Boeing targets unmanned Starliner test flight in first half of 2022 – .

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Boeing targets unmanned Starliner test flight in first half of 2022 – .


Boeing is targeting a test flight of its CST-100 Starliner unmanned capsule in the first half of 2022.

Boeing is targeting a test flight of its CST-100 Starliner unmanned capsule in the first half of next year and a potential launch of its crewed spacecraft in late 2022, company officials said on Tuesday. .

The CST-100 was scheduled to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral, Fla., On August 3, but the flight was cut short hours before launch due to problems with the valves in the propulsion system.

Boeing officials told reporters at a briefing Tuesday that they were still testing the valves, but could be blocked due to moisture or condensation.

“The humidity in the normal environment was probably the source of this moisture in the valves,” said Michelle Parker, chief engineer of Boeing Space and Launch.

Boeing was forced to remove the spacecraft from the Atlas V rocket built by the United Launch Alliance and transport it to a factory in the Kennedy Space Center for valve troubleshooting.

John Vollmer, vice president and program director of Boeing’s commercial crew program, said the aerospace giant is now looking to complete the CST-100 unmanned test flight in the “first half of 2022” .

If this flight is successful, “we will consider the CFT (crewed flight test) maybe by the end of the year,” Vollmer said.

“We like to see six months between flights,” he said.

Boeing built the Starliner under contract with NASA to transport astronauts into low earth orbit after the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

NASA has given Boeing and SpaceX multi-billion dollar contracts to provide its astronauts with taxi services to the space station and end the United States’ reliance on Russian rockets for the trip.

SpaceX’s program has moved faster, having now undertaken four crewed missions.

Boeing’s program is lagging behind and the abortive launch of Starliner has been a setback for the company. Boeing must successfully complete an unmanned mission before it can transport astronauts.

During a first unmanned test flight in December 2019, the Starliner capsule experienced problems with its thrusters. He did not have enough fuel to reach the ISS and had to return to Earth prematurely.


Boeing Starliner launch faces further delays


© 2021 AFP

Citation: Boeing targets unmanned Starliner test flight in the first half of 2022 (2021, October 20) retrieved October 20, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-boeing-aims-unmanned-starliner-flight .html

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