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Boeing docks crew capsule to area station in take a look at do-over


Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
This picture from NASA TV reveals the Boeing Starliner getting ready to dock on the International Space Station, Friday, May 20, 2022. Boeing’s astronaut capsule has arrived on the International Space Station in a essential repeat take a look at flight. Only a take a look at dummy was aboard the capsule for Friday’s docking, an enormous achievement for Boeing after years of false begins. Credit: NASA by way of AP

With solely a take a look at dummy aboard, Boeing’s astronaut capsule pulled up and parked on the International Space Station for the primary time Friday, an enormous achievement for the corporate after years of false begins.

With Starliner’s arrival, NASA lastly realizes its longtime effort to have crew capsules from competing U.S. firms flying to the area station.

SpaceX already has a operating begin. Elon Musk’s firm pulled off the identical take a look at three years in the past and has since launched 18 astronauts to the area station, in addition to vacationers.

“Today marks a great milestone,” NASA astronaut Bob Hines radioed from the orbiting complicated. “Starliner is looking beautiful on the front of the station,” he added.

The solely different time Boeing’s Starliner flew in area, it by no means obtained anyplace close to the station, ending up within the fallacious orbit.

This time, the overhauled spacecraft made it to the appropriate spot following Thursday’s launch and docked on the station 25 hours later. The automated rendezvous went off with no main hitch, regardless of the failure of a handful of thrusters.

If the remainder of Starliner’s mission goes nicely, Boeing could possibly be able to launch its first crew by the top of this yr. The astronauts prone to serve on the primary Starliner crew joined Boeing and NASA flight controllers in Houston because the motion unfolded almost 270 miles (435 kilometers) up.

Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
This picture from NASA TV reveals the Boeing Starliner docking on the International Space Station, Friday, May 20, 2022. Boeing’s astronaut capsule has arrived on the International Space Station in a essential repeat take a look at flight. Only a take a look at dummy was aboard the capsule for Friday’s docking, an enormous achievement for Boeing after years of false begins. Credit: NASA by way of AP

NASA needs redundancy relating to the Florida-based astronaut taxi service. Administrator Bill Nelson mentioned Boeing’s lengthy street with Starliner underscores the significance of getting two varieties of crew capsules. U.S. astronauts have been caught driving Russian rockets as soon as the shuttle program ended, till SpaceX’s first crew flight in 2020.

Boeing’s first Starliner take a look at flight in 2019 was suffering from software program errors that reduce the mission quick and will have doomed the spacecraft. Those have been corrected, however when the brand new capsule awaited liftoff final summer season, corroded valves halted the countdown. More repairs adopted, as Boeing chalked up almost $600 million in do-over prices.

Before letting Starliner get near the area station Friday, Boeing floor controllers practiced maneuvering the capsule and examined its robotic imaginative and prescient system. Everything checked out nicely, Boeing mentioned, apart from a cooling loop and 4 failed thrusters. The capsule held a gentle temperature, nevertheless, and had loads of different thrusters for steering.

Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
This picture from NASA TV reveals the Boeing Starliner approaching the International Space Station, Friday, May 20, 2022. Boeing’s astronaut capsule has arrived on the International Space Station in a essential repeat take a look at flight. Only a take a look at dummy was aboard the capsule for Friday’s docking, an enormous achievement for Boeing after years of false begins. Credit: NASA by way of AP

Once Starliner was inside 10 miles (15 kilometers) of the area station, Boeing flight controllers in Houston might see the area station by way of the capsule’s cameras. “We’re waving. Can you see us?” joked Hines.

There was solely silence from Starliner. The commander’s seat was occupied as soon as once more by the model dubbed Rosie the Rocketeer, a space-age model of World War II’s Rosie the Riveter.

The gleaming white-with-blue-trim capsule hovered 33 ft (10 meters) from the station for shut to 2 hours—significantly longer than deliberate—as flight controllers adjusted its docking ring and ensured every thing else was so as. When the inexperienced gentle lastly got here, Starliner closed the hole in 4 minutes, eliciting cheers in Boeing’s management heart. Applause erupted as soon as the latches have been tightly secured.

  • Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft launches from Space Launch Complex 41, Thursday, May 19, 2022, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA by way of AP
  • Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule lifts off on a second take a look at flight to the International Space Station from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, May 19, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux
  • Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that can launch Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station stands prepared on launch complicated 41 on the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The launch is scheduled for Thursday night. Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux
  • Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 forward of the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch is scheduled for Thursday night. Credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA by way of AP
  • Boeing docks crew capsule to space station in test do-over
    NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, left, and Mike Fincke reply questions throughout a information convention on the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux

“These last 48 hours have just been a barnstorm, so it’s going to be very good to sleep tonight,” mentioned Mark Nappi, vice chairman and director of Boeing’s business crew program.

It was a double celebration for NASA’s business crew program director Steve Stich, who turned 57 Friday. “What an incredible birthday it was,” he informed reporters.

The area station‘s seven astronauts will unload groceries and kit from Starliner and pack it up with experiments. Unlike SpaceX’s Dragon capsule that splashes down off the Florida coast, Starliner will goal for a touchdown in New Mexico subsequent Wednesday.


NASA, Boeing say Starliner on observe for May 19 launch


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Boeing docks crew capsule to area station in take a look at do-over (2022, May 21)
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