Why was the takeoff of Boeing's Starliner to the ISS delayed at the last minute ?

Why was the takeoff of Boeing's Starliner to the ISS delayed at the last minute ?

En 2019, la première tentative de Boeing d'envoyer un Starliner sans équipage vers la station spatiale avait échoué MAXPPP – NASA/Joel Kowsky

Scheduled for the night of Monday May 6 to Tuesday May 7, 2024, the takeoff of Boeing's Starliner capsule, supposed to transport NASA astronauts to the international space station, has been postponed. A technical problem caused the takeoff to be canceled.

During the night from Monday to Tuesday, Boeing's Starliner capsule was preparing to make its first manned test flight to the International Space Station, two years later a first similar flight without passengers. The capsule should have taken off with two astronauts on board from the NASA Space Center in Florida.

If everything had gone as planned, the capsule would have reached the space station after a flight of around 26 hours. Once there, the two astronauts were to remain aboard the space station for about a week before returning to Earth and landing in the desert of the southwest United States, a first for NASA's manned missions.

Launch canceled at the last moment

Finally, the takeoff was canceled about two hours before the scheduled launch time, due to a technical problem. An anomaly was identified on a valve of the rocket which was to propel the capsule into orbit, announced the launcher manufacturer, the ULA group. Fallback dates are possible this week for a new takeoff attempt but no new date has been announced immediately.

The success of this expedition should allow the Starliner to obtain authorization to begin routine operational flights under NASA's private expedition program . In 2019, Boeing's first attempt to send an uncrewed Starliner to the space station failed due to software and engineering issues. A second attempt in 2022 was, however, successful, paving the way for the mission of this Monday, May 6.  

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