Starliner was scheduled to launch on Aug. 3, but after a delay of July 29, the launch was delayed to an unknown date.
Boeing's Starliner astronaut-taxi will need to wait until launch... again.
Boeing today announced that the Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 mission (OFT-2), which was scheduled to launch today (Aug. 3) would be delayed due to unanticipated issues with its propulsion system. The company released a statement. Although the next launch window for Starliner is available tomorrow (Aug. 4,), the company has not yet confirmed that it will pursue this window.
Boeing engineers detected unusual valve position indications in propulsion system during pre-launch preparations for uncrewed test flights of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Boeing officials stated that the issue was first discovered during check-outs after yesterday's electrical storms around Kennedy Space Center.
"The launch of the Starliner spacecraft from the International Space Station on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket has been postponed." The launch was originally scheduled for 1:20 pm. ET Tuesday, August 3. The situation is being assessed by NASA and Boeing teams. "The team will keep you updated on a launch attempt scheduled for Wednesday, August 4,," said the company.
Similar: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2 - Live Updates
John Vollmer, vice-president and program manager for Boeings Commercial Crew Program stated in the statement that they were disappointed by today's outcome and had to cancel their Starliner launch. "Human spaceflight can be a complicated, precise, and difficult undertaking. NASA and Boeing will take the time necessary to ensure safety and integrity of the spacecraft as well as the achievement of our mission goals.
NASA confirmed the delay as well as its root cause.
"NASA (Boeing) and United Launch Alliance(ULA), have cancelled the Aug. 3 launch of the agency's Orbital Flight Test-2 to International Space Station because of unexpected valve position indicators in the Starliner propulsion systems. ULA will start removing propellants from the Atlas V rocket," ULA stated in a statement. They would launch the next day if the problem is resolved.
This announcement comes after a short delay to the vehicle's previous launch date on Thursday, July 29th. This was due to issues with Russia's Nauka module following docking with the International Space Station.
"We are confirming today's #Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 Launch is cancelled. Boeing tweeted this morning: "More details coming soon."
Photos: Boeing's Starliner Orbital Test Flight 2 mission from the International Space Station
Today's #Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 launch has been cancelled. More details soon.August 3, 2021 See more
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson made reference to the delay in the keynote address he gave for this morning's International Space Station Research and Development Conference.
It was originally scheduled to launch today by NASA and Boeing. He said that it would launch "when it's right".
"This is another step towards certifying Starliner as a transporter to the ISS. He said that NASA's vision of safe and reliable transport to the ISS was exactly what it had in mind when it launched the Commercial Crew Program ten year ago. With Spacex and Boeing rotating missions each carrying four astronauts to the ISS, we have already increased the crew size, effectively doubling the amount that can be devoted weekly to research. More crew members means more scientific research time. The more research you do, the better.
Boeing's second uncrewed test flight to the space station is OFT-2. The craft will launch from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and then dock at the station. It will unload cargo and return to Earth after a while.
Boeing hopes to launch crewed missions to and from the orbiting laboratory, just like SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.
Chelsea Gohd can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Spacedotcom