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HomeHealthNewsStarliner test flight of Sunita Williams gets postponed

Starliner test flight of Sunita Williams gets postponed

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Just yesterday, the launch was announced for Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft where Sunita Williams, was ready to take off in the craft for the third time in space. But the launch was postponed for another 24 hours due to some technical glitch with the Atlas V rocket that was being readied to launch the new astronaut capsule to orbit on Monday (6) night.

The mission was to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the test of which was already done without any humans aboard. The launch was planned to the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre at 8:04 AM Indian Standard Time (IST) on Wednesday (7) in a gum drop capsule.

This was the third time Williams had planned to go in space and make history aboard Boeing’s Starliner which the team had also announced on their official social media handle.

In a significant setback for Boeing’s ambitions in space, the maiden crewed flight of its Starliner spacecraft was scrubbed mere hours before the scheduled launch, marking another hiccup in a series of delays for the aerospace manufacturer.

illiams, a former Navy test pilot, has already left her mark on space exploration, having performed the most or longest spacewalk time by a female astronaut. Her upcoming mission is significant as it marks her first aboard the new human-rated spacecraft, Starliner.

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The highly anticipated launch with astronauts Sunita Williams and Barry Wilmore got postponed right before 90 minutes of launch because engineers detected abnormal readings from an oxygen relief valve on the rocket’s second stage.

NASA Chief Bill Nelson emphasized, “We go when we’re ready,” reflecting the agency’s commitment to cautious and thorough preparations, tweeting, “Standing down on tonight’s attempt to launch”.

The next available launch window is slated for Tuesday night. Though it remains uncertain if the issue can be resolved while the rocket remains on the launch pad, all eyes remain on Cape Canaveral.

The outcome will not only impact Williams’ record-setting aspirations but also Boeing’s standing in aerospace and NASA’s broader objectives in space exploration.

This delay comes during a challenging period for Boeing because the company faces a safety crisis within its commercial aviation division. NASA is heavily relying on a successful Starliner test to certify the spacecraft as the second commercial vehicle for crew transport to the ISS.

As this historic mission unfolds, Williams is not just carrying the hopes of a spacecraft’s maiden voyage but also the dreams of countless who look up at the stars and see a future without limits.

Success for Boeing would mean securing a foothold in a market currently dominated by SpaceX, which has pointedly noted its earlier success and lower costs.

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