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Boeing space capsule must return : Test flight from “Starliner” to the ISS failed

A space capsule developed by the US aviation company Boeing for manned space missions did not reach the International Space Station on a test flight. The "Starliner" should now return to earth, such as Boeing and the US space agency Nasa announced on Friday. The failed test is a setback for US efforts to become independent of Russian Soyuz missiles in manned space missions.

An Atlas V rocket with the "Starliner" took off as scheduled at 06:36 from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida. The space capsule was supposed to dock with the ISS 25 hours later.

Shortly after take-off, however, Boeing and NASA announced that the space capsule had not taken the right course to the ISS. You will therefore not reach the space station.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told journalists that an "anomaly" on the clock caused the problem. "The spacecraft was in a different time than the actual time," said Bridenstine. Because the on-board computer system suggested that the flight was at a later stage than was actually the case, the capsule consumed more fuel than planned.

The "Starliner" is now to return to the Nasa test facility White Sands in New Mexico, such as the deputy director of the aerospace division at Boeing, Jim Chilton, announced. The arrival is therefore expected on Sunday morning at 7.30 a.m. The test flight was supposed to last eight days.

Private companies were hired

Boeing had developed the space capsule for NASA's manned space missions. So far, NASA has been dependent on Russian Soyuz missiles for manned missions. In 2011, the US space agency discontinued its own shuttle program after three decades. A change in strategy was later initiated for a return to manned space travel with US space capsules: instead of developing new shuttles themselves, private companies were hired for them.

As a result, Boeing and its competitor SpaceX received billions to develop manned space shuttles "Made in the USA". SpaceX completed a successful test flight to the ISS in March with its space shuttle "CrewDragon", which is intended for manned missions. As is the case with the "Starliner", there was only a dummy on board, a doll equipped with sensors with which the flight conditions for real people can be tested. (AFP)

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