The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing's Starliner sits at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Image Credit: AFP

Boeing Co.'s first crewed spaceflight using its Starliner craft has been delayed for a third time this month due to repairs on a helium leak on the vehicle, NASA said on Friday.

Boeing and NASA now plan to launch no earlier than 3:09 p.m. Eastern Time on May 25, instead of May 21, the US space agency said in a post on its website.

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The announcement is the latest in a long series of delays and setbacks for the program. Flight engineers first spotted the helium leak during preparations for a launch attempt originally scheduled for May 6.

The flight to the International Space Station will mark the first time people fly to space on the vehicle. Meanwhile, Elon Musk's SpaceX, NASA's other contractor under its so-called commercial crew program, has successfully flown astronauts to and from the ISS several times since 2020.