ValveTech, the company that supplies parts to NASA for the Starliner spacecraft, issued a warning ahead of the launch scheduled for May 17. The May 6 launch was canceled two hours before liftoff due to a technical problem.

Starliner is designed to take humans to the International Space Station and other points in low Earth orbit and back.

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"As a valued NASA partner and valve experts, we strongly advise against a second launch attempt due to the risk of a disaster on the launch pad," ValveTech president Erin Faville said in a press release.


According to media reports, a buzzing sound indicating a leak in the valve was noticed by a passerby minutes before take-off. The noise could indicate that the valve had reached the end of its useful life.

ValveTech president Faville called on NASA to "redouble safety checks and re-examine safety protocols to ensure Starliner is safe before disaster strikes astronauts and people on the ground."

The call is the latest bad news for Boeing, which has been in the headlines lately for a succession of aircraft failures.