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Boeing to Fly First Crewed Mission To Space In May


Boeing to Fly First Crewed Mission To Space In May

SEATTLE, WA (IANS) – After much delay, US aerospace company Boeing’s Starliner is set to launch its first crewed flight to the International Space Station on May 6, company officials and NASA have confirmed.

In preparations for the first Crew Flight Test mission, Boeing on April 16 transported The Starliner spacecraft to the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41, which will be attached to ULA Launch’s Atlas V rocket.

“Welcome to the world, Starliner! Boeing Space’s Starliner spacecraft for the upcoming Crew Flight Test has left the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA Kennedy ahead of roll to ulalaunch’s Vertical Integration Facility,” Boeing said.

“The crewed flight test is targeting launch no earlier than 10:34 p.m., May 6 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral,” added NASA in a blog post.

The CFT aims to send NASA astronauts and test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on a roughly 10-day mission that will demonstrate the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.

Boeing had signed a contract with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to fly operational missions to and from the space station with Starliner in 2014.

However, it faced a series of setbacks.

Its debut uncrewed orbital flight mission in 2019 did not go as planned, requiring it to make another try before putting astronauts on board for the crewed flight test. The capsule, however, made a successful repeat of that mission in 2022.

Its crew mission has also been repeatedly delayed.

If the spacecraft succeeds in its first crewed mission, Starliner will be used to carry four astronauts, or a mix of crew and cargo, for NASA missions to low Earth orbit.

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