Starliner to remain in Vertical Integration Facility through weekend; new launch date pending

Boeing says its engineers will continue testing and evaluating the Starliner capsule over the weekend while the spacecraft remains inside the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex-41.

The launch of the capsule has been delayed multiple times.  

On Thursday, teams powered up the spacecraft to receive and send data to the propulsion system valves that presented unexpected problems early in the launch countdown on Tuesday, according to Boeing.  Engineers were able to gather new data to assess while also beginning physical inspections of the spacecraft.

"Cautiously optimistic is a good way to describe how the team is feeling," said John Vollmer, Starliner vice president and program manager. "They’re coming forward with innovative ideas and prioritizing the safety of the spacecraft and their teammates."

Boeing aims to perform all activities at the VIF before returning to the launch pad for flight. If necessary, the spacecraft could return to the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center for further troubleshooting and inspections and possibly return to the pad for launch this month.

Boeing says it is assessing multiple launch opportunities in August and will work with NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to confirm those dates when the team is ready to proceed with the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission.  The Starliner capsule will be attached to a ULA Atlas V when it does launch.

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