Boeing Starliner launch delayed indefinitely

The CST-100 Starliner capsule is mounted on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The CST-100 Starliner capsule is mounted on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
picture: NASA/Joel Kosky

The second unmanned test of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft has been postponed indefinitely as task teams at Boeing and NASA resolve an issue related to the spacecraft’s propulsion system.

An article about Gizmodo Published in July 2020, it was titled: “Failed Starliner Test Investigation Exposes Boeing’s Weakness as a NASA Partner.” This is how I felt when I wrote this article, and this latest news does not change my opinion of the space giant.

The Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission was to begin Tuesday August 3, but a series of “unexpected valve position indications” in the CST-100 Starliner’s propulsion system caused a delay, according to release from NASA. The launch countdown was already in progress when the problem was discovered, i.e. the fuse was in the wrong configuration required to launch.

This is now the second delay of the capsule’s second unmanned flight test, not including the prolonged delay caused by first The test failed in December 2019, as Boeing had to board 80 planes Recommendations Submitted by the NASA-Boeing Joint Independent Review Team. The Starliner was supposed to launch on Friday, July 29th, but flag modulo failed from Russia forced to postpone.

On Tuesday, August 3, the Boeing and NASA mission teams attempted to fix the problem by “activating valves in the service module’s thrust system,” NASA notes. Some potential causes, including those related to software, have been ruled out, but the team needs more time to complete its assessment.

Se realizarán más inspecciones y pruebas, por lo que el equipo planea transportar el cohete Atlas V de United Launch Alliance, con Starliner colocado encima, a la Instalación de Integración Vertical (VIF) en la Estación de la Fuerza Espacial de Cabo, Cañaveral en Florida United State. The team will shut down the Starliner and then move the rocket and spacecraft to VIF. The rescheduled release date and time has not been specified.

“NASA and Boeing will take the time to ensure that the Starliner is ready for its critical test of the unmanned flight to the space station and will look for the next opportunity available after the issue is resolved,” NASA wrote.

Now is the part where I’m forced to say that this is all a normal part of development and testing, that it’s good to be safe and that problems are to be expected, so blah blah. But as much as I support this project, it has clearly been a disaster. Boeing needs to get the job done, whether it’s designing safe commercial crew vehicles for NASA astronauts or raising awareness pilots A very serious feature added to the next generation aircraft.

The Starliner would potentially be successful and give NASA a second option to get astronauts to the International Space Station ( Dragon Crew SpaceX is already running). But the space agency should seriously consider its options when buyingScar future partners.

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