Space: The launch of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft has been postponed to May 17

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spaceThe takeoff of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft has been postponed until May 17

The Starliner spacecraft was initially scheduled to lift off to the International Space Station on Monday, May 6, but its liftoff was canceled at the last minute due to a technical problem.

An anomaly has been identified in the valve of the Atlas V rocket that will propel the Starliner capsule into orbit.

An anomaly has been identified in the valve of the Atlas V rocket that will propel the Starliner capsule into orbit.

Getty Images via AFP

NASA announced on Tuesday that the first manned flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft has been postponed until May 17, a day after it was decided to postpone just before takeoff due to a technical problem.

The US space agency wrote in a press release that the lift-off attempt could take place “no later than 6:16 p.m., Friday, May 17” while repairs are made. This postponement strikes a program that was characterized by a series of setbacks, between unpleasant surprises and successive postponements.

Defective valve

On Monday, Boeing's Starliner spacecraft was scheduled to finally take off for the first time, with astronauts on board, bound for the International Space Station, thus joining the very special club of spaceships that have transported humans.

But about two hours before the scheduled launch, while the two American astronauts were strapped into the capsule, the liftoff was aborted: an anomaly was identified in the valve of the Atlas V rocket that should propel the Starliner capsule into orbit.

In the evening, the take-off date was mentioned as Friday, May 10. But further analysis showed that the valve in question actually needed to be replaced, a task that would require returning the missile to its hangar. NASA said that astronauts Butch Wilmore and Sonny Williams will remain isolated in the meantime.

Boeing plays a big role

Boeing is playing a big role in this final test mission, which should allow it to prove its ship is safe before beginning regular missions to the International Space Station (ISS) — four years behind SpaceX.

For NASA, which ordered this vehicle ten years ago, the risks are also high: having a second vehicle, in addition to the SpaceX vehicle, to transport American astronauts, would make it possible to better respond to “various emergency scenarios,” according to For example, if a problem occurs on a ship.

(France Press agency)

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