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Boeing Starliner Crew Mission Postponed Again Due to Technical Issues

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NASA said on Friday that a technical issue has resulted in an additional postponement of Boeing’s Starliner’s first crewed launch to the International Space Station.
The launch, which was scheduled to occur in Florida on Tuesday, has been rescheduled for May 25 to allow teams additional time to assess a helium leak that is associated with the service module, which is situated atop the rocket, according to NASA.

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Earlier this month, a separate technical problem forced the cancellation of a Starliner launch, just hours before takeoff, with the astronauts securely fastened.

“The additional time allows teams to further assess” the helium leak, NASA said on its website.

The two astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams, are in the meantime staying in Houston, Texas until the mission is ready.

It is another delay in the highly anticipated mission which has faced years of delays and comes at a challenging time for Boeing, as safety questions surround the century-old aerospace titan’s commercial aviation arm.

NASA is banking on Starliner’s success for its goal of certifying a second commercial vehicle to carry crews to the International Space Station.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX already achieved this in 2020 with its Dragon capsule, ending a nearly decade-long dependence on Russian rockets following the end of the Space Shuttle program.

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