There’s always a valve: Boeing’s flight to space scrubbed

  • Just before launch, ULA scrubbed the crewed flight of Boeing’s Crew Space Transport Starliner.
  • The launch was scrubbed because of a fault valve on the Centaur upper stage of the Atlas V rocket.
  • Another launch attempt has been pencilled in for 10th May.

As any space enthusiast will tell you, there is always a faulty valve that will scrub a launch, a lesson Boeing learned on Monday.

The firm best known for its faulty aircraft was meant to launch its Crew Space Transport (CST-100) Starliner atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket on Monday but the launch was scrubbed at the last minute.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the flight and pad crew, we scrubbed the Crew Flight Test (CFT) launch attempt today due to an observation on a liquid oxygen self-regulating solenoid relief valve on the Centaur upper stage,” ULA wrote in a statement.

This was the final test to demonstrate the capabilities of Boeing’s Starliner and ULA’s first human flight to space. This was a big deal for ULA given that the Atlas V hasn’t carried a crew to space in its decades-long lifespan. The crew, Barry Wilmore and Suni Williams would have also been the first crew to fly to space from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station since 1968 according to a report from

The spacecraft was destined for the International Space Station but that trip has been delayed.

Given the work and testing that has to happen now, the earliest date another launch attempt can happen is 10th May.

Should Starliner get off of the ground and complete its journey successfully, there will be real competition in the private launch space. Right now, SpaceX is the dominant force with the company becoming the defacto way for NASA and other agencies to get crew to and from the International Space Station.

Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Elon Musk who took to Twitter X to provide his two cents on Boeing’s attempt.

“The world doesn’t need another capsule. What matters is fully reusable rockets and spacecraft,” Musk moaned on X. Of course he would say that as the CEO of SpaceX which has enjoyed a reign of exclusivity for NASA launches that now looks to be upended by Boeing.

Of course, the vessel needs to get off the ground with the crew first. Thankfully we won’t have to wait too long before the next launch attempt.

[Image – United Launch Alliance]


About Author


Related News