Boeing Starliner Crew Flight targeting next week after technical issues



Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are now targeting no earlier than next week for a Starliner crewed flight test.

Both of these companies are working with NASA to prepare for the mission scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at 4:43 p.m. EDT launch window. This new date will allow participants to complete all launch preparations before mission day.


The new launch date comes as the initial launch date was scrubbed due to technical issues in the launch vehicle. The company due to an observation of a liquid oxygen self-regulating solenoid relief valve on the Centaur upper stage of the rocket. It was confirmed that the malfunction needed to be addressed.

On May 11, the ULA team placed a pressure regulation valve on the liquid oxygen tank on the Centaur upper stage. The team also re-pressurized, purged the system, and tested the new valve to check normal operations.


Starliner teams are now working to solve a small helium leak detected in the service module traced to a flange on a single reaction control system thruster. Helium is used in thruster systems to allow the thrusters to fire and is not combustible or toxic.

NASA and Boeing are also developing spacecraft testing and operation solutions to address the issue. Under the test program, Boeing will bring the propulsion system up to flight pressurization similar to before launch procedure.


It will allow the helium system to vent naturally to validate existing data and sturdy flight rationale. Mission teams completed a data analysis from the May 6 launch attempt and did not track any other issues in the flight.

Meanwhile, the launch vehicle remains vertical at Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.



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