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NASA: Boeing Starliner’s First Manned Flight Delayed Until April

Boeing has had a series of setbacks that have significantly delayed its program, including a failed test flight in 2019.

The first manned flight of Boeing’s Starliner space capsule has been delayed again and is now scheduled for April, NASA announced on Thursday.

The US space agency wants to set up a second means of transport to the International Space Station (ISS) for its astronauts, with the SpaceX capsule already in service.

But Boeing has had a series of setbacks that have significantly delayed its program, including a failed test flight in 2019. The company finally managed to reach the ISS for the first time in May 2022 — with no crew on board.

Boeing had then hoped to make its first manned flight in 2022, before it was first postponed to February 2023.

The new delay announced Thursday will allow traffic to the space station to be regulated, NASA said in a statement, without giving more details.

This test flight, called CFT (for “Crew flight test”), will carry two NASA astronauts, Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams. They should stay in the ISS for about two weeks, NASA said Thursday.

If the mission succeeds, the Boeing capsule will finally be certified and begin its operational flights, on a date yet to be determined.

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