NASA, Boeing Starliner mission to ISS delayed again, launch uncertain The first test flight in 2019 didn't end well. Boeing looked ready for a second attempt this summer, but it's now been scrapped twice.

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The first test flight in 2019 did not end well. Boeing looked set to prepare for a second attempt this summer, but it has now been canceled twice.

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The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft sits atop a ULA Atlas V rocket in July 2021.


Boeing is hoping to launch its Starliner crew capsule for the second time in an attempt to dock with the International Space Station. Boeing’s First attempt in December 2019 failed to reach the right orbit but gave it valuable data. The company seemed ready to try again, but its Launch attempt was cleared Tuesday – Second delay in less than a week.

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Boeing said Tuesday that engineers “detected unexpected valve position signals in the propulsion system” during a spacecraft health check after a lightning storm hit the area on Monday. It is uncertain whether the storm was responsible for a technical problem.

The company and NASA considered Wednesday as a possible target for a new launch time, but Valve’s issue is plaguing the mission. “Engineering teams have ruled out a number of possible causes, including software, but additional time is needed to complete the evaluation,” NASA said Tuesday night. There is no new launch date at this time.

The mission was originally scheduled to take off on Friday, but was delayed due to a Release with the Russian ISS module on Thursday Firing its thrusters immediately after docking with the station. This knocked the space station around and forced teams to evaluate the station’s condition.

“The International Space Station team will use the time to continue to investigate the work of the newly arrived Roscosmos ferry Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) and to ensure that the station’s Starliner arrives,” NASA said in a statement on July 29. Will be ready for.”

When it finally happens, NASA will livestream the launch.

When Starliner finally launches, it will fly on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. The capsule will be packed with approximately 400 pounds of crew supplies and cargo. If all goes well, it will connect to the space station about 24 hours later. The docking will also be covered live by NASA TV.

A software defect and a communications link problem led to the premature end of the original Boeing test flight in 2019, although the CST-100 Starliner capsule returned safely to Earth. The upcoming Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission is a chance for Boeing to thoroughly test its hardware and software before a crew of three American astronauts will fly aboard the Starliner.

Both Boeing and SpaceX are part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is about sending astronauts to the ISS from American soil. SpaceX has now carried 10 astronauts to the ISS, and Boeing would like to catch up. But first, he must demonstrate that his Starliner can safely reach the ISS and return to Earth.

Starliner will spend five to 10 days aboard the ISS before bringing research samples back to Earth. Boeing will aim to get the spacecraft back for a parachute landing in the desert of New Mexico.

“OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station,” NASA said in a statement after the conclusion of a flight readiness review on July 22. will help.”

The mission is a significant step forward in NASA’s plan to run regular crew launches from the US, eliminating reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Boeing is also looking ahead at its first crewed mission, Bo-CFT, which it expected to launch within the next six months. Delays with OFT-2 could mean a long wait before people on the Starliner could take off.

Follow Nerdshala’s 2021 space calendar to stay updated with all the latest space news this year. You can also add it to your Google Calendar.

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