It’s no longer just wings and prayers.
Boeing docked a space capsule on the International Space Station late Friday night, completing a long-standing mission hurt by setbacks and cost overruns.
The Boeing Starliner will one day carry an astronaut, but took off from Cape Canaveral on Thursday and carried only a dummy on this trip, which took about 25 hours.
NASA celebrated this achievement as it means that the two companies have demonstrated the ability to transport astronauts to the ISS. SpaceX has already completed multiple crew missions.
“Today is a great milestone,” said NASA astronaut Bob Hines. “The Starliner looks beautiful in front of the station.”
The first Boeing Starliner journey in 2019 ended in an accident because the capsule did not reach the ISS orbit. A second trip was planned in 2021, but some corroded valves were discovered shortly before takeoff. Boeing cost more than $ 600 million to solve the problem.
Even this trip wasn’t without problems, as four thrusters broke down during the link-up period. However, the backup power supply completed the work after a stressful hour of waiting.
“The last few hours have been unbearable to see the spacecraft out of reach of the ISS,” says NASA’s senior Kathy Lueders. I told reporters After docking. “This is a really important demonstration mission.”
Boeing’s first crew mission could begin soon this year. Starliner will return to Earth next week and land in New Mexico.
With news wire service
Boeing finally docks capsules on the International Space Station – New York Daily News
Source link Boeing finally docks capsules on the International Space Station – New York Daily News