Boeing lands in Starliner capsule to complete crucial test flight

Boeing’s Starliner capsule lands in White Sands, New Mexico, on May 25, 2022 to complete the OFT-2 mission.

NASA TV

Boeing He landed his Starliner unmanned spacecraft in the New Mexico desert on Wednesday, completing a Crucial test trip As the company prepares to transport astronauts.

The Starliner landed in the US Army’s White Sands missile range after leaving the International Space Station earlier in the day – and completed the six-day Orbital Flight Test 2, or OFT-2, mission.

The mission accomplished one of its most important test objectives, which is to reach the International Space Station and successfully dock. The OFT-2 represents an important milestone in Boeing’s development of the Starliner, which faced many obstacles and delays in the last three years.

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is seen before docking with the International Space Station on May 20, 2022 during the unmanned OFT-2 mission.

NASA

Boeing is developing its Starliner spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Crew program after winning nearly $5 billion in contracts to build the capsule. The company competes under the program against Elon Musk SpaceX, which completed development of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and is now On the fourth human spaceflight working for NASA.

The space giant was previously seen as equally compatible with SpaceX in the race to launch NASA astronauts. However, delays in the development of the Starliner saw Boeing constantly backtrack, in terms of schedule and finances. Due to the fixed-price nature of its NASA contract, Boeing has absorbed the cost of additional work on the capsule and has spent $595 million so far.

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Boeing’s next Starliner mission is expected to be the Crew Flight Test, or CFT, as it leads the first astronauts aboard the capsule. But, The company is considering the possibility of redesigning o Aerojet RockettinThe thrust valves were built into the Starliner, which failed during the company’s first attempt to launch the OFT-2 mission in August 2021.

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