May 8, 2024 - Science

Boeing Starliner's first crewed ISS launch rescheduled for next week

Boeing's Starliner atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 5.

Boeing's Starliner atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 5. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After its latest delay, Boeing Starliner's first crewed mission to the International Space Station now aims to launch next week.

Why it matters: A successful mission is crucial for Starliner to be certified as an operational crew system by NASA and for Boeing to begin competing with SpaceX in shuttling people to the space station.

  • Boeing and NASA are now planning to try again on May 17.

Catch up quick: A launch had been planned for May 6, but it was postponed after a technical issue unrelated to the spacecraft.

  • The technical issue pertained to a malfunctioning valve on the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket meant to power the Starliner into space.
  • NASA test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams were already aboard the Starliner when the mission was called off around roughly two hours before launch.

The big picture: Starliner's first crewed flight has been delayed for years from technical problems that required Boeing to rework aspects of the craft and conduct additional uncrewed test flights.

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