Station on May 19. 

The project is Boeing’s attempt to prove to NASA the spacecraft could safely ferry astronauts to and from the ISS.

However, Boeing and Aerojet cannot seem to agree on the cause of an issue involving fuel valves in the spacecraft’s propulsion system. 

The problem forced a postponement of a test flight last July and, according to sources familiar with the matter, each company blamed the other.

Boeing postponed the flight because 13 fuel valves in the propulsion system, which helps steer Starliner in space, became stuck and unresponsive in the closed position.

According to Reuters, Starliner has cost Boeing $595 million in charges since 2019.

A Boeing spokesperson acknowledged the company intends to redesign the valve system.

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