Manned spacecraft developerCST-100 Starliner company Boeing postponed its first test launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for three months. According to the Reuters news agency, referring to sources close to this project, the manned test flight of the spacecraft with the crew has been shifted for the same period.
According to earlier information it became knownthat the first test flight originally planned for March was postponed to the end of April. In this case, the schedule of the first flight of the ship with the crew at that time was left unchanged - it was scheduled for August 27, 2019.
Now it became known that the first flightCST-100 Starliner in unmanned mode will be held on August 17. The same information is reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, referring to a source in the Russian space industry, with whom American colleagues shared their launch news.
“The American side notified the Russian side thatthe launch of the unmanned ship Starliner has been postponed until August 17 due to the problems encountered during the ground tests of the ship, ”the news agency quoted the source as saying.
The source also added that as a result of the transferThe first test flight in unmanned mode is now also postponed from August to a later date, the start of the Starliner spacecraft to the ISS in manned mode.
Earlier it also became known who shouldfly to the ISS in August. On board the CST-100 Starliner will be a crew of NASA astronauts Michael Fink and Nicole Aunapu Mann, as well as astronaut of Boeing company Christopher Ferguson.
Since the closure of the program of space shuttlesthe United States was not able to deliver its astronauts to the ISS and return them back. For this, America used the services of the Russian Roskosmos and the Soyuz ships. New spacecraft for manned flights under contracts with NASA were developed by private US companies SpaceX and Boeing. The first test launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX to the ISS took place on March 2. The flight took place in unmanned mode. Having docked in automatic mode with the ISS a day later, the device spent 6 days in orbit, after which, on March 8, it returned back to Earth, descending by parachute and splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. According to current plans, the second test launch of Crew Dragon is scheduled to take place in July, but with the crew on board. The first to go to the ISS on a private spacecraft will be NASA veteran astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley. After that, NASA must decide on Crew Dragon certification for regular flights.
For insurance in case of unavailability of spacespaceX and Boeing, aeronautical agency NASA announced the desire to book a few more places on the Russian Soyuz in the period from 2019 to 2020. A few days earlier, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, on his Twitter page confirmed Roskosom’s readiness to help American partners in this matter.
We are ready to insure American partners inthe case of a delay in the test of their new manned ships We agree with the proposal of @NASA in the future to use both American (after their qualification) and Russian ships to deliver mixed international crews to the ISS. https://t.co/D3i28DKmSh
- Dmitry Rogozin (@Rogozin) March 18, 2019</ p>
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