International

Sunita Williams-led NASA Mission In Boeing Starliner Called Off Minutes Before Lift-off

The Boeing Starliner was supposed to lift off at 10 pm from Florida, USA, using the Atlas V rocket.

X/@NASA
NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore (L) and Sunita Williams. Photo: X/@NASA
info_icon

Indian-origin NASA astronaut Sunita William's third mission to space, which was supposed to take her and Butch Wilmore to the International Space Station, was called off minutes before lift-off on Saturday.

Both the NASA astronauts, Williams and Wilmore were aboard the Boeing Starliner, which was on its maiden mission. The mission was "scrubbed off" just three minutes and fifty-one seconds before lift-off.

The Boeing Starliner was supposed to lift off at 10 pm from Florida, USA, using the Atlas V rocket.

NASA, in its statement, said, "Saturday’s launch was to carry NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to and from the International Space Station scrubbed due to an observation of a ground launch sequencer. The system was unsuccessful in verifying the sequencer’s necessary redundancy."

It said that the next available launch opportunities are Wednesday, June 5 and Thursday, June 6.

Williams named the spacecraft "Calypso", which is a homage to how space and ocean research go together.

In an update about the Starliner, NASA said that along with Boeing and ULA (United Launch Alliance), it is forgoing a Crew Flight Test launch attempt on Sunday to give the team additional time to assess a ground support equipment issue at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41 in Florida.

This was the second scrub for the Boeing Starliner. Earlier in May, the spacecraft faced an unexpected setback.

Its launch was postponed following a valve glitch discovered in the upper stage of the rocket -- Atlas V -- intended to propel it into the space.

Tom Heter III, director of ULA, announced the delay just two hours before the expected liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The Atlas 5 rocket, renowned for its reliability, was prepared for its milestone 100th flight to launch Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

NASA aims to utilize both SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner for astronaut missions to the ISS, with the commercial crew missions being part of NASA's strategy since 2014. Boeing received considerable funding from the US federal government for the development of Starliner, alongside SpaceX.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement