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That in all probability wasn’t presupposed to occur.
After years of setbacks, Boeing is lastly rolling out its Starliner spacecraft to the launchpad at the moment for its second try to rendezvous with the Worldwide Area Station.
Doing no favors for the spacecraft’s status for jankiness, it bumped into one more mishap alongside the way in which. Whereas strapped to the again of a big truck, a bit of the capsule’s window appeared to pop off, tumbling right down to the asphalt, as noticed in footage shared by CBS area information reporter William Harwood.
OFT-2: Through the rollover to pad 41, because the Starliner neared the Car Meeting Constructing, a protecting window cowl in some way fell off the capsule and tumbled to the highway; after a quick cease to find out what had occurred, the journey continued pic.twitter.com/GAS6VwxYf5
— William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews) May 4, 2022
The procession briefly stopped to verify for harm earlier than resuming its journey to Area Launch Advanced 41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Boeing later confirmed to Harwood that it was a protecting window cowl that had fallen off the capsule.
All informed, it doesn’t sound like a really critical problem, however the optics are horrible contemplating what Boeing has been by way of with the event of Starliner, its competitor to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.
Starliner’s maiden voyage again in 2020 nearly resulted in catastrophe and prompted a NASA security overview, which decided Boeing had reduce a number of essential corners in its planning.
The capsule’s second uncrewed check flight, initially slated for launch in August 2021, has been delayed a number of occasions, with engineers battling quite a few points, together with Florida’s humidity corroding valves.
To organize for stated mission, the Starliner capsule is now on the point of be stacked atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket for its second try to make it into orbit and dock with the station.
In the meantime, SpaceX has been operating laps round its competitors. Each the Elon Musk-led firm and Boeing have been growing area capsules as a part of NASA’s Industrial Crew Program, however solely the previous has managed to efficiently ship astronauts and cargo to the ISS.
For now, all we are able to do is hope that Boeing has achieved its homework this time round — and that the lengthy awaited spacecraft can lastly transfer on from the event hell it’s been caught in for years now.
Extra on Starliner: Boeing Says Oops, Its Multibillion Greenback Spacecraft Can’t Deal with Humidity
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