(ORDO NEWS) — The first Boeing launch with astronauts on board has been delayed until next year due to repairs to the capsule that need to be made after the last test flight.
Officials have announced that the launch of NASA’s two-pilot Starliner capsule has been pushed back to February, although they had hoped to launch it by the end of the year.
Boeing has launched the Starliner twice without a crew, most recently in May. The capsule managed to dock with the International Space Station on its second attempt, despite engine and other problems.
Boeing program manager Mark Nappi said these issues should be resolved before two NASA astronauts board in February.
Boeing was already lagging behind SpaceX, NASA’s other “taxi service”, when the Starliner debuted in 2019. The first test flight of the dummy capsule was interrupted by a series of software problems, leading to a relaunch later this year.
SpaceX is now preparing for NASA’s sixth crewed flight. The start was moved to early October. NASA program manager, Joel Montalbano, said Boeing will take priority in February.
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