Boeing has delayed the first space flight of its Starliner crew capsule – an unscheduled International Space Station (ISS) test mission – from next month to August, according to Reuters.
The target date for Starliner's first crewed ISS flight was also pushed back from August to November. Reuters reported Wednesday (March 20), citing unnamed sources from the industry. One of these sources said that technical problems are not the only factor; Scheduling problems at Starliner's launch site, the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, also contributed.
Boeing and NASA spokespersons declined to comment, but NASA officials said an updated startup schedule will be released next week, Reuters reported.
Boeing develops Starliner to transport astronauts to and from the ISS. The contract had a space company, which had concluded in 201
Crew Dragon has already completed a space flight: Earlier this month, the SpaceX capsule had a six-day, unrestrained demonstration mission on the ISS under the name Demo-1 . SpaceX plans to conduct an Emergency Crew Emergency Escape Survey soon; If all goes well, Crew Dragon will be able to transport two NASA astronauts to the ISS in on the demo 2 demonstration flight .
Contracted, four astronaut-operated missions will begin sometime afterward.
NASA signed the commercial occupation agreements with Boeing and SpaceX to return orbital spaceflight on American soil. The country has not had this capability since NASA withdrew its Space Shuttle fleet in July 2011 after 30 years of service.
Since then, NASA relies on Russian Soyuz rockets and spaceships to bring US astronauts to and from the ISS. A seat on board the three-person spacecraft Soyuz currently costs about 80 million US dollars.
Mike Walls book on the search for extraterrestrial life, " Out There " (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Karl Tate ) is now out. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .