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Boeing's Starliner spacecraft finally launches on first crewed flight

By T.K. Randall
June 5, 2024 · Comment icon 235 comments
Starliner launch
Starliner soared into the heavens earlier today. Image Credit: NASA / Boeing
Boeing's long-troubled alternative to the SpaceX Crew Dragon has made it off the launchpad with two astronauts on board.
It would be fair to say that Boeing's Starliner program has had a difficult few years, with the crew capsule suffering a number of setbacks and mishaps.

Its first uncrewed test flight back in 2019, for example, had ended in failure when it ran out of fuel before it could safely dock with the International Space Station.

A second test flight launched in 2022 also experienced issues when the thrusters failed to function properly.

Even today's launch was preceded by an extensive series of delays, setbacks and technical issues ranging from overheating batteries and parachute problems to the discovery that the protective tape used to cover the spacecraft's wiring was susceptible to catching fire.
Ultimately, though, everything went to plan and the spacecraft launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida earlier today.

On board were astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, the latter of which becoming the first ever female test pilot of an orbital spacecraft.

The pair will dock with the International Space Station and spend around a week there before returning.

While Boeing will be pleased to see Starliner finally succeeding, the costs associated with the program's setbacks have certainly been adding up with the project losing them around $1.5bn to date.

Source: Sky News | Comments (235)

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Comment icon #226 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 days ago
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Comment icon #232 Posted by joc 5 days ago
Marvelous! ?
Comment icon #233 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 2 days ago
NASA, Boeing Progress on Testing Starliner with Crew at Space Station  
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