NASA and United Launch Alliance deployed a new Landsat satellite in orbit Monday after liftoff on an Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, marking the 2,000th launch from the West Coast spaceport since 1958 and extending a series of Earth observations used by farmers, urban planners, and climate scientists.
After valve problems caused it to miss an opportunity to launch earlier this month on a test flight to the International Space Station, Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule returned to a processing facility at the Kennedy Space Center Thursday after being removed from its Atlas 5 launcher at nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Boeing engineers at Cape Canaveral continue troubleshooting stuck valves in the propulsion system of the company’s Starliner crew capsule in hopes of resolving the problem — and understanding what caused it — in time to take off on an unpiloted test flight before the current launch window closes later this month.
Ground teams at Cape Canaveral wheeled Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule and a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket back inside their assembly hangar Thursday for further troubleshooting of misbehaving valves inside the Starliner propulsion system. Without a quick fix, technicians will have to remove the spacecraft from the Atlas 5 rocket for more extensive work, potentially delaying the Starliner test flight by months.