The Crew Dragon and Starliner were developed roughly at the same time, and were supposed to go into service concomitantly, marking the first time since the space shuttle program when America could rely on more than one space-going vehicle. But whereas the SpaceX capsule nailed its tests and has been taking people up and down for some time now, Boeing’s machine is still struggling to get its systems in order.The first flight test of the spaceship took place on December 20, 2019, when the thing left the launch pad and made it into orbit. Once there, because of a software error that made it believe it was doing something it was not, the capsule failed to reach the station. It did come down though, and landed using its fancy airbags.
More than a year was spent in preparation for the second uncrewed test, which was supposed to take place on August 3, 2021. This time, Starliner didn’t even leave the pad, as during pre-launch preparations an “unexpected valve position” was detected in the propulsion system.
Whatever the problem, the feeling was it would be an easy fix, and Boeing announced ever since yesterday it is planning another launch attempt for August 4. Soon after that, news broke Starliner is not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
The main reason for the delay is that teams need time to “examine the cause of the unexpected valve position indications.” Given how a proper review could not be performed on the launch pad, the Starliner and the Atlas V rocket it is perched on have been sent back to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF).
For now, there is no estimate as to when things will get back and track, with the parties involved saying they “will take whatever time is necessary to ensure Starliner is ready for its important uncrewed flight test.”

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