A planned launch in August didn’t work out, and now it looks like we’ll have to wait some time.
As Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is having trouble reaching the International Space Station, Orbital Flight Test-2 without a crew to the ISS is now being pushed to next year. The test is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which sees the space agency working with private companies such as Boeing and SpaceX to shuttle astronauts to the station.
NASA said Friday that the team behind OFT-2 is “working toward launch opportunities in the first half of 2022.” This follows a clean launch last August. In December 2019, the first major, with , but encounters a timing glitch and fails to reach the ISS. However, it returned safely to Earth.
The issue now with OGT-2 relates to an “oxidizer isolation valve issue on the Starliner Service Module Propulsion System,” NASA said in a blog post yesterday.
Steve Stich, manager of the Commercial Crew Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, said, “This is a complex issue involving dangerous objects and complex areas of spacecraft that cannot be easily accessed. For a systematic approach and sound engineering.” Florida, said in the Post.
In addition to trying to achieve NASA’s goal of “safe, reliable and cost-effective access from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit”,relationship with the space agency And the plan from the Moon to Mars. Artemis calls for the first woman and the next man to land on the moon , and eventually establish permanent exploration there. Knowledge gained from Artemis will be used to prepare for sending astronauts .
So far, SpaceX and its Crew Dragon spacecraft have had better luck than Boeing when it comes to the Commercial Crew Program. After some delay of its own, the company founded by Elon Musk completed itsin 2019 and since many times. Earlier this week, NASA said it was reassigning a pair of astronauts from a Boeing mission to the upcoming SpaceX mission. In April, NASA To provide the manned landing system for the Artemis program.
There’s also a space-tourism angle for SpaceX. In June, the company signed an agreementStarting next year (at a $55 million price tag per seat). And last month SpaceX took a step in that direction when sent a team made up of private citizens orbiting around the Earth.
It is unclear when Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 will take place.
“The potential launch window for OFT-2 continues to be assessed by NASA, Boeing, United Launch Alliance and Eastern Range,” NASA said in its post. “The team is currently working towards pending hardware preparation, rocket manifest and space station availability opportunities in the first half of 2022.”