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Boeing Starliner crew capsule test delayed after damage during testing

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Boeing has brought another setback in the direction of using the Starliner to bring humans into space. The next test flight of the Starliner Crew Capsule has been postponed until April 2. The delay occurs shortly after the avionics in the capsule have been replaced due to a power surge during the previous test.

This test will be the second orbital flight test mission aimed at ensuring that the spacecraft is ready to put astronauts into orbit later this year. Boeing and NASA released a joint statement last week stating that the mission was rescheduled from March 25th to April 2nd. This is an eight-day delay, and the statement says it’s a spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The technician was able to successfully replace the avionics affected by the power surge. Boeing says it keeps the spacecraft safe and continues to address new issues in a timely manner. NASA spoke directly about power surges and their causes, stating that “problems with the configuration of ground support equipment” were the cause.

Boeing and NASA are making steady progress, preparing the spacecraft for the final official test flight before astronauts are on board. Last month, the Starliner crew module and service module were combined together. Spacecraft have also been placed elsewhere in the facility and can now carry propellants.

Boeing is also preparing to test Starliner’s flight hardware and software. This is a comprehensive test that simulates a complete Starliner mission from launch to docking with the ISS. The simulation also includes undocking by landing. Orbital Flight Test 2 is a repeat of the original test conducted in December 2019 and encountered a software issue that prevented the capsule from docking with the ISS. The spacecraft had to return to Earth prematurely because it could not dock with the space station.

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