Boeing’s new Starliner set to make first crewed flight to space station

Boeing’s new Starliner set to make first crewed flight to space station
Boeing’s new Starliner set to make first crewed flight to space station

Two years after its first unmanned trip to the International Space Station (ISS), Boeing’s new Starliner astronaut capsule is scheduled to make its first crewed test flight Monday evening, after numerous delays.

Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, developed in conjunction with NASA’s Commercial Crew program, is designed to carry up to seven passengers, or a combination of crew and cargo, for trips to low Earth orbit.

NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore, 61, a retired U.S. Navy captain, and Sunita “Sunni” Williams, 58, a former Navy aviator and test pilot, are aboard the Starliner .

Here is a brief overview of the notable events of recent years:

September 4, 2015 – Boeing opens an assembly plant for its first line of commercial spacecraft, which NASA plans to use to transport crews to the ISS.

November 4, 2019 – Boeing announces that one of three parachutes failed to open during a crucial test of the CST-100 Starliner.

December 20, 2019 – Boeing successfully launches its new astronaut capsule on a first unmanned trip to the ISS.

December 22, 2019 – The spacecraft lands in the New Mexico desert.

January 7, 2020 – NASA and Boeing are investigating the software problem that prevented the capsule from reaching the ISS.

February 6, 2020 – Boeing narrowly misses a “catastrophic failure” during a December flight test of an unmanned space taxi, which was interrupted by an issue unrelated to the mission.

August 25, 2020 – The Starliner’s first crewed mission is tentatively scheduled for 2021.

October 7, 2020 – Chris Ferguson, the chief astronaut of the crewed Starliner flight to the ISS, leaves his position citing family priorities.

July 29, 2021 – NASA postpones the launch of the Boeing Starliner due to a problem with the space station.

August 3, 2021 – Boeing postpones Starliner launch after new problem.

August 13, 2021 – Boeing returns the spacecraft to the factory to fix a valve problem, delaying the launch date.

May 19, 2022 – The Starliner capsule conducts a new uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station.

May 20, 2022 – The new Starliner capsule docks with the International Space Station for the first time.

August 25, 2022 – Boeing is targeting early 2023 for the Starliner’s first astronaut-carrying mission.

June 1, 2023 – Boeing announces that it is abandoning late preparations for its first crewed Starliner test flight in space, scheduled for July 2023, after discovering two critical safety issues on the spacecraft. (Reporting by Nathan Gomes and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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