Boeing Starliner’s First Crewed Flight Delayed Once More

The first crewed flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station has been postponed again due to a technical issue, NASA announced on Friday.

The launch, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday in Florida, is now planned for May 25 to allow teams to further investigate a helium leak associated with the service module. Earlier this month, a Starliner launch was delayed just before lift-off due to a separate technical problem.

The two astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, are currently in Houston, Texas awaiting the mission’s readiness. This delay adds to the already extensive postponements the mission has faced over the years. Boeing, the aerospace company behind the Starliner, is under scrutiny for safety concerns in its commercial aviation division.

NASA is relying on the success of the Starliner mission to certify a second commercial vehicle for transporting crews to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule achieved this milestone in 2020, ending NASA’s nearly decade-long reliance on Russian rockets after the retirement of the Space Shuttle program.

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