Leak Discovered in Problem-Plagued Boeing Spacecraft Before Astronaut Launch – Futurism

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More delays?

Deja Vu

Boeing really can’t catch a break with its Starliner space capsule.

Following years of delaysmajor budget overruns, and considerable technical issues, the spacecraft’s first crewed test mission still hasn’t launched.

Last week, officials noticed a strange “buzzing” noise while the two NASA astronauts were already on board, which later turned out to be an issue with a valve on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket.

And now, the launch had to be delayed yet again after teams found a small helium leak in the spacecraft’s service module, CNN reports — which means its latest expected launch date of May 17 will be pushed back yet again.

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“The teams now are targeting a launch date of no earlier than 4:43 pm EDT on Tuesday, May 21, to complete additional testing,” Boeing wrote in a statement.

Square One

Boeing’s Starliner, which is being developed to provide NASA with an alternative way to get astronauts to the International Space Station, has been mired in problems for many years.

It’s been through a lot, from software bugs that stopped the capsule from reaching the ISS during its maiden voyage in 2019 to the discovery of flammable tape lining the craft’s interior last year. Previous safety investigations also forced the company to make changes to the spacecraft’s parachutes.

Of course, that’s not to mention a continuous stream of disasters plaguing Boeing’s avionics department.

Adding to the drama, last week a NASA contractor warned that the launch must be stopped due to the recent “buzzing” that was discovered during Boeing’s previous attempt.

“NASA needs to re-double safety checks and re-examine safety protocols,” advised Erin Faville, president of NASA contractor ValveTech, in a statement, “to make sure the Starliner is safe before something catastrophic happens to the astronauts and to the people on the ground.”

More on the launch: NASA Contractor Warns That Boeing Launch Must Be Stopped “Before Something Catastrophic Happens”

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