Boeing counts down again to its first astronaut launch

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Boeing took another crack Saturday at launching astronauts for the first time aboard its new space capsule, after a delay for leak checks and rocket repairs.

The company’s Starliner capsule was due to rocket away at midday with a pair of test pilots to the International Space Station for a weeklong stay.

The test drive should have happened years ago. But problems kept piling up, most recently a leak that went unnoticed until the first launch attempt with a crew in early May.

NASA wants a backup to SpaceX, which has been flying astronauts for four years.

United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket is providing the lift from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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