Boeing and NASA have again postponed the launch of the Starliner spacecraft
The first flight of the Starliner spacecraft with a crew to the International Space Station, which was supposed to take place on July 21, has been postponed. This was announced by representatives of NASA and the Boeing company, writes The New York Times.
The decision came after engineers discovered two new problems with the Boeing spacecraft: a problem with the parachutes and a potentially flammable tape that covers internal electrical wiring.
Now two NASA astronauts, Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore, will have to wait months or longer for a test flight aboard the Starliner capsule.
We remind you that to get to the space station and back, NASA relies on Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. It delivered its first crew of astronauts into orbit in May 2020 aboard the Crew Dragon capsule. Since then, SpaceX has launched eight more crews to the space station.
But NASA also hired Boeing to build a capsule so that one could serve as a backup if something went wrong with the other.
Boeing’s Starliner capsule has already flown into orbit twice without astronauts on board. The first flight, in December 2019, was to precede the flight with astronauts on board. But a series of software errors in space put the flight in jeopardy.
Second flight without a crew in May 2022 was more successful. But at first it was planned that it would take place in August 2021. Before this flight, engineers discovered that the valves in the Starliner power plant had jammed, and the device had to be recalled from the launch pad and sent for repairs.
Technical problems became a burden for Boeing. At the same time, the company does not plan to abandon its application for the construction of Starliner.