Boeing Starliner Placed Atop United Launch Alliance Rocket for First Flight

23 Novembre, 2019, 16:38 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Boeing Starliner Placed Atop United Launch Alliance Rocket for First Flight

The uncrewed mission is a critical test for Boeing as it works to launch astronauts to the station for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The capsule will be attached to Atlas V, a rocket manufactured by the United Launch Alliance, and it will fly without any crew members.

The Commercial Crew Program is a more than $6 billion project aimed at ending NASA's reliance on the Russian space agency for rides to the station after the shuttle program ended in 2011.

Boeing is close to its beginning of Starliner's first flight to space. Without a nasty failure of the fuel line that destroyed a spaceship during testing in April, SpaceX could already fly people into space. However, a recent report by the NASA Inspector General (IOG) states that a single seat on the Starliner could cost NASA up to $ 90 million. The first Starliner crew will include a woman, NASA´s Nicole Mann.

Far from being overpaid to prepare for multiple crewed missions say Boeing, "we cut lead time to launch by two-thirds and doubled the launch rate for an overall price increase of only 5 percent". Starliner and its Atlas V will move to the launchpad on December 15. "The spacecraft touches back down to Earth on land, not a splashdown, something Boeing considers much safer".

Something that has not gone unnoticed by NASA, who also appeared to criticise SpaceX too right before Elon Musk prepared to unveil the company's new Starship rocket in September.

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"I am looking forward to the SpaceX announcement tomorrow". NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the American taxpayer.

SpaceX turned to the "Alien" movies in naming its test dummy, Ripley, launched aboard a crew Dragon capsule in March.

If all goes as planned, following Rosie's and Ripley's test trips, NASA astronauts will make history flying in American-built spacecraft launched from U.S. grounds in 2020.

She detailed: "Rosie is a symbol of not only the women who re blazing a trail in human spaceflight history, but also of everyone who has shown grit and determination while working tirelessly to ensure the Starliner can transport astronauts safely to and from the International Space Station". The vehicle will one day carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), but will first have to complete its maiden voyage. "They'll be especially interested in the forces she experiences through launch, ascent, re-entry and landing".

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