1st crewed launch of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft to ISS encounters another delay

(MENAFN) NASA announced on Tuesday that the first crewed launch of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) has encountered another delay, with no immediate rescheduling.

"The next possible launch opportunity is still being discussed," stated the US space agency in a released statement.

This setback, originally scheduled for Saturday, marks the third postponement this month for the highly anticipated mission, critical for NASA's certification of a second commercial vehicle to transport crews to the ISS, in addition to Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Earlier in the month, the Starliner launch was halted just hours before liftoff, with astronauts already in position, due to an unrelated technical issue. Last week, another delay was announced to provide additional time for teams to evaluate a helium leak associated with the service module positioned atop the rocket.

"The team has been in meetings for two consecutive days, assessing flight rationale, system performance, and redundancy," NASA stated on Tuesday. "There is still forward work in these areas."

These delays add to the challenges faced by the Starliner program, which has encountered years of setbacks. This occurs during a challenging period for Boeing, which is simultaneously addressing safety concerns surrounding its commercial aviation sector.

Since 2020, NASA has relied on SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, for crew transport to the ISS, marking the conclusion of nearly a decade of dependence on Russian rockets following the discontinuation of the Space Shuttle program.



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