Sunita Wiliams’ 3rd Space Flight Aborted Over Technical Issue

Indian-Origin Sunita Williams’ third space flight was aborted before liftoff on Tuesday. The first crewed test flight of Boeing’s new Starliner space capsule in which Sunita Williams was to travel was called off on Tuesday over a technical problem. According to NASA, the postponement was due to an issue with a valve in the rocket’s second stage.

The Boeing Starliner was to be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida’s Cape Canaveral at 8.04 am India time.

“NASA, Boeing, and United Launch Alliance scrubbed the launch opportunity on Monday, May 6 for the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test to the International Space Station due to a faulty oxygen relief valve observation on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Centaur second stage,” NASA said in a statement.

The two-member crew – NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore, 61, and Sunita Williams, 58 – were in their seats aboard the spacecraft about an hour before launch activities were suspended.

No decision has been made regarding the time of the next lift-off attempt.

During the approximately 10-day mission, Wilmore and Williams will intensively test the Starliner’s systems and capabilities after which the spacecraft will begin operational crew flights to the space station.

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