NASA, Boeing say Starliner launch likely for May 19

Boeing’s Starliner capsule is lastly able to reattempt a key take a look at launch to the International Space (*19*) on May 19, officers stated Tuesday. The uncrewed flight, named OFT-2, is a crucial step in the direction of certifying the spaceship for ultimately carrying passengers, giving NASA a second taxi supplier alongside SpaceX.

Aerospace large Boeing, which was awarded a $4.2 billion contract for the aim in 2014, initially tried the take a look at in 2019, however didn’t rendezvous with the ISS after experiencing software glitches that brought on flight anomalies.

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The program has since skilled a number of delays. It was final alleged to fly in August 2021, however the mission was aborted simply hours earlier than launch as a result of excessive humidity led to corrosion inside Starliner’s valves.

“It’s been a hard eight months I would say, but very fulfilling that we’ve resolved the problem,” stated Steve Stich, supervisor of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program on a name with reporters.

NASA is concentrating on 6:54 pm (2254 GMT) for lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

If OFT-2 succeeds, Boeing should full one other crewed take a look at earlier than it’s formally licensed, with the company aiming for the top of 2022 for this mission, Boeing’s Mark Nappi stated.

In the meantime, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has already ferried greater than 20 individuals to the ISS on its Crew Dragon capsule since its first crewed flight in 2020.

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