NASA announced new launch dates for CST-100 Starliner spacecraft

NASA announced new launch dates for CST-100 Starliner spacecraft
NASA announced new launch dates for CST-100 Starliner spacecraft
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According to the spokesman for the space agency Joel Montalbano, the launch of the next generation spacecraft from Boeing should not be expected until mid-autumn. Earlier it became known about serious technical problems encountered by the device.

CST-100 Starliner

The head of the US ISS program, Joel Montalbano, announced the new launch dates for the CST-100 spacecraft. “This will definitely take place after the launch of the Lucy mission,” he said. The purpose of the mission is to study the asteroids of the solar system. They want to launch it on October 16. Thus, the start of a new manned spacecraft should not be expected until mid-autumn.

On July 29, NASA reported that they decided to postpone the unmanned launch of the spacecraft to the ISS, scheduled for the 30th. The transfer was associated with the unplanned activation of the engines of the new Russian module "Science", which recently docked with the International Space Station. According to the new schedule, the ship was supposed to be launched in early August, but the launch was eventually decided to be postponed again.

Later it became known that the cause was serious technical difficulties, namely, problems with the engine valves. After examining the CST-100 Starliner, it was decided to detach from the Atlas V launch vehicle and move it to the preparation workshop.

Starliner was developed to supply the ISS under the NASA Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program. It is designed for a crew of seven and weighs 13 tons.

The ship made its first unmanned launch on December 20, 2019. It was not fully successful: due to technical problems, the device did not dock with the ISS and was returned home. Subsequent analysis showed that his condition was generally satisfactory.

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The competitor to the CST-100 is the SpaceX Crew Dragon manned spacecraft, built on the basis of the Dragon unmanned cargo vehicle.

Elon Musk's company significantly bypasses Boeing. In April, Crew Dragon completed its second operational mission to the ISS. In total, taking into account the test launch, the device made four launches. The first one was held on March 2, 2019.

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A manned spacecraft conceptually close to the CST-100 and Crew Dragon is being built in Russia. At various times it had the designation PTK NP, "Federation" and "Eagle". If nothing changes, flight tests of the device in an unmanned version will begin in 2023. The first manned flight can be carried out in 2025.

Last year it became known that a smaller version could be created on the basis of the spacecraft, which could be used for flights to the Moon. This version was named "Eaglet".

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