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Boeing Having Another Go at Starliner Spaceship Launch on May 19

Somehow, elements conspired these past couple of years to prevent America from having two spaceships at its disposal to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and back. Developed at about the same time, the SpaceX Crew Dragon and the Boeing Starliner got separated at birth, on account of the latter’s inability to function properly.
Boeing Starliner getting ready for the second launch 8 photos
Starliner arrives at the Vertical Integration FacilityStarliner arrives at the Vertical Integration FacilityStarliner arrives at the Vertical Integration FacilityStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flightStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flightStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flightStarliner is lifted atop the Atlas V for the second uncrewed test flight
NASA and Boeing first launched the Starliner in December 2019, and the thing cleared the pad and passed the border into space. A software glitch that told it it was in another position than it actually was stopped it from docking with the ISS, and the mission was considered a failure, despite a flawless solid ground airbag landing.

The two organizations tried again in August 2021, but this time the Starliner didn’t even leave the pad, after it developed a sudden case of “unexpected valve position” in the propulsion system.

Despite concentrated efforts to get to the bottom of the problem, engineers were unable to find and fix it in time to allow for a launch in 2021. So, NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) was pushed to 2022.

When exactly in 2022 that would happen was unclear until now, when NASA announced the targeted launch date is May 19. The Starliner will once again be carried into space by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, taking off from the Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The goal of the mission is to “test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket from launch to docking and return to Earth at one of five designated landing zones in the western United States.”

If successful, it will be followed by the Crew Flight Test (CFT), at a yet unspecified date, the thing’s first trip to space with astronauts on board.

 
 
 
 
 

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