Updated May 7, 2024 - Science

Boeing Starliner's first crewed mission to ISS delayed again

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 5.

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 5. Photo: Paul Hennessy/Anadolu via Getty Images

The planned test flight of Boeing's Starliner capsule to the International Space Station was scrapped shortly before its scheduled launch Monday night due to a technical issue.

Why it matters: The long-delayed launch after years of setbacks was slated to be the first crewed test flight for the spacecraft and Boeing, which wants to compete with SpaceX in shuttling people to the space station.

The latest: NASA test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams were already aboard the Starliner when the mission was called off, roughly two hours before launch time, NASA wrote on X Monday night.

  • The mission was derailed due to an issue with a valve on the Atlas V rocket meant to power the Starliner into space, NASA added.
  • NASA said in a blog post Tuesday that it is planning a next launch attempt for no sooner than May 10.

Catch up quick: The Starliner had been scheduled to launch at 10:34pm ET on Monday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, according to NASA.

  • Starliner was expected to dock with the ISS around 12:40am ET on May 8.

State of play: The crewed test was scheduled after years of delays from technical problems with Starliner that required Boeing to rework aspects of the craft and conduct additional uncrewed test flights.

  • The program setbacks have added up to at least $1.5 billion in overrun costs for Boeing. NASA originally awarded the company a $4.2 billion fixed-priced contract in 2014 to develop Starliner.

The big picture: A successful test is vital for Starliner to be certified as an operational crew system by NASA.

Go deeper: Congestion in Earth's orbit is getting even worse

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect the scheduled launch was delayed.

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