The cost of Boeing’s Starliner is close to $900 million.

Los Angeles — Boeing said on October 26 that it would take yet another charge against earnings due to the CST-100 Starliner commercial crew program’s delays, increasing the company’s overall losses on the programme to around $900 million to date.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Boeing disclosed a $195 million charge it attributed to Starliner for its fiscal third quarter. It follows a $93 million charge that was disclosed in its financial results for the second quarter on July 27.

The most recent charge takes Boeing’s cumulative losses on the Starliner programme, which date back to early 2020 and include a $410 million charge after a first uncrewed test flight called the Orbital Flight Test (OFT) was curtailed by technical issues, to $883 million. When valve issues caused the OFT-2 mission to be delayed in October 2021, the corporation had to take an additional $185 million penalty.

The Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission, which is currently planned to take place no early than February 2023, will be Starliner’s first journey with astronauts aboard. The business blamed the charges in the last two quarters in part on increasing expenses to make Starliner ready for this flight. That will make it possible for NASA to launch operational, or post-certification, missions as early as the fall of 2023.

According to Boeing, a shift in the timeline for those post-certification missions was a major contributing element in the most recent charge. According to the company’s SEC filing, “the increase noted in the third quarter of 2022 was principally driven by timing of the three future post certification missions which are now projected to be completed by 2026.” Until recently, “we had believed that the post certification missions would be finished by 2024.”

According to NASA officials, after the CFT mission, when Starliner is certified, it will alternate with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which has been flying all of NASA’s commercial crew missions since it was certified following the Demo-2 test flight in mid-2020. Thus, each business would fly one commercial flight for NASA each year.

Six post-certification trips are a part of Boeing’s commercial crew contract, which NASA awarded to the company in 2014. NASA gave SpaceX the same amount of money, but twice more missions were added to the contract, bringing the overall number of missions to 14 as of the end of August.

In the press announcement it released about its quarterly financial results, Boeing did not go into much detail regarding the commercial crew charge; it merely said that it had reported losses on four aircraft programmes and on commercial crew in its Defense, Space, and Security business unit. Additionally, the commercial crew charge was not mentioned by the corporation in an earnings call.

The business did issue a warning in the SEC filing that the Starliner program’s most recent charge would not be the last. The statement read, “Risk Remains that We May Record Additional Losses in Future Periods.”

Leave a Comment