Boeing is now targeting the first half of 2022 to re-test the test flight of its Starliner space capsule, after canceling a test in August. The machine, which NASA will use to transport its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), has suffered a series of setbacks that have significantly delayed the program.

That critical test, without passengers on board, is now envisaged for “the first half of 2022,” John Vollmer, Boeing’s commercial flight program manager, said Tuesday. He added that the next test flight, which will have crew, could take place “probably at the end of the year” 2022. “We would like the delay to be six months between flights.”

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On August 3, the launch was canceled just hours before takeoff, because 13 of the 24 valves of the propulsion system remained closed during final checks.

The Boeing teams determined that the malfunction was caused by a problem with moisture, which, by reacting with an oxidant in the system, is nitric acid that helps seal the valves.

All of them have now been unlocked, except for one that was decided not to open for further analysis. “We are removing three of the valves, which will be replaced with new ones,” said Michelle Parker, chief engineer.

The disassemblers will be sent to NASA’s Marshall Center, where they will be inspected to verify that the cause of the problem is indeed perceived.

late for space X

The Starliner capsule was one of two, along with SpaceX’s called Dragon, to allow NASA to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station on American soil. Since the space shuttles were closed in 2011, the US agency has relied on Russian missiles.

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but lo SpaceX has already taken at least ten astronauts to the International Space StationBoeing has yet to pass its first unmanned test flight, which must prove the capsule is safe. It was first tried in 2019, but then came close to disaster, due to a software issue.

The Starliner must have returned to Earth prematurely. A later investigation showed that the capsule nearly experienced a serious flight anomaly as it entered the atmosphere. It took months of work to make the changes. The test flight was finally due to be replayed in August, with the ordeal we know.


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