That new software problem, not previously discussed by NASA or Boeing, was discussed during a February 6 meeting of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel that examined the December uncrewed test flight of Starliner that was cut short by a timer error. "We don't know how many software errors we have - if we have just two or many hundreds", Loverro said.
The Starliner crew capsule was put to test on December 20 when it was launched on an unmanned mission to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) after which it was supposed to touch down back on Earth.
NASA says that the team was able to identify the cause of the software glitches, though the communications failure is still under investigation.
Boeing's Starliner Capsule already failed once because of a timer delay during one of the launch tests and is now experiencing failure once again with the Starliner's parachute.
Rising concerns: Neither NASA nor Boeing had given any previous indication of more than one issue, although both organizations became aware of the problems during the mission.More news: Sharp rise in brain injuries from Iran raid on U.S. base
The recent report by panel member Paul Hill revealed that the newly developed software bug, which Boeing said was fixed while the Starliner was still in orbit, could have lead to the enormous firings that ultimately could have resulted in the catastrophic spacecraft failure.
The additional software error places into further doubt that Starliner will be permitted to carry astronauts to the space station without another test flight.
Intermittent Space-to-Ground communications issues that impeded the Flight Control team's ability to communicate and send commands to the spacecraft.
Douglas Loverro, head of NASA's human exploration and operations mission directorate, said Boeing needs to check and verify all of its flight software before any decisions are made on a possible reflight. The "critical software defects" - either of which could have caused the uncrewed Starliner's destruction - prompted NASA to open a broad review of Boeing's quality control.
An error with the elapsed timer of the mission, which incorrectly probed the time of the Atlas V booster nearly 11 hours before launch. "And so, we want to understand what the culture is at Boeing, that may have led to that". "Separately from the anomaly investigation, NASA also is still reviewing the data collected from the test flight to help determine the future plan". This contract, issued by NASA, is aimed to minimize development costs through private investment and development, and actually includes two space transportation vehicles; the first is the previously mentioned Starliner, while the other is SpaceX's Crew Dragon. The team had no choice but to redirect the spacecraft so it would make it into a stable orbit.More news: More companies bail on MWC as GSMA updates coronavirus precautions
The joint NASA-Boeing news conference was convened one day after a NASA safety panel disclosed the second software glitch, which wasn't discovered until hours before the Starliner's landing on December 22 in New Mexico.
The capsule, which for the most part was not damaged in re-entry, is being refurbished at Kennedy Space Center.
"The review of SpaceX proved to be valuable to both NASA and the company, so it's a prudent step to execute the same process with the other provider", she said.
Why it matters: Boeing is expected to start flying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on Starliner this year, but the test flight issues could push back Boeing's first crewed flight.More news: Trump unveils election-year budget plan