France Media AgencyMarch 3, 2021 at 10:08:56 IST
The unmanned test mission of Boeing’s Starliner space capsule, which will eventually transport astronauts to the International Space Station, has had to be postponed, NASA said Monday. The test, which had previously been postponed until early April, will suffer another delay, this time due to unprecedented cold temperatures in Texas that caused extensive power outages in the southern U.S. state. “We lost time with time in Houston. We lost about a week’s time,” Steve Stich, the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said during a news conference.
NASA “continues to evaluate options” for the new test date.
The first manned flight of the Starliner is currently scheduled for September, Stich added.
During a first test flight in December 2019, the Starliner capsule was unable to dock on the ISS and returned to Earth prematurely, a setback for aerospace giant Boeing.
Since then, its program has lagged far behind SpaceX, the other company – owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk – chosen by NASA to develop a spacecraft to transport astronauts to the ISS.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule was already bringing astronauts to the station in June and November 2020. Four other astronauts, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, will return to the ISS in April.