Boeing’s Starliner received’t fly on Tuesday in spite of everything

NASA had initially aimed to ship Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft on its first crewed voyage on May 6, however a problem surfaced with United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket simply two hours earlier than liftoff, prompting the launch to be scrubbed.

It was a setback for everybody concerned — not least NASA astronauts Bob Wilmore and Suni Williams, who minutes earlier than the launch was canceled, had been strapped into their seats contained in the Starliner on the launchpad on the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But as NASA chief Bill Nelson stated when the countdown clock was halted, security should come first.

NASA revealed a revised focused launch date of May 17, however this was pushed to May 21 after engineers found a “small helium leak” on the Starliner spacecraft that needed to be handled.

Then, on Friday, NASA stated that engineers will “take additional time to work through spacecraft closeout processes and flight rationale,” which implies it’s now concentrating on launch for no sooner than 3:09 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 25.

It stated the additional time would permit it to “further assess a small helium leak in the Boeing Starliner spacecraft’s service module traced to a flange on a single reaction control system thruster.”

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and Boeing’s Starliner capsule stay within the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Kennedy, whereas Wilmore and Williams are nonetheless being quarantined in Houston as prelaunch operations progress. They will fly again to Kennedy nearer to the launch date.

When the long-awaited mission lastly will get underway, the 2 astronauts will fly to the International Space Station, the place they’ll spend a few week earlier than returning to Earth within the Starliner.

A profitable mission will pave the best way for certification of the spacecraft, permitting NASA to make use of it for crew rotation flights to and from the ISS and offering it with one other transportation possibility alongside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which carried out its first crewed flight in 2020 and has since flown eight operational flights to the orbital outpost.

NASA will stay stream the launch and early phases of the mission. Here’s how to watch.

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