The first manned flight of Boeing’s space capsule, Starliner, has been pushed back again. It is now scheduled for April, NASA announced Thursday.
The American space agency wants to set up a second means of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), with the SpaceX capsule already in service. But Boeing suffered a series of setbacks that considerably delayed its program
After a failed test flight in 2019, the American company finally succeeded in May 2022 in reaching the ISS for the first time – without a crew on board. Boeing then hoped to be able to carry out its first manned flight in 2022, before it was postponed for the first time to February 2023.
The new delay announced Thursday helps regulate traffic to the space station, NASA said in a statement, without giving further details.
This test flight, called CFT (for ‘Crew Flight Test’), will carry two NASA astronauts, Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams. They should stay on the ISS for about two weeks, the US space agency said Thursday.
If the mission is successful, the Boeing capsule can finally be certified and begin its operational flights, on a date yet to be determined.