First Astronaut Launcha by Boeing Called Off Due to Faulty Valve

( – Boeing called off its first scheduled astronaut launch allegedly due to a valve problem on the rocket. Two NASA test pilots were strapped into Boeing’s Starliner Capsule when the countdown was stopped—two hours before they planned to take off.

Dillon Rice, a United Launch Alliance Engineer said that the issue was concerning an oxygen relief valve on the upper area of the rocket. Boeing did not give an alternative date or time on when they’d try launching the rocket again. This launch had been delayed for years because of capsule trouble; they’ve been trying to send NASA test pilots to the International Space Station for a week-long stay.

Rice emphasized their cautious approach, saying, “In a situation like this, if we see any data signature is not something that we have seen before, then we are just simply not willing to take any chances with what is our most precious payload.”

About a decade ago, NASA hired Boeing and SpaceX to take astronauts to and from the space station after their shuttle program ended.

SpaceX has been going on space journeys for a couple of years now whereas Boeing has had multiple test flights put on hold or redone. Starliner’s first test flight without a crew was done five years ago, however, the shuttle didn’t go in the right direction and never made it to the space station.

Boeing then had to complete more test flights crewless before they were able to advance to tests with the crew. Within that time, the company fixed its capsule issues and was now ready to launch back into space, that is, until this valve issue caused another delay.

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