Boeing Starliner Launch Delayed Indefinitely

Multiple issues with spacecraft have been detected since May 6 launch was scrubbed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2024 6:00 PM CDT
Boeing Starliner Launch Delayed Indefinitely
NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, left, and Suni Williams leave the Operations and Checkout building before heading to Space Launch Complex 41 to board Boeing's Starliner capsule at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Monday, May 6, 2024.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

After years of delays, the first crewed flight of Boeing's Starliner capsule was called off within two hours of its launch time earlier this month. It was rescheduled multiple times, but the latest launch date, May 25, has now been called off and NASA doesn't have a new one, CNN reports. "The team has been in meetings for two consecutive days, assessing flight rationale, system performance, and redundancy," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. "NASA will share more details once we have a clearer path forward."

After the May 6 launch was scrubbed, NASA said there was a faulty oxygen relief valve on the rocket carrying the capsule, Engadget reports. On May 14, the agency said there was a small helium leak in the spacecraft's propulsion system. NASA later said that it had determined the leak wouldn't pose a risk and that "Boeing teams are working to develop operational procedures to ensure the system retains sufficient performance capability and appropriate redundancy during the flight."

NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore have been in preflight quarantine, but they will likely shift to other training duties if delays persist for weeks, reports. When Starliner does blast off, they are scheduled to spend a week on the International Space Station before returning in the same capsule. Earlier this month, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson noted that this will be the sixth maiden flight of a crewed spacecraft in US history. "It started with Mercury, then with Gemini, then with Apollo, the space shuttle, then (SpaceX's) Dragon—and now Starliner," he said, per CNN. (More Starliner stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.