Sunita Williams could not go to space for the third time, why did the flight have to be postponed?


Cape Canaveral. The third space trip of Indian-origin American astronaut Sunita Williams had to be postponed at the last moment. In fact, she was part of the first crew to go to space with Boeing’s new Starliner space capsule. However, this long-awaited test flight was canceled on Tuesday due to technical problem. The postponement was announced during a NASA live webcast due to a problem with a valve in the rocket’s second stage.

The Boeing Starliner was scheduled to take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 8.04 am IST. The two-member crew – NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore, 61, and Sunita Williams, 58 – were strapped into their seats in the spacecraft about an hour before launch activities were suspended. They will be assisted out of the capsule by technicians to await a second launch attempt.

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Both were to be launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida using a United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket, with liftoff scheduled for 8.04 am on Tuesday.

Williams, who has been waiting in line for commercial crewed flights for nearly a decade, was initially assigned to the mission in 2015 because of her extensive experience in spacecraft development. He was later appointed to the CFT mission in 2022. The next available launch window for the mission is Tuesday night, but no decision was immediately made about when the second liftoff attempt will be made.

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During the approximately 10-day mission, Wilmore and Williams will conduct intensive testing of Starliner’s systems and capabilities, paving the way for the spacecraft to begin operational crew flights to the space station. The successful completion of this crew flight test will bring Starliner one step closer to regularly ferrying personnel to and from the ISS, further strengthening the United States’ independent access to space.

Tags: space news

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