The mission had to be postponed due to a problem in the propulsion system of the Starliner space capsule.
Mission postponed. Boeing announced Tuesday, August 3, to delay the unmanned test flight of its Starliner space capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). At issue: a problem in the propulsion system. The spacecraft was scheduled to launch into space from Cape Canaveral, Fla., At 1:20 p.m. local time, aboard an Atlas V rocket built by the United Launch Alliance consortium. But nearly two hours before launch, Boeing announced on Twitter that its plans had changed.
We’re standing down from today’s #Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 launch. During pre-launch preparations, our engineers detected unexpected valve position indications in the propulsion system.Read the full statement: https://t.co/uQBjvq8ObU pic.twitter.com/4X2INbZj7Q
The mission had to be canceled because of “unexpected indications on the position of the valves of the Starliner propulsion system”, for its part specified the NASA (content in English). The next possible window for the launch will be Wednesday at 12:57 p.m. local time. The test mission was already scheduled to take place on July 30 but had to be postponed to Tuesday when a Russian science module unexpectedly activated its thrusters after docking with the ISS, changing its orientation.
After ending its own space shuttle program in 2011, NASA secured the services of Boeing and SpaceX so as to no longer need Russian rockets to reach the ISS. SpaceX has already transported no less than ten astronauts to the Space Station, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft.
For its part, Boeing has fallen behind. In December 2019, during a first test flight, a software problem had caused a problem in the way the capsule had ignited its thrusters. As a result, Starliner had not had enough fuel to reach the ISS and had turned back to Earth prematurely. Subsequently, an investigation showed that the capsule had almost experienced a serious flight anomaly on entering the atmosphere.
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