June 23, 2024

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Boeing and NASA postpone Starliner takeoff again

Boeing and NASA postpone Starliner takeoff again

United States of America4823. Cape Canaveral (Florida, USA), 06/05/2024.- Image provided by United Launch Alliance (ULA) shows an Atlas V rocket carrying a Boeing Starliner being installed on Sunday, May 5, at Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC- ). 41) In Cape Canaveral, Florida (United States). Boeing and NASA are adjusting final preparations for the first crewed space mission aboard the Starliner spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) Monday evening from Cape Canaveral, Florida. EFE/ULA / For editorial use only / No sales / Available only to illustrate accompanying news / Mandatory credit

MIAMI (EFE).- Boeing and NASA on Friday postponed the launch of the first crewed mission of the Starliner spacecraft, which is now scheduled to begin its journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 25.

The reason for the new date is to allow more time to resolve “a small helium leak in the service module of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft,” as the US space agency explained on Friday.

The CFT mission (short for Crew Flight Test) was scheduled to lift off on May 21 from the launch complex at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in Florida (USA), with NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita Williams on board.

The fourth postponement of the Boeing mission

With what is known, this is the fourth postponement of this mission since last May 6, when it sought to ascend to the International Space Station, but the takeoff was suspended after an anomaly was discovered in the liquid oxygen tank of the Atlas V booster rocket, United Launch. Alliance Company (ULA).

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A United Launch Alliance (ULA) photo shows an Atlas V rocket carrying a Boeing Starliner. EFE/ULA

According to NASA, pressure tests on the Starliner’s helium system conducted last Wednesday showed that “the leak at the tip is stable and will not represent a danger at this level during the flight,” but technicians want to continue conducting tests to ensure that the ship’s performance.

New release date

Launching on May 25, at 3:09pm local time (7:09pm GMT), the ship and its crew will remain on the ISS for about a week before returning, with a planned landing in the southwestern United States. UU and supported by a parachute system.

Archive photo of the Starliner spacecraft.  EFE/Cristóbal HerreraArchive photo of the Starliner spacecraft.  EFE/Cristóbal Herrera
Archive photo of the Starliner spacecraft. EFE/Cristóbal Herrera

The success of the mission will allow Boeing to obtain the necessary certifications to serve as a second provider of cargo and crew transportation services to the International Space Station, as SpaceX already does as a result of million-dollar contracts the two private companies signed with NASA.