Boeing to Fly Starliner on SLS

Boeing to Fly Starliner on SLS

Idea by @RDhaniswara

Chicago, IL – Starliner's OFT-2 has slipped to 2022, due to technical problems and unforeseen difficulties. Due to these delays, Boeing has had to shift every commercial crew flight up a year or more, for up to 6 flights. Simultaneously, ULA's Atlas V rocket, Starliner's launch vehicle, has been sold out and will be phased out by Vulcan. The massive delays in Starliner's launch schedule indicates that its later flights (flights 3-6) won't make it in time for Atlas V's planned retirement date. Apogee spoke to Sob B'mith, the head propulsion systems engineer for Starliner, who said this:

"The recent delays in our Starliner program has made it apparent that we could no longer launch flights 3 through 6 on ULA's Atlas V. We tried to talk to ULA about flying Starliner on Vulcan, but Tory said that they won't be bothered to human rate Vulcan at the outset. We also talked to SpaceX about flying on their Falcon 9, but by that time Starship will have already taken over. So, we turned to the only other available human-rated launcher: SLS. Sure, it's overkill for our mission needs, but the added capability of the ICPS will be instrumental in getting Starliner to the correct orbit. We might even have to fly on Block 2, so the EUS will provide more than enough capability to send the capsule to the ISS."

Since Starliner is a bit smaller in diameter than Orion, Boeing would have to develop a new adapter that would allow for smooth transition between the ICPS's 5m diameter and the Starliner's 4.6m diameter.

Original image credit: Mack Crawford for NASASpaceFlight , Boeing

Photoshop by The KSP Maniac