Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5

Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5
Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5/NASA
Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5
Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5/NASA

Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5

Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5

Next Manned Launch of Boeing Starliner Rescheduled for June 5

Key Highlights:

  1. Boeing’s Starliner rescheduled to launch on June 5 after scrubbing on June 2.
  2. NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Barry Wilmore to pilot the mission.
  3. Mission marks a significant step for Boeing’s commercial crew program.

The next attempt for the first manned launch of Boeing’s Indian-origin piloted capsule, Starliner, to the International Space Station is now planned for June 5, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This comes after the initial launch attempt on June 2 was aborted, marking the sixth such delay due to technical issues.

The launch is set to take place from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Starliner mission will carry NASA astronauts Sunita “Suni” Williams and Barry “Butch” Wilmore on a week-long mission to the orbiting space station. Saturday’s launch was scrubbed minutes before liftoff due to a ground system computer triggering an automatic abort command.

NASA stated, “NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) are forgoing a Crew Flight Test launch attempt on June 2, to give the team additional time to assess a ground support equipment issue.” The next launch opportunities are scheduled for June 5 and June 6.

Williams and Wilmore, who will be the first to launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, remain in quarantine at Kennedy Space Center, engaging in pilot proficiency and other training activities leading up to the launch. Technicians and engineers with ULA worked overnight to address the ground support equipment issues encountered during the countdown. The faulty ground power unit was replaced, with no physical damage observed.

Once launched, Starliner is expected to reach the space station after a 24-hour flight and dock at the orbiting research outpost approximately 402 km above Earth. This mission, dubbed the Crew Flight Test, is crucial for obtaining NASA clearance for Boeing’s spacecraft to commence regular operations.

The launch is part of NASA’s commercial crew program, which selected Boeing and SpaceX to develop spacecraft for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station following the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program in 2011. Boeing received over USD 4 billion in federal funds to develop Starliner, while SpaceX received about USD 2.6 billion. While SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has completed 12 crewed missions since May 2020, Boeing’s Starliner has faced multiple setbacks.

Mission managers previously called off Starliner’s debut human flight on May 7 due to a valve glitch in the Atlas 5 rocket’s upper stage, which was successfully replaced and tested. Subsequent delays were due to a helium leak and other technical issues, pushing the launch date further.

For NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, this Starliner mission marks her third mission in space. Williams named the Starliner capsule “Calypso.”

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