Boeing’s troubled Starliner arrives at space station after second attempt

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have opened the hatch of a recently docked Boeing Starliner, effectively ending years of misery for the spacecraft.

Successful test missions will help secure a second commercial aircraft carrier that will shuttle astronauts to and from the space station. Elon Musk’s SpaceX Crew Dragon completed the same tests in 2019 and has since taken 18 astronauts to their destination.

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When Starliner last attempted this space flight three years ago, it never made it to the station. Due to a software glitch, it was instead moved to the wrong preliminary trajectory.

The Starliner’s launch didn’t have these major issues when it was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida just before 7pm EDT on Thursday, but it did run into some thruster issues. The spacecraft was launched with an Atlas V rocket from Boeing, a venture of the United Launch Alliance.

Thruster’s surprise didn’t stop the droplet-shaped capsule from docking at the station a day later, and the astronauts were able to get inside to check out the spacecraft at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

Starliner’s test mission didn’t take the crew to the space station, but it was flying with a manikin (or female model?) called Rosie Rocketeer. Rosie wore a blue flight suit and a red polka dot mask made by a real Boeing “Rosie Riveter” during World War II. The purpose of the human simulator was to collect data about cabin conditions during travel.

It’s an evolving story. Please check for updates again.

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