It forced Boeing to launch the first Starliner crew to the space station

NASA and Boeing were forced to stand down Attempted launch to the International Space Station Monday because of a last-minute problem with a valve in the spacecraft’s rocket.

Boeing’s Starliner capsule was scheduled to lift off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 10:34 p.m. on its first crewed test flight. NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita Williams They were aboard the capsule and strapped into their seats when the launch attempt was aborted, two hours before the scheduled liftoff.

NASA announced early Tuesday morning A second attempt won’t happen before Friday.

Mission controllers announced a “scrub” for the launch Monday as the Starliner capsule was about to ride into orbit after an anomaly was detected in a valve on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket.

United Launch Alliance officials said in a post on X that the launch attempt was abandoned “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the aircraft and pad crew,” adding that the team “needs additional time to complete a full assessment.”

The analysis includes whether the pressure regulating valve in the upper stage of the rocket should be replaced, which would cause a long delay.

The crewed Starliner flight, when it happens, will be an important final test before NASA authorizes Boeing to conduct routine flights to and from the space station.

NASA and Boeing officials have said that safety is paramount for the first flight of a manned space shuttle.

The scrubbed launch is another setback for Boeing, which has already dealt with years of delays and budget overruns with its Starliner program. That falls significantly behind SpaceX, which has been carrying out crewed missions to and from the space station for NASA since 2020.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft illuminated by spotlights on the launch pad (Joel Kovski/NASA via AFP – Getty Images)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is illuminated by spotlights on the launch pad with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft (Joel Kovski/NASA via AFP – Getty Images)

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Boeing’s Starliner craft were both developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The initiative began more than a decade after the retirement of the agency’s space shuttles, supporting private companies in developing new space vehicles to carry astronauts into low-Earth orbit.

Starliner’s first uncrewed flight in 2019 was thwarted by software problems, forcing mission controllers to abort the test Before the vehicle attempts to rendezvous and dock with the ISS. A second attempt has been delayed several times by fuel valve problems, and one by Boeing until 2022 A successful flight to and from the space station.

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