This Week in Space

Apr 26th 2024

This Week in Space 108

Starliner: Better Late Than Never?

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

Boeing's College Try

New episodes posted every Friday.
Category: News

We've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting for Boeing's Starliner to fly. First selected in 2010, along with SpaceX's Crew Dragon, Starliner has been behind schedule for years. SpaceX got $2.6 billion for its six dragon flights, and Boeing received more at $4.3 billion, so you'd expect Boeing to be first to fly, right? Well, as of today, SpaceX has delivered crews to the International Space Station eight times, to Boeing's... zero. Delayed development, turbulence problems with the capsule on the Atlas launcher, stuck valves, flammable materials, and faulty parachute lines have all contributed to the delays. Boeing has flown two uncrewed missions—the first one a partial failure, with the second, funded by Boeing itself, flown to NASA's satisfaction. Now it's time to put a crew aboard. Will Boeing overcome their issues and deliver the goods? Join us.


  • Voyager's Return: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirms reestablishment of contact with Voyager 1 after five months of silence, overcoming communication challenges over vast interstellar distances.
  • China's Shenzhou 18 and Tiangong Space Station: China successfully launches Shenzhou 18 to the Tiangong Space Station, which was recently hit by space debris, prompting China to revamp its space debris management strategies.
  • International Partnerships for Lunar Research: China announces new international partnerships for its International Lunar Research Station, contrasting its progress with NASA's Artemis Accords.

Main Topic: Boeing Starliner's Upcoming Mission

  • Starliner's Crewed Test Flight: A detailed discussion on Boeing's upcoming Starliner mission, highlighting the spacecraft's capabilities, the crew's preparations, and the significance of this test flight.
  • Spacecraft and Mission Overview: Insights into the Starliner's design, the choice of Atlas V rockets for the launch, and the planned landing procedures in the southwestern United States.
  • Crew Profiles: Focus on the astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams, discussing their backgrounds, roles in the mission, and expectations for the test flight.
  • Closing Thoughts: Rod and Tariq wrap up with final thoughts on the importance of the Starliner mission for Boeing and NASA, discussing potential outcomes and what they signify for the future of commercial spaceflight.

Download or subscribe to this show at

Get episodes ad-free with Club TWiT at