Boeing is planning a second launch of its Starliner crew spacecraft in order to dock with the International Space Station. Boeing first attempt, in December 2019, failed to reach the proper orbit, although it provided crucial data. The company appeared to be set to try again, but the launch was cancelled on Tuesday, the second time in less than a week.
During a health check of the spacecraft following Monday’s electrical storms in the region, engineers “detected unexpected valve position signals in the propulsion system,” according to Boeing. It’s unclear whether the storms were to blame for the technological problem. The business and NASA discussed Wednesday as a possible launch date, but the mission’s valve problem continues to plague it.
According to a brief press release issued two days later, the spacecraft was lifted off the pad and transferred to a hangar, where it will be put through various procedures to better comprehend the issue. While the Starliner is undergoing testing, NASA has announced that a cargo launch to the International Space Station, facilitated by Northrop Grumman, will take place on Tuesday, August 10. It’s unknown when the Starliner will take to the skies, and no new launch date has been set.
The later the launch, the more schedule difficulties the craft is likely to face. With the launch of the Northrop Grumman Cygnus and a SpaceX cargo resupply mission on Aug. 29, it’s a busy time for the International Space Station. Before the SpaceX vehicle docks, the Starliner would have to go in and out. The mission was supposed to launch on Friday, but it was postponed due to a problem with a Russian ISS module activating its thrusters immediately after docking with the station on Thursday. The space station was thrown around, forcing teams to assess its condition.