NASA has formally pushed again the launch of its Orbital Flight-Test 2 till subsequent yr, because it continues to work on an oxidizer isolation valve problem on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, the company introduced.
The company mentioned in a weblog submit that it’s persevering with to evaluate potential launch home windows for the mission: “The team currently is working toward opportunities in the first half of 2022 pending hardware readiness, the rocket manifest and space station availability,” in response to the submit.
Steve Stitch, supervisor of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, added that it was “a complex issue,” affecting components of the spacecraft that aren’t simple to entry, which has required “a methodical approach and sound engineering to effectively examine.”
Boeing’s Starliner is certainly one of two automobiles designed to take passengers to and from the International Space Station as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program; SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is the opposite. NASA required every firm to launch an uncrewed take a look at flight, adopted by a crewed take a look at flight as a part of the method. So far, Starliner has solely carried out one uncrewed flight, however it suffered software program issues earlier than it might attain the ISS.
Boeing had hoped to fly the Starliner with out passengers over the summer season in a second try at an uncrewed flight, however hours earlier than liftoff the corporate discovered the issues with among the spacecraft’s propulsion valves and NASA scrubbed the launch
Earlier this week, NASA introduced it was reassigning two astronauts who had been imagined to fly on upcoming Starliner flights to an upcoming SpaceX flight as a substitute. Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada will fly on the fifth crewed SpaceX mission to the International Space Station, at present scheduled for autumn 2022.