Boeing postponed the launch of its Starliner spacecraft Tuesday due to problems detected with valves in the capsule's propulsion system and reset a potential launch for Wednesday midday.
"We are off for today. Recycling for tomorrow," Tory Bruno, CEO of rocket company United Launch Alliance tweeted Tuesday morning.
ULA had planned to launch an Atlas V rocket carrying the uncrewed Starliner capsule into orbit at 1:20 p.m. EDT. Another attempt may be made at 12:57 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
Boeing has staked its aerospace reputation on a successful test flight of the capsule to the International Space Station. The capsule failed to reach the space station in a similar test in December 2019 due to software malfunctions.
"We're disappointed with today's outcome and the need to reschedule our Starliner launch," John Vollmer, Boeing vice president and program manager, said in a news release.
"Human spaceflight is a complex, precise and unforgiving endeavor, and Boeing and NASA teams will take the time they need to ensure the safety and integrity of the spacecraft and the achievement of our mission objectives."
Starliner is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program along with the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which has ferried astronauts to the space station three times since May 2020. The program is designed to be competitive, with at least two spacecraft providing access to low-Earth orbit.
Before 2020, NASA spent nine years buying seats on Russian Soyuz capsules for up to $80 million each to reach the space station.
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