Boeing’s first manned spaceflight with NASA astronauts to the International Space Station was delayed on Thursday to next year, the aerospace company announced on Thursday.
The Starliner spacecraft is now scheduled to carry astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams to the ISS in February as Boeing works out problems with thrusters and a cooling loop anomaly that arose during an unmanned test flight in May.
Boeing’s first test flight for Starliner launched in 2019, but software errors sent the spacecraft into the wrong orbit, and it was brought back to Earth early. The May launch was the spacecraft’s second test flight.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has already launched five crewed flights for NASA to the International Space Station. The company also carried tourists to space for the first time ever last September.
Boeing originally planned to launch the first crewed flight by the end of this year but is now hoping to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida next February.
If that mission is successful, then NASA will start contracting with Boeing to regularly ferry astronauts back and forth from space.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.