Astronauts on the International Space Station floated into Boeing’s Starliner capsule Saturday, becoming the first people to enter the spacecraft in orbit less than a day after it docked at the orbiting research complex for the first time. The station astronauts will spend several days performing tests and unpacking cargo inside the Starliner spacecraft before it departs and returns to Earth on Wednesday.
Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule finally reached the International Space Station Friday night with a “nail-biting” rendezvous and docking, overcoming several technical glitches to accomplish a long-awaited objective for the spacecraft before NASA clears it to ferry astronauts to the research complex.
A day after launching from Cape Canaveral, Boeing’s human-rated Starliner spacecraft approached the International Space Station Friday for docking, a major test objective left unaccomplished during the crew capsule’s first unpiloted demonstration flight in 2019. Docking occurred at 8:28 p.m. EDT (0028 GMT).
United Launch Alliance rolled an Atlas 5 rocket to its launch pad Wednesday at Cape Canaveral, moving into the starting position for a critical unpiloted demo flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule. Unlike the first Starliner test flight, the spacecraft’s launch abort system will be armed during the climb to space Thursday.