After years of waiting, Boeing’s Starliner capsule is on its way to the ISS for its test flight

The launch took place Thursday evening in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Starliner is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station about 24 hours later.

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Last but not least. After years of delay, the Boeing Starliner space capsule, finally took off from Cape Canaveral (Florida) on the evening of Thursday, May 19th. 24 hours later, i.e. on Saturday, it has to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). This test flight, which takes place with no passengers on board, aims to provide evidence that the capsule is safe to transport people. Declared goal: to be the second company after SpaceX to serve as a “taxi” for NASA astronauts in the future.

The capsule was placed on the correct course, but two of the 12 engines normally used for the maneuver failed, NASA officials said at a news conference. However, this problem should not affect the mission.

This test had already been attempted in 2019. But then it was close to catastrophe and the ship had to return to Earth prematurely without having reached the ISS. In August 2021, a new test had to be canceled at the very last moment, before the start, due to a valve problem identified during the final checks.

Meanwhile, SpaceX, a newcomer to the aerospace industry compared to Boeing, has passed its own tests and started transporting NASA astronauts on regular missions. Billionaire Elon Musk’s company has already transported 18 astronauts in its own Dragon capsule.

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