Sylvie Claire / May 20, 2022
The launch took place Thursday night from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Starliner is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station about 24 hours later.
Finally. After years of delay, Boeing’s space capsule, Starliner, finally took off on Thursday evening, May 19, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is scheduled to dock 24 hours later, on Saturday, with the International Space Station (ISS). This test flight, without passengers onboard, should prove that the capsule is safe to transport humans. The goal is to become the second company to serve as a cab for NASA astronauts in the future, after SpaceX.
The capsule was placed on the right trajectory, but two of the twelve thrusters normally used for the maneuver did not work, Nasa officials said at a press conference. However, this problem should not affect the mission.
This test had already been tried in 2019. But it had then bordered on the catastrophe and the spacecraft had to return to Earth prematurely without having reached the ISS. Then in August 2021, a new test had to be cancelled at the very last moment, even before the launch, because of a problem of valves detected during the final checks.
Meanwhile, SpaceX, a newcomer to the aerospace industry compared to Boeing, has successfully completed its own tests and begun transporting NASA astronauts on regular missions. Billionaire Elon Musk’s company has already flown 18 astronauts in its own capsule, Dragon.