News of a different kind of flight delay has recently reached us. And if you booked a ticket into space aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, the chances are that you wont now be taking off until 2019.
An engine test some weeks ago led to problems that means the two scheduled flights to the International Space Station have now been cancelled until 2019. Whilst trying to shutdown the engines under test conditions a propellant leak occurred after several valves failed to close.
An creweless flight test is now expected to take place early in 2019 with the first fully manned flight happening a few months later.
The Starliner is eventually intended to deliver paying passengers to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA requires that Boeing carry out test flights, with and without crews, before giving it them the green light.
SpaceX, NASA’s other Commercial Crew partner, have been quiet of late and it is expected that their scheduled plans to carry our crewed and uncrewed test flights this month and in December respectively will be changed, given the fact that no specific dates have so far been released for these tests.