The unmanned test flight of the Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) is likely to continue to be delayed, after Boeing Corporation said on August 12 that engineers were still dealing with problems in the system. propulsion system.
The planned test launch of the Starliner spacecraft has been postponed several times, most recently earlier this month, just two hours before the spacecraft was scheduled to launch on an Atlas V rocket from the space base at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
|The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft landed at White Sands, New Mexico, USA. Documentary photo: AFP/VNA|
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said the test flight was delayed not because of bad weather but because of an abnormality in the Starliner’s propulsion system. Boeing engineers discovered an unusual valve position while preparing for launch. Earlier, in April, Boeing also had to postpone the launch due to unusually cold weather causing widespread power outages in the state of Texas.
In a statement on August 13, Mr. John Vollmer in charge of the Starliner program said that in the past days engineers have checked for malfunctioning valves.
Starliner is built by Boeing under contract with NASA. The launch of the Starliner is one of the most important missions of this year for both Boeing and NASA, as the Crew Dragon – built by SpaceX company also under contract with NASA – is already in the process of putting astronauts into space. sent them into space and brought them back to Earth after a decade of hiatus.
Both the Starliner and the Crew Dragon were built with the intention of carrying astronauts and possibly tourists to and from the ISS. Since the 2010s, Boeing has been working to develop a spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts to the ISS, but has encountered many obstacles and technical difficulties.
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has had 3 successful flights to the ISS with astronauts. Crew Dragon and Starliner are expected to open a new chapter in the era of American space travel, when private companies, rather than NASA, take control.
Boeing is about to launch Starliner, duel with SpaceX
Boeing is expected to launch its much-anticipated Starliner spacecraft – designed to carry NASA astronauts – in an unmanned test launch to the International Space Station today.