Boeing’s Starliner space capsule launch could be postponed for several months due to the need to retrieve it from atop a rocket for repairs, according to sources familiar with the situation. A delay of this magnitude would be a blow for Boeing’s space programme. After a failed effort a year and a half ago, the business spent years preparing the Starliner which was meant to launch late last month to dock with the International Space Station without anybody on board.
The capsule’s ultimate goal is to transport humans to the International Space Station. Boeing workers have been attempting to fix a problem with some of the valves in the Starliner propulsion system that was found earlier this month while the plane was parked on a launchpad. Last week, the business announced that it was looking into the valve difficulties, and on Monday, it revealed that 13 valves had failed to open as expected during preflight testing.
The business also stated that it would work with NASA and United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between it and Lockheed Martin Corp. that provides the rocket that would send the Starliner to space, to schedule a new launch “when the spacecraft is ready.” On Monday, Boeing and NASA indicated they had not given up hope of launching the in August. The earliest potential date for another attempt, NASA indicated at the time, would be in the middle of this month. Other missions are scheduled for the space station, aggravating the situation when the Starliner tries to return to the facility without crew members.