This afternoon, ULA and Boeing updated the schedule to roll the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, atop an Atlas V rocket, back to United Launch Alliance’s Vertical Integration Facility (VIF). The transition, which was planned for Wednesday afternoon, will occur on Thursday, allowing the team to complete necessary work ahead of the Boeing-led inspections that will take place in the VIF.
Boeing is working to understand unexpected valve position indications in the Service Module propulsion system that led the company to scrub yesterday’s launch attempt early in the countdown. Boeing’s troubleshooting of the valves while the Starliner and Atlas V were on the launch pad has ruled out a number of potential causes, including software. The severe storm that occurred on Monday also appears to be an unlikely cause, but the team will closely inspect for water or electrical damage while the spacecraft is in the VIF.
Once the spacecraft is in the VIF, Boeing engineers will gather new data and perform additional troubleshooting.
“The team is steadfast in its commitment to identify root cause and determine next steps,” said John Vollmer, vice president and program manager, Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program. “Developing solutions in a disciplined manner and letting the data drive our planning is critical and the team is working to ensure our spacecraft flies when ready.”
Updates will be provided by NASA and Boeing as information is available.