The flight of Boeing Starliner to ISS was delayed again due to an issue with a component in the propulsion system as per a report by Boeing Co and NASA.
The unexpected problem was reported by NASA about two hours prior to the slated launch time of 1:20 pm ET Tuesday.
United Launch Alliance, the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. that handles the rockets that would ferry the Starliner into space, will begin removing propellant from the rocket it planned to use for the flight.
Boeing Starliner is a class of reusable crew capsules used to transport crew to the International Space Station and other low-Earth orbit destinations.
The first uncrewed test flight of the Boeing Starliner on December 20, 2019, also didn’t end well, things went wrong almost immediately, exposing flawed software, and calling to mind problems that Boeing’s aviation division had with the 737 Max jet, which led to a pair of fatal crashes.
The mission was originally scheduled to take off Friday, but that was delayed due to an issue with a Russian ISS module firing its thrusters shortly after docking with the station which eventually knocked the space station around a little and forced teams to evaluate the station’s status.
“The International Space Station team will use the time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival,” NASA said in a July 29 statement.
The mission is crucial for NASA’s plans to run regular crewed launches from the US, ending its reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft with the mission, Boe-CFT, could launch in the next six months, if this mission goes well.