Why Was Boeing’s Starliner Test Flight Aborted Just Minutes Before Liftoff?

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   June 2, 2024   Update on : June 2, 2024

Boeing's new Starliner space capsule
Photo: Screengrab

A second attempt at launching Boeing’s new Starliner space capsule on its inaugural test flight with NASA astronauts on board was halted minutes before liftoff by a computer-abort system, mission officials said.

The scrubbed launch, putting a lid on a string of 11th-hour technical issues that ground teams worked through and resolved earlier in the countdown, meant the highly anticipated and much-delayed test flight has been postponed again, for at least one day.

The next available launch window for the mission is around Sunday noon (local time), followed by two more opportunities on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’ll take either that opportunity or the next one to come.”

Manager of NASA’s commercial crew program Steve Stich said, “We got really close today.”

Computers were involved in Saturday’s postponement on the Atlas V rocket’s launchpad that coordinated the final moments before liftoff. The Starliner capsule appears to be healthy, officials said.

The first crewed voyage of the CST-200 Starliner to the International Space Station (ISS), with two astronauts onboard, remains a key milestone for Boeing as it is trying to gain a greater share of the lucrative NASA business which is dominated mainly by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The Starliner capsule stood ready for blastoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perched on top of the Atlas V furnished by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

However, with three minutes and 50 seconds left in the countdown clock after the final “go” was given for the launch by the flight director, a ground system computer triggered an automatic abort command that shut down the sequence, according to mission officials.


Related Posts