Boeing Starliner’s Crewed Mission Delayed Again Due to Spacecraft Issue

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GG News Bureau
Washington DC, 15th May.
Boeing’s highly anticipated first crewed mission with the Starliner spacecraft has faced yet another setback, with liftoff now postponed until at least May 21. This delay, announced on Tuesday, stems from an issue concerning the spacecraft’s propulsion system.

Originally slated for liftoff from Florida last week, the Starliner mission faced technical complications with its Atlas 5 rocket, prompting a rescheduling to May 17. However, a new obstacle related to the Starliner itself has emerged, leading to the latest postponement.

Boeing revealed that teams are currently addressing a small helium leak detected in the spacecraft’s service module, which has been traced to a component on one of the propulsion system’s control thrusters used for maneuvering in Earth’s orbit.

The Starliner project, spanning over a decade, aims to provide NASA with an additional spacecraft for transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). This mission, named the Crewed Flight Test, marks the final test before Starliner’s certification for routine astronaut missions to the ISS.

Despite completing an uncrewed trip to the ISS in 2022, Boeing has encountered various technical and managerial challenges throughout the spacecraft’s development.

NASA officials and Boeing engineers are now diligently working to rectify the helium leak before the next potential launch window on May 21. Helium plays a crucial role in pressurizing the fuel used to power Starliner’s thrusters for orbital maneuvering.

The Atlas 5 rocket, manufactured by United Launch Alliance (ULA), serves as the launch vehicle for Starliner. Prior to last week’s attempted launch, ULA detected a faulty valve on the Atlas 5, necessitating its replacement.

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