Test schedule for Boeing’s space taxi delayed again

Starliner in test chamber
Technicians at the Boeing Space Environment Test Facility in El Segundo, Calif., position a Starliner spaceship inside an acoustic test chamber. (Boeing Photo)

NASA today confirmed that the first uncrewed test flight of Boeing’s Starliner space taxi to the International Space Station would be delayed until at least August, and also said the first crewed flight would be extended into a long-duration mission.

In a news release, NASA said August was a “working date” that would have to be confirmed later, based on further testing of the spacecraft.

NASA said the decision to shift the date was guided by limited launch opportunities during the previously planned April-May time frame, as well as planning requirements for the launch of the AEHF-5 military communications satellite for the Air Force in June.

Boeing’s first crewed test flight of the Starliner to the space station was reset for no earlier than late 2019.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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