Home Science NASA and Boeing Delay First Crewed Starliner Mission to ISS

NASA and Boeing Delay First Crewed Starliner Mission to ISS

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International Space Station
International Space Station

NASA and Boeing have once again postponed the launch of the first crewed mission of the Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The new launch date is set for no earlier than Tuesday, May 25, as announced by the agency on Friday.

The spacecraft was initially scheduled to launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket on May 6 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. However, the launch attempt was scrubbed due to technical issues, leading to multiple subsequent postponements.

NASA, Boeing, and ULA teams will use the additional time to complete spacecraft closeout processes and flight rationale before proceeding with the launch. The delay will allow further assessment of a small helium leak in the Boeing Starliner’s service module, traced to a flange on a single reaction control system thruster.

The flight test will carry NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the ISS. This mission marks the first time astronauts will launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner to the space station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The astronauts will spend approximately a week at the ISS before returning to Earth, where they will make a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the southwestern United States, according to NASA.

Upon the successful completion of this mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying the Starliner and its systems for regular crewed rotation missions to the ISS.

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