On Wednesday, Boeing announced a $257 million expense in the second quarter attributed to its Starliner astronaut spacecraft program. This brings the total overrun costs of the program to $1.5 billion due to ongoing delays. The company stated that the charge was a consequence of their recent decision to indefinitely postpone the inaugural crewed Starliner launch, which was originally planned to carry two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in late July.
However Boeing, encountered two new issues with Starliner, leading them to cancel the launch in order to address these problems. This delay represents the most recent setback in Boeing’s development of the Starliner spacecraft, which has experienced a series of interruptions throughout its development process.
Boeing’s Starliner Program and Financial Challenges
Starting in 2014, NASA granted Boeing a nearly $5 billion fixed-price contract to develop Starliner. However, the company has faced consistent losses on the program, recording charges amounting to $1.47 billion according to its annual reports and most recent quarterly filing.
Throughout the years, these losses have varied, ranging from $57 million in 2018 to $489 million in 2019.
Boeing’s Starliner program is in competition with Elon Musk‘s SpaceX, which is on track to complete all six of its initially contracted NASA missions before Boeing’s first mission.
Despite the setbacks, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun expressed confidence in the development of Starliner during an earnings call on Wednesday. He emphasized the company’s alignment with NASA’s safety priorities and commitment to taking the necessary time to get it right.
During the second quarter, Boeing faced losses in its defense, space, and security unit on various programs. This included a $189 million loss in the T-7A trainer jet program and a $68 million charge related to its MQ-25 unit.
Furthermore, in the previous year, Boeing reported additional losses on the Air Force One program, causing the charges on the contract, which was negotiated with the Trump administration, to surpass $1 billion.
Boeing faces a significant $257 million expense in Q2 for its Starliner program, pushing the total overrun costs to $1.5 billion due to ongoing delays. Two new issues led to the launch’s cancellation, adding to a series of setbacks. Despite challenges, CEO Dave Calhoun remains committed to safety and improvement. The company also encountered losses in its defense and security units during the quarter, contributing to financial challenges.