Boeing’s Starliner docks for the first time on the International Space Station (ISS)

  • Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft docked at the International Space Station for the first time.
  • The success of unmanned test flights depends on previous failures and delays.
  • The docking shows that the Starliner can transport passengers to the space station.

Boeing’s Starliner passenger ship docked at the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time after previous failures and delays.

The CST-100 Starliner was created for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and has now shown that it can transport people to the ISS.

The unmanned Starliner’s successful docking comes after unsuccessful attempts before 2019. A software problem prevented it from reaching the correct orbit and was unable to connect to the ISS.

“I’ve learned a lot about the spacecraft’s capabilities and the resilience of our team since launching the first Starliner,” said Boeing’s Mark Nappi. said on friday.

“There is still a lot of operational testing to be done as we prepare for a meeting with the space station, but we are ready to show that the system we’ve been working hard on can take astronauts into space,” he said. start.

A second test flight was delayed last year by NASA while troubleshooting the spacecraft’s oxidant shutoff valve, but the launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida finally took place on Thursday.

The mission aimed to provide Boeing and NASA with enough data to show that the Starliner could transport passengers to the ISS.

The ISS crew is expected to open the spacecraft’s hatch on Saturday and float it inside the Starliner to perform checks while ground controllers evaluate flight data, Boeing said.

Starliner launch

An Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner spacecraft takes off from Cape Canaveral on Thursday.

Paul Hennessy/Getty Images

Starliner is undocked and tied to the space station with most of its systems powered off until ready to return to Earth.

Boeing’s Jim Chilton said: “Starliner has demonstrated safe and autonomous rendezvous and docking capabilities. We are honored to join the fleet of commercial spacecraft capable of performing transportation services to NASA’s space stations.”

Boeing’s Starliner is designed for NASA service missions to carry up to seven passengers or a combination of passenger and cargo to conduct scientific research on the ISS, and can be reused 10 times in a six-month turnaround time.

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