NASA has had a bright spot in the commercial crew program, which returned astronauts to American space in 2020. Boeing, another commercial crew provider, still has some work ahead of it, before it takes a NASA crew to the International Space Station.
This week, NASA announced no new target date before April 2 to launch the second flight test flight of Boeing’s star. NASA aimed for the end of March. The mission is called Orbital Flight Test-2 or OFT-2.
Spacecraft are challenging to develop, and obstruction and delay are a normal part of the process. “Teams are adjusting the launch date to allow more time for spacecraft and hardware processing,” NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.
The first major CST-100 Starliner flight test did not go according to plan in late 2019., But it returned safely to Earth. One And a communication link problem. Boeing vowed to conduct a second orbital flight test to prove the safety of the spacecraft before carrying humans on board.
Boeing is working to remove problems from earlier flight tests. “The teams conducted a full software review and performed several tests to meet the design specifications of Starliner’s software,” NASA said in a statement. Boeing will also perform a full simulation of test flight before launch.
If OFT-2 succeeds, NASA and Boeing will launch a de facto crew for the ISS later in 2021. It will bring both SpaceX and Boeing into business as providers of ISS flights. This is the ultimate goal of the NASA program to end US dependence on Russian spacecraft to transport astronauts to the space station.
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