Boeing Cancels Starliner Launch

Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) first Starliner flight with astronauts on board was called off in the final minutes on Saturday, and the backup Sunday launch date was also canceled.

The company was targeting a June 1 launch at 12:25 p.m. ET of its capsule, which would have carried astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time in a final major test of the system.

Leaders from Boeing, NASA and the United Launch Alliance, or ULA, held a press conference later Saturday afternoon to provide updates on the malfunction and the status of the next launch attempt.

“The disappointment lasts for about three seconds,” said Mark Nappi, Vice President and Program Manager of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program. “And then you just immediately get busy and do your job.”
Boeing had a backup launch date scheduled for Sunday at 12:03 p.m. EDT. But Saturday evening, NASA announced the cancellation of that Sunday launch “to give the team additional time to assess a ground support equipment issue” at the Florida launch site.

NASA plans to provide further updates on the next steps for the rocket launch. The following possible launch dates are June 5 or June 6.

An investigation into the cause of the malfunction is underway and crew members may have to work through the night to troubleshoot the issue.

BA shares gained $4.88, or 2.8%, to $182.49.

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