NASA and Boeing overcome technical barriers for Starliner's 1st manned flight

NASA and Boeing overcome technical barriers for Starliner's 1st manned flight

A Boeing and the NASA resolved two technical problems Starliner spacecraft including a “design vulnerability” that required a temporary workaround to get the capsule back on track to carry out its mission of carrying two astronauts into space, officials said Friday.

Starliner's first manned mission, a test planned for June 1, was hampered this month by a small helium leak detected in its propulsion systems hours before launch in Florida. Two weeks of work showed the leak posed no risk to astronauts, officials said.

“This really isn't a flight safety issue for us, and we believe we can manage it,” Boeing's Starliner chief Mark Nappi said during a news conference.

Starliner's long-awaited first manned flight, with NASA astronauts Suni Williams It is Butch Wilmore on board, it is a final test before the agency certifies the spacecraft to make routine astronaut trips to the International Space Station. It will be the second American manned capsule in space, alongside the Crew Dragon, from SpaceX which began manned flights in 2020.

Boeing, which initially wanted to launch the Starliner on May 6, faces pressure to achieve a successful launch in early June. Any date after June 6 could trigger weeks or even months of delays because some perishable components would need to be replaced on the Starliner and its rocket, the Atlas 5, built by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed.

With years late It is US$ 1.5 billion (around R$ 7.75 billion) of unforeseen costs development, the success of Starliner is crucial for Boeing, which is going through a crisis in its aviation business.

Source: CNN Brasil