Science

Boeing Scrubbed First Launch Test Flight of Starliner to ISS

Reportedly, Boeing has canceled the very first test flight of its Starliner crew capsule headed to the International Space Station. The company aims to re-schedule the scrubbed test on 19th December. On Tuesday, NASA announced that glitches with ground apparatus at the Cape Canaveral launch pad have resulted in the rescheduling. On the other hand, officials have noted that United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket and Starliner, both rockets are in good condition. Well, it will be Starliner’s first journey to the orbiting lab. As it is just a test, the capsule will not have any astronauts aboard. Instead, the commander’s seat will have a mannequin, Rosie, fitted with various sensors. Researchers have named the dummy after Rosie the Riveter of World War II.

Boeing’s Un-crewed Starliner test flight is the first return trip to the ISS. Currently, NASA has announced a two-day delay in the launch. This period will enable engineers to solve the problems of Atlas V rocket. It is a collective effort of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Reportedly, the rocket is having some issues with purge air supply. But as mentioned above, officials have reported both the spacecraft and the rocket are in healthy conditions.

Boeing’s Starliner space capsule is developed to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS. Even more, the effort is a part of a commercial contract between the company and NASA. If everything goes well, the spacecraft will launch a minimum of four astronauts to the space lab for a long-term mission. Besides this, it will return astronauts to Earth and use airbags and parachutes to land in Mojave Desert of California. Boeing has also achieved the feat by having a successful pad abort test flight for reviewing the escape system of the capsule. Notably, Boeing is not the first company to sign a contract with NASA for flying American astronauts to space. SpaceX is another company that has successfully deployed its first uncrewed flight to the ISS. For now, NASA aims to start ferrying astronauts in 2020 with the assistance of Boeing and SpaceX.

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