We know by now that the spacecraft Boeing is expected to take astronauts to the International Space Station. According to some recent news, it seems that there was a problem with a propellant leak that was discovered during a test. The team mentioned that they run an investigation in order to get to the root of the problem and they believe to have found its cause. They are now taking action to fix it.
Launch schedule to be delayed
Due to the leak, it is most likely expected for the spacecraft’s launch schedule to be delayed. Boeing, together with SpaceX, are part of the “Commercial Program” that is supposed to once again allow NASA to send astronauts to the space station from the U.S. It has been seven years since the retirement of the Space Shuttle back in 2011 and in the meantime, NASA had to depend on Russia to fly its astronauts to space, which costs more than 80 million dollars for a seat.
The mission has faced delays before
This is not the first setback for the program, as other delays took place just recently. The first test launches of the program were expected to happen this year. However, based on the latest report from the Government Accountability Office, the company seems to “have set ambitious – rather than realistic – dates, only to frequently delay them.”
Boeing also mentioned that the propellant leak was discovered in June, at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, throughout the emergency abort test. As stated by the company, the engines “ran for the full duration”, but during the shutdown of the engine, something seems to have gone wrong and the anomaly “resulted in a propellant leak”. According to Boeing, the problem has been fixed and there are plans to announce an updated schedule on the test flights the following month.