Boeing’s next Starliner test flight could be delayed for months

by Joseph K. Clark

It could be months before Boeing takes another stab at a test flight. The company the capsule from an Atlas V rocket and took it back to the factory to fix an issue with four propulsion system valves. The problem led to Boeing the planned second test flight on August 3rd.

Starliner test flight

Boeing will conduct “deeper-level troubleshooting” of the valves at its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center. Engineers attempted to fix the problem while the Starliner was still on top of the rocket — they managed to repair the nine other valves. Boeing, NASA, and Atlas V maker United Launch Alliance will need to find a new launch date when Starliner is ready.

However, as noted, the next opportunity for a test flight could be months away. Boeing may have to wait until after the October launches of and SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission, as well as the return of the Crew-2 spacecraft. So, even if Boeing can fix the valves quickly, it could be November before Starliner can get back on the docking port.

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