THE NEW SPACE RACE: Boeing faces ’emerging issues’ ahead of Starliner capsule’s 1st crewed flight in July.

Boeing aims to fuel Starliner next month in preparation for liftoff. During a “checkpoint review” conducted last Thursday (May 25), however, the company and NASA identified a few “emerging issues that need a path to closure” to resolve before taking that big step, according to NASA.

For example, teams will replace a bypass valve in the system that helps cool Starliner’s avionics, NASA officials wrote in an update on Friday (May 26). Such work is expected to take just a week and won’t affect the planned CFT timeline, they added.

Technicians and engineers are also assessing whether a certain kind of tape used to protect some of Starliner’s wires poses a flammability risk. And Boeing and NASA teams are reassessing the efficiency of some joints in Starliner’s parachute system “based on new data reviews as part of the ongoing design certification process,” agency officials said in Friday’s statement.

“We are taking a methodical approach to the first crewed flight of Starliner incorporating all of the lessons learned from the various in-depth testing campaigns, including Starliner’s flight tests and the agency’s verification efforts,” Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said in the same statement.

NASA also says that all “anomalies are closed” from last year’s successful unmanned test flight, so at least there’s that.