Successful Boeing Starliner launch to ISS could pave way for additional astronaut transportation

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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Now, NASA is a step closer to having another transportation system to carry astronauts to the ISS.

The uncrewed Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is in orbit, heading to the station on a demonstration mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew program.

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“Everything is going perfectly,” said Dr. Ken Kremer with Space UpClose. “They had the orbital insertion burn at T+31 minutes. That’s where it went awry last time at the original OFT test flight.”

A software glitch during Starliner’s first orbital flight test in 2019 prevented the spacecraft from ever reaching the space station.

“Right now, everything is on target, but it still has to dock at the International Space Station,” Kremer said. “If it doesn’t dock, then astronauts can’t get aboard on future flights.”

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The Starliner and its 800 pounds of crew supplies and cargo are scheduled to dock with ISS Friday evening. However, that won’t conclude the flight test.

Teams will still be monitoring the spacecraft aboard the station as well as its reentry and landing.

If it all goes well, NASA will be closer to having two U.S. crew transportation options for the ISS: SpaceX and Boeing.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.