Science

Engine flaw delays Boeing test of crew capsule to 2019

Engine flaw delays Boeing test of crew capsule to 2019”

"We are confident we identified the root cause and are implementing corrective actions now", said vice president and program manager of Boeing's commercial crew program John Mulholland, indicating that "minor design changes" are under way.

The first two on the list were initially slated for this summer, but a technical failure experienced during a recent test forced Boeing to revise the entire schedule until that problem is fixed.

An engine flaw discovered during a launchpad test of Boeing's Starliner spaceship, created to carry humans to the International Space Station, has delayed its first crew test flight until next year.

It is still not clear which company, Boeing or SpaceX, will launch humans first. Crew for Boeing's Crew Flight Test and SpaceX's Demo-2 flights will each include at least a flight commander and pilot aboard to test out the systems.

The uncrewed capsule will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in late 2018 or early 2019 - followed by a launch abort test with another unmanned Starliner vehicle, Spacecraft 1, sometime during next year's first few months.

Boeing develops the Starliner after NASA chose them and SpaceX to each build a spacecraft that would send humans to the ISS.

NASA estimates have predicted even greater delays than what the agency formally announced August 2.

USA media are invited to attend the event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and, afterward, speak with the astronauts about their assignments.

Why is this a big deal?

The report cited safety concerns and testing delays, and warned that future delays could interrupt the access of American astronauts to the International Space Station.

He was a NASA scientist for 33 years.

On Friday, NASA is expected to announce which of four astronauts will ride on test flights and maiden voyages of the Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which arrived at Cape Canaveral last month.

If this second test is successful, Boeing will launch Spacecraft 2 along with its first passengers toward the middle of 2019. In 2015, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams were announced as the first commercial crew astronauts.

The Crew Dragon capsule is a next-generation spacecraft created to carry humans to ISS and other destinations, according to SpaceX. DM-2, Crew Dragon's first manned demonstration flight, is still now scheduled for December 2018, as reported by the Inquisitr. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will preside over the event, which will begin at 11 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency's website.

If the feed doesn't load for any reason, you can also try to watch via YouTube, Ustream, or the space agency's NASA TV website.



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