Boeing Tests Starliner Astronaut Capsule

Boeing has launched its new Starliner astronaut capsule on a test flight from Florida bound for the International Space Station on Thursday.

Starliner lifted off a pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 6:54 PM, setting off the critical Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2).

Starliner separated from the Atlas V’s upper stage right on schedule under 15 minutes after launch and completed its 45-second-long orbital insertion burn.

A pair of the 12 onboard thrusters failed during Starliner’s 45-second orbital insertion maneuver before it arrived in its intended preliminary orbit about 30 minutes after launch.

Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Programme, said Starliner’s system is ‘designed to be redundant.’

“The system is designed to be redundant, and it performed like it was supposed to. We have a safe vehicle, and we’re on our way to the International Space Station,” Nappi said.

Nappi added that he is proud of his team and what they have accomplished.

“I’m really proud to be able to say that the Starliner had a good orbital insertion and it’s on its way to the International Space Station. We’re very, very proud of the team and what they’ve accomplished. This was a road of a lot of hard work to get here, and the team is just ecstatic about the accomplishments today,” Nappi said.

The Starliner capsule will arrive at the space station about 24 hours after launch and dock with the research outpost in orbit some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth on Friday evening.

Boeing’s last demonstration in 2019 encountered software issues that nearly resulted in the loss of the Starliner capsule.

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