Boeing’s next Starliner test flight moves to first half of 2022

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Those murmurs of prolonged delays for Boeing’s next Starliner test flight turned out to be true. Space.com reports Boeing and NASA are actually targeting an Orbital Flight Test-2 launch someday within the first half of 2022. Engineers have narrowed down the doubtless causes of the oxidizer isolation valve downside that pressured the group to scrap the August 2021 launch, but it surely stays a “complex issue” that requires a “methodical approach” to clear up, in accordance to Commercial Crew Program supervisor Steve Stich.

Boeing has a number of doable options within the works, starting from small tweaks to the present crew capsule by to modifying a capsule nonetheless in manufacturing. The precise launch timing hinges on each the readiness of the {hardware} itself in addition to the rocket manifest and entry to the International Space Station.

While this does recommend Starliner is shifting ahead, the delay additional hurts Boeing’s probabilities to compete with SpaceX in crewed capsule missions. SpaceX has already despatched two crewed missions to the ISS, and it could have despatched two extra by the point the Starliner OFT-2 mission lifts off — Elon Musk’s outfit might be a seasoned veteran earlier than Boeing is cleared for its first occupied Starliner flight. It may very well be an extended whereas earlier than the 2 corporations are taking turns ferrying individuals to orbit.

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