A second unpiloted test flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule — ordered after an initial demonstration mission fell short of reaching the International Space Station — is now scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in August or September, leaving little margin to conduct the spaceship’s first flight with astronauts before the end of the year.
Christopher Ferguson, commander of the final space shuttle flight and now a Boeing executive, has stepped down as commander of the first piloted test flight of the company’s troubled CST-100 Starliner commercial spacecraft, he and Boeing announced Wednesday. He has been replaced by NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore.
International Space Station managers Friday cleared astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Terry Virts to proceed with a third spacewalk Sunday, as originally planned, after concluding a small amount of water in Virts’ space helmet after an EVA Wednesday was an understood condition and not a threat to crew safety.
Astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Terry Virts floated outside the International Space Station Wednesday for the second of three spacewalks to help ready the complex for dockings by commercial crew capsules. Back inside the station’s airlock, Virts reported a small amount of water in his space helmet, but officials said he was not in any danger.