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June 3, 2024

Boeing and NASA Schedule June 5 for Starliner’s First Crewed Flight to ISS

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is prepared for another launch attempt of two astronauts aboard Boeing's Starliner-1 Crew Flight Test (CFT) on a mission to the International Space Station, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. May 31, 2024. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Boeing and NASA have announced plans to launch the new Starliner space capsule on June 5, marking its debut crewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS). This decision follows the postponement of the initial test flight attempt, which was scheduled for Saturday but was halted due to a technical issue.

The Starliner capsule was set for launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida when a ground system computer triggered an automatic abort command, shutting down the launch sequence. NASA teams worked overnight to diagnose the problem, which was traced to a ground power supply issue within one of the chassis responsible for powering a subset of computer cards that manage various system functions.

The faulty ground power unit was swiftly addressed by removing, inspecting, and replacing the problematic chassis with a spare. This swift troubleshooting and resolution have set the stage for the rescheduled launch.

The CST-200 Starliner’s inaugural crewed mission to the ISS is a significant milestone for Boeing. This mission includes two astronauts aboard and represents a critical step for Boeing as it seeks to capture a larger share of NASA’s space missions, a market currently dominated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Upon successful launch, the Starliner is expected to reach the ISS after approximately 24 hours in flight. The capsule will dock with the space station, orbiting around 250 miles (402 km) above Earth. This mission not only underscores Boeing’s commitment to advancing space exploration technology but also highlights NASA’s ongoing efforts to foster competition and innovation in the space industry.

The successful completion of this mission is pivotal for Boeing, especially in light of its ambitions to establish itself as a formidable player in the space sector. The Starliner program, with its promise of reliable and efficient crew transport to the ISS, is central to these ambitions.

As the new launch date approaches, both Boeing and NASA remain focused on ensuring all systems are fully operational and that the mission proceeds without further hitches. The space industry and enthusiasts around the world will be watching closely, anticipating a successful launch that will not only mark a new chapter for Boeing but also contribute to the broader goals of space exploration and international cooperation in space research.

In summary, the June 5 launch of the Starliner is set to be a landmark event for Boeing and NASA, representing a blend of technical prowess, rigorous problem-solving, and the relentless pursuit of space exploration. As the countdown resumes, the world awaits the moment when the Starliner embarks on its journey to the ISS, carrying with it the aspirations of modern space exploration.

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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