NASA & Boeing Launch Starliner Manned Mission to ISS

After two previous launch attempts were scrubbed, Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft successfully lifted off with astronauts on board for the first time. The launch took place at 10:52am EST on Wednesday June 5th from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Starliner, a 15-foot-wide capsule, provides NASA with an additional option for flying crews to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft carries two experienced NASA astronauts: Commander Butch Wilmore and Pilot Suni Williams. They will dock with the ISS on Thursday at 12:15 a.m. and stay for a week.

Boeing faced numerous technical challenges and delays, including software testing issues, corroded propellant valves, flammable tape, and a weak parachute system component. Despite these setbacks and over $1.4 billion in unexpected charges, Boeing and NASA’s extensive work ensured Starliner was safe to fly.

According to NASA, its Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry through a public-private partnership to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil. The goal of the program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation on space station missions, which will allow for additional research time.

Watch the launch that was streamed live on NASA’s YouTube page (fast forward to 4:10:05 to see the launch):

Some more photos of the launch are below. Photos: Video screen capture of NASA YouTube page launch.

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