NASA announces the new date for the crewed Starliner flight test | Lifestyle | SmartLife

NASA announces the new date for the crewed Starliner flight test | Lifestyle | SmartLife
NASA announces the new date for the crewed Starliner flight test | Lifestyle | SmartLife

The POT has indicated when they intend to execute their next attempt to launch their astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, aboard the Boeing Starliner spacecraft. The announcement came last Wednesday night in a blog post, stating that the attempt will occur on June 1. Therefore, everything is practically prepared for it.

The new launch date has a T-0 takeoff of 12:25 pm EDT (1625 UTC). By the way, there are additional windows like backup opportunities available for Sunday June 2, Wednesday 5 and Thursday June 6.

NASA is late, but continues with its progress

The original May 6 release date was canceled approximately two hours before release due to a problem with an oxygen pressure release valve in the upper stage of the Atlas 5 rocket from United Launch Alliance (ULA). That failure was resolved on May 11 after returning the rocket to the manufacturer’s Vertical Integration Facility and replacing it.

However, the launch delay persisted as Boeing further evaluated a helium leak connected to a flange on one of the reaction control thrusters in the Starliner spacecraft’s service module. The aforementioned element is used to pressurize the propulsion system in the service module and ensure that propellant and oxidizer flow as needed to their respective propellants and launch abort engines. And, from what you see, now everything is perfectly prepared… at least on paper.

Initially, it was believed that the leak was within flight limits and would not have led to a mission cancellation, which was demonstrated by a pressure test held at the VIF on May 15. But on May 17, NASA and Boeing delayed the mission until May 25, citing the need for Boeing to “develop operating procedures to ensure the system retains sufficient performance capacity and appropriate redundancy during flight”.

On May 22, NASA in a statement indicated that the North American agency still continues to evaluate leak conditions, as well as the redundancies built into Starliner. A spokesperson noted that, regardless of the helium leak, “Teams are in the process of completing a propulsion system assessment to understand the potential impacts of the helium system in some Starliner return scenarios.”.

The release date is final

As we have indicated before, NASA has confirmed that it will be June 1 when Butch and Suni will appear at this test mission after a complete review of the equipment. Therefore, the work phase in the development of space missions that the agency had set is maintained.

It must be remembered that Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft was chosen by NASA along with SpaceX’s Dragon capsule for transport its astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Of course, the first has had a series of obstacles in the different launch windows (an example is that in 2019 a software and communication problem occurred, which led Boeing to carry out a second OFT mission in 2022).

The fact is that this CFT mission, which is designed to demonstrate some of the ship’s manual capabilities that could be used if the automated system had a problem in flight, has a new test date with the aim of an effective launch in 2025.

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