Home / Science / We finally know why the Boeing test flight commander gave up the Starliner – BGR test

We finally know why the Boeing test flight commander gave up the Starliner – BGR test

  • The Boeing Starliner crew change becomes a little clearer as we learn about one of the reasons Commander Chris Ferguson stepped down.
  • The astronaut had family commitments in 2021, including his daughter’s wedding.
  • The mission was delayed so many times and the coronavirus caused so much trouble, things got bad for the astronaut.

A few days ago astronaut Chris Ferguson announced that he would step down from his position as commander of the first manned test flight Boeing Starliner in 2021. This is a big deal, as Starliner has been repeatedly delayed and any further hiccups only serve to put the company even further behind its rival SpaceX, which has already fulfilled its promise to NASA with Crew Dragon.

At the time, Ferguson̵

7;s statement was relatively vague. He noted that he had previous commitments that he couldn’t ignore. Now, there are many things that a person strives for, but there are not many that cannot be canceled for space travel. Thanks to a Boeing statement, we now know what keeps Ferguson’s feet planted firmly on the ground.

According to a company statement, at least one of her commitments that Ferguson must attend is her daughter’s wedding. This … makes a lot of sense, actually.

As I mentioned in the first article covering this story, the coronavirus pandemic has seriously messed up many and many plans both in the United States and around the world. In fact, NASA and Boeing noted that the Starliner program was also affected by the pandemic, and given the project’s history of delays and setbacks, it’s no surprise.

Additionally, wedding venues have been notoriously strict about cancellations this year, and from personal experience, I know that there are a shocking number of venues that don’t accept rescheduling or cancellations without charging huge fees, despite the spread of the virus. It’s a bad situation all around, and while we can’t know for sure what Ferguson’s circumstances are, I’d hesitate to jump to the conclusion that the astronaut or his daughter is “selfish,” as some commentators have argued.

In all likelihood, the original marriage plans (and any other commitments made by Ferguson for 2021) did not interfere with the original planned launch of Starliner. Remember, Starliner launches have been delayed many times, and the major glitch of the unmanned test mission glitch delayed Boeing’s timeline significantly. Now, the launch (as it currently stands) is slated to overlap with Ferguson’s family events, and he’s made the decision to put his family first.

But don’t worry, as Boeing’s Starliner program is doing, the manned launch may be delayed again, so you never know who might be aboard that spacecraft when it finally launches.

Mike Wehner has been reporting on technology and video games for the past decade, covering the latest news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones and the technology of the future.

Most recently, Mike worked as a Tech Editor at The Daily Dot and has appeared on USA Today, Time.com, and countless other websites and in print. His love for
the report is second only to his gambling addiction.

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