NASA, Boeing Scrub Launch of Starliner Space Craft for Second Time in Week

The U.S. space agency, NASA, and aerospace company Boeing said they have scrubbed the launch of the company’s Starliner spacecraft for the second time in a week.In a release, Boeing said the launch of the Starliner crew capsule onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket was scrubbed after a prelaunch check indicated an “unexpected valve position” in the propulsion system. Liftoff had been scheduled for 1:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday.The capsule, designed to carry up to seven crew and passengers, was to be test-launched unmanned to the International Space Station (ISS).The Boeing crew capsule had first been scheduled to launch last Friday, but that launch was postponed after the Russian lab module, Nauka, caused chaos at the space station. The Russian module unexpectedly fired its thrusters, which tilted the space station 45 degrees outside its typical orientation.The Starliner launch is seen as an opportunity for Boeing to redeem itself following an aborted initial test launch of the space craft in December 2019. NASA officials say a software problem sent the capsule into the wrong orbit and was not able to reach the ISS.In the company’s statement, Boeing’s commercial crew program manager John Vollmer, said, “We’re disappointed with today’s outcome and the need to reschedule our Starliner launch. Human spaceflight is a complex, precise and unforgiving endeavor, and Boeing and NASA teams will take the time they need to ensure the safety and integrity of the spacecraft and the achievement of our mission objectives.”NASA says Boeing’s next available launch attempt will be Wednesday at 12:57 EDT.  

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