Boeing returns Starliner, its space capsule, to factory, expects months delay for its flight

Boeing returns Starliner, its space capsule, to factory, expects months delay for its flight

On Friday, August 13, the company said that Boeing’s Starliner space capsule, which was scheduled to cancel its takeoff to the International Space Station last week due to problems discovered in the propulsion system, will have to return to the factory for repair.

This new setback is delaying by at least several months this crucial test flight for Boeing and NASA. Boeing said the capsule should be removed from the top of the Atlas 5 missile and returned to a factory in Kennedy Center, Florida, for inspection. In a press release.

Read also A test flight of the unmanned Starliner space capsule to the International Space Station has been delayed

It’s probably ‘It’s too early to say’ Whether this unmanned test flight could be made this year, John Vollmer, vice president and director of Boeing’s Commercial Aviation Program, told a news conference. Four valves for the propulsion system “keep closed” Boeing added in its statement that despite the efforts of technicians to solve the problem.

SpaceX confirms its leadership

This is a huge fiasco for the group, which continues its setbacks with Starliner. The capsule was to be one of two, along with SpaceX, to allow NASA to redirect its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil. Since the space shuttles closed in 2011, the space agency has already relied on Russian rockets.

If SpaceX now sends at least a dozen astronauts to the International Space Station, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, Boeing will still have to pass its first unmanned test flight, which should prove that the capsule is safe. This test flight was first attempted, in 2019, but then came close to disaster, due to a software issue. The Starliner must have returned to Earth prematurely, and a later investigation showed that the capsule nearly experienced a serious flight anomaly as it re-entered the atmosphere.

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Read the interview also: Thomas Pesquet is ready for a new takeoff into space

The world with AFP

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