Boeing assesses August launch dates for Starliner space capsule


(Reuters) – Boeing Co said on Monday that it was evaluating several dates this month for the launch of its CST-100 Starliner space capsule to the International Space Station.

The company postponed the highly anticipated capsule launch last week after discovering a problem with the valves in its propulsion system during pre-launch checks.

Boeing said Monday it fixed issues over the weekend on several of its 13 valves in the CST-100 Starliner propulsion system and inspections showed no signs of damage or external corrosion.

“Seven of the 13 valves are now functioning as intended, with the inspection and repair of the remaining affected valves to be carried out in the coming days,” the company said.

Boeing said it is working with NASA and United Launch Alliance, its partnership with Lockheed Martin Corp, to confirm launch dates when the spacecraft is ready.

The CST-100 Starliner will transport people to and from low earth orbit and Boeing has said a manned mission will take place no earlier than December, as it competes with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to be the first to return. NASA astronauts to the US ground space station in nearly a decade.

(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bangalore; editing by Shounak Dasgupta)


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