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Starliner Mission Launches NASA Astronauts to the ISS

Atlas V launches Boeing Starliner
Starliner launches aboard Atlas V. Credit: NASA

Ibadan, 6 June 2024. – The Boeing Starliner Mission has successfully launched its first crewed flight test after three postponements, aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The mission launched NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams into orbit and are now heading to the International Space Station (ISS). Starliner will subsequently autonomously dock to the station’s Harmony module and remain at the orbital laboratory for about a week

As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the flight test will help validate the transportation system, launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, in-orbit operations capabilities, and return to Earth with astronauts aboard as the agency prepares to certify Starliner for rotational missions to the space station.

Furthermore, Wilmore and Williams will help verify the spacecraft is performing as intended by testing the environmental control system, the displays and control system, and by maneuvering the thrusters, among other tests during flight. Starliner previously flew two uncrewed orbital flights, including a test to and from the space station, along with a pad abort demonstration.

Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program, commented, “Everyone is focused on giving Suni and Butch a safe, comfortable, ride and performing a successful test mission from start to finish. With Starliner’s launch, separation from the rocket, and arrival in orbit, Boeing’s Crew Flight Test is right on track.”

Likewise, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, added, “Two bold NASA astronauts are well on their way on this historic first test flight of a brand-new spacecraft. Boeing’s Starliner marks a new chapter of American exploration. Human spaceflight is a daring task – but that’s why it’s worth doing. It’s an exciting time for NASA, our commercial partners, and the future of exploration.”

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