Boeing’s Starliner capsule, carrying an instrumented astronaut test dummy nicknamed “Rosie,” is on track for launch Friday on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station, mission managers said Tuesday. The flight is a major milestone in NASA’s push to resume launching U.S. crews from American soil.
NASA officials cleared Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft for flight Thursday after a “thorough and comprehensive” review of the crew capsule’s readiness, setting the stage for final pre-launch preparations at Cape Canaveral ahead of liftoff Dec. 20 on an unpiloted demonstration mission to the International Space Station.
This gallery of photos shows the rollout Tuesday of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket and Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule to pad 41 at Cape Canaveral, plus additional views of the 172-foot-tall launcher standing next to the crew access tower Wednesday as teams prepared for a countdown rehearsal.
United Launch Alliance and Boeing teams worked through the weekend on closeouts of the Starliner crew capsule, inspections and final outfitting of the Atlas 5 rocket. A launch readiness review Tuesday approved the continuation of final preparations for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Friday of the first Starliner spacecraft on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station.
Boeing’s first Starliner crew capsule to fly in space departed its factory Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a trip to a launch pad a few miles away, where teams raised the craft atop an Atlas 5 rocket for liftoff next month on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station.