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Launch of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is canceled minutes before takeoff

The launch of Starliner spacecraft it was canceled this Saturday (1st) after the second attempt. The flight was delayed about three minutes before the scheduled takeoff time. The moment was broadcast live on NASA (United States Space Agency) channels.

This would be the capsule's first manned mission and would take astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore to spend a week on the International Space Station. Liftoff was initially scheduled for May 6, when it was canceled about two hours before the countdown reached zero, as a helium leak was discovered in one of the spacecraft's rockets.

An automatic lock triggered by the ground launch sequencer, or the computer that launches the rocket, stopped the countdown clock at three minutes and 50 seconds before launch. The cause of the automatic lockout is unclear, but mission teams estimate a 24-hour wait time until the next attempt, according to the NASA broadcast.

Starliner would be launched with a helium leak

After resolving the issue in May, the space agency said the helium leak did not pose a threat to the mission.

“We looked very hard at what our options were with this flange (the part where the leak is located),” he said. “A fuel pipe, an oxidizer pipe and a helium pipe enter the flange, which makes working on it complicated. This makes it almost unsafe to make changes.”

Instead of making a replacement to fix the leak, crews decided the defect was small enough to be manageable, Stich said. “When we looked at this issue, it wasn’t about making changes,” Nappi said. “It was about 'is it safe or not?' And it's safe. And that’s why we determined that we can fly with what we have.”

During the countdown to launch this Saturday morning, mission teams monitored the leak and no problems were reported.

Source: CNN Brasil

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