KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — A test launch of Boeing's Starliner, a capsule that will eventually carry crews to the International Space Station, from Florida's Space Coast has been pushed back.
- Starliner capsule will eventually carry astronauts to ISS
- Boeing says test launch conflicted with DOD launch
The unmanned test flight was pushed to August from May because the CST-100 Starliner team had a tight launch window due to another launch on the same launch pad, Boeing confirmed Tuesday.
The other launch, a national security payload for the Defense Department in June, only allowed for a two-day window to launch the Starliner test flight and clear the pad for the U.S. Air Force's AEHF-5 mission, Boeing said. Both payloads are being sent into space aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
"In order to avoid unnecessary schedule pressure, not interfere with a critical national security payload, and allow appropriate schedule margin to ensure the Boeing, United Launch Alliance and NASA teams are able to perform a successful first launch of Starliner, we made the most responsible decision available to us and will be ready for the next launch pad availability in August," Boeing said in a statement.
The company said the new August date for the test launch will still allow for a crewed test flight later this year.
Boeing also said the first Starliner crew will stay at the International Space Station longer than the few weeks originally planned but didn't announce a mission length.
NASA is working to end its reliance on Russian rockets to get cargo and astronauts to the ISS.