Boeing Spaceflight Delayed Again After New Tech Failure


Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Boeing announced another delay on its Starliner manned space mission Tuesday due to an ongoing “small helium leak” in the service module of the spacecraft, a press release reads.

The space mission is now set to occur “no earlier than 4:43 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 21,” the press release says.

Helium is “not combustible or toxic” but is used to fire the thrusters, the press release reads. Boeing has also revealed that a team “replaced a pressure regulation valve on the liquid oxygen tank” on the spacecraft Saturday. The object of the mission is to fly to the International Space Station that orbits Earth, Boeing says. (RELATED: Danish Chef Creates Out-Of-This-World Menu For Upper-Atmosphere Restaurant)

The spacecraft is set to carry two astronauts for NASA. The spacecraft was originally slated for takeoff last week but a technical issue forced a first delay to May 17. That issue was over a faulty liquid oxygen valve, according to a press statement by Boeing. The Starliner program has been postponed for years and is over $1.5 billion past its budget, NBC News noted.

When the Starliner starship will launch, it will do so from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The station is located in Florida’s Space Coast, reported.

The ship is a joint project between Boeing and NASA and seeks “to accommodate seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo, for missions to low-Earth orbit,” according to an overview of the project given by Boeing. “The Starliner has an innovative, weldless structure and is reusable up to 10 times with a six-month turnaround time. It also features wireless internet and tablet technology for crew interfaces.”