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Crewed Boeing Starliner launch attempt set for third try | Fox 11 Tri Cities Fox 41 Yakima

Boeing attempts third launch of astronauts to ISS after previous setbacks, facing intense safety concerns but hopeful for success.

Boeing is gearing up for its third attempt to launch astronauts aboard a Starliner capsule bound for the International Space Station, hoping that this time will be the charm. The liftoff is scheduled for 10:52 am (1452 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, with the astronauts set to stay at the station for approximately one week.

The last launch attempt on Saturday was abruptly aborted due to a ground launch computer issue, while a previous attempt on May 6 was foiled by a faulty valve on the rocket. Astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams were ready to go in both instances, only to be disappointed and sent back to quarantine.

The Starliner program has faced numerous safety concerns and delays over the years, and a successful mission would be a much-needed win for Boeing. NASA is also looking to certify Boeing as a second commercial operator to transport crews to the ISS, a task that SpaceX has been handling for the agency for four years.

Boeing's program has suffered setbacks, from software bugs to flammable electrical tape in the cabin. Despite a small helium leak in one of Starliner's thrusters, officials deemed it safe enough for the mission. Wilmore and Williams will put Starliner through rigorous tests, including manual control and evaluating its capabilities as a safe haven in case of emergencies on the ISS.

After undocking, Starliner will re-enter the atmosphere, with the crew experiencing 3.5G as they descend for a landing in the western United States. The mission is crucial for Boeing's reputation and the future of commercial space travel. Good luck to the astronauts on this pivotal journey!

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