Boeing Starliner crew’s departure delayed again due to spacecraft problem – 05/14/2024 at 6:30 p.m.

Boeing Starliner crew’s departure delayed again due to spacecraft problem – 05/14/2024 at 6:30 p.m.
Boeing Starliner crew’s departure delayed again due to spacecraft problem – 05/14/2024 at 6:30 p.m.

((Automated translation by Reuters, please see disclaimer https://bit.ly/rtrsauto))

(More details on the Starliner launch) by Joey Roulette

The launch of Boeing BA.N’s first Starliner mission carrying humans into space has been delayed until May 21 due to problems with the spacecraft’s propulsion system, Boeing said Tuesday.

The Starliner mission carrying two NASA astronauts into space was scheduled to take off from Florida last week until a technical problem with its Atlas 5 rocket led to a postponement until Friday, May 17, the latest postponement for a program which is years behind schedule and more than $1.5 billion over budget.

A new technical problem, which now concerns the Starliner itself, has led to a new postponement until at least next Tuesday, Boeing said in a statement.

“Starliner teams are working to resolve a small helium leak detected in the spacecraft’s service module,” Boeing said, adding that engineers located the leak on a component of one of the 28 thrusters propulsion system control, used for maneuvers in Earth orbit.

Boeing has been developing the Starliner for more than a decade to provide NASA with a second U.S. spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, built under the same NASA program, launched humans into space for the first time in 2020.

The Starliner’s latest mission, called Crewed Flight Test, will be the final test before the spacecraft is certified by NASA to fly routine astronaut missions to the ISS. Boeing completed an uncrewed journey of the Starliner to the ISS in 2022, after years of technical and management problems.

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