Nasa and Boeing cancel key test of space capsule

Nasa and Boeing cancel key test of space capsule
Boeing has postponed a key test flight for its Starliner spacecraft.

Boeing has postponed a key test flight for its Starliner spacecraft.

The capsule – which is intended one day to carry astronauts around space, but would have been sent without people to the International Space Station during the launch – was scheduled to take off on Tuesday.

Instead, the launch was scrubbed hours before it was due to take place. Boeing did not immediately explain the problem.

Tory Bruno, the chief executive of the United Launch Alliance that built the rocket to carry the Starliner to space, said that the team would try again on Wednesday.

The mission was seen as a shot at redemption for the capsule, which conducted its first orbital test more than a year and a half ago, and notably failed to reach the floating lab after a run of software problems. It was just the latest in a series of troubles for the craft.

More recently, the test was scheduled to be conducted last week but was delayed after an “emergency” on the space station.

In a tweet, Boeing confirmed that it had scrubbed the test and said that it would give more details soon.

The mission had been scheduled to launch on Tuesday, before arriving at the International Space Station around 24 hours later. It would have stayed there for ten days, during which time Nasa astronauts at the station would conduct a series of tests, before the Starliner undocked again and came back down to Earth.

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