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 Bemande vlucht Starliner van Boeing infographic
Graphic shows details of the mission, including a diagram of the International Space Station.
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Eerste historische bemande vlucht met Starliner van Boeing

By Duncan Mil

April 26, 2024 - Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will make its inaugural crewed launch carrying two NASA astronauts, Barry “Butch”  Wilmore and Suni Williams (below), to the International Space Station.

Astronauts Wilmore and Williams, two of NASA’s veteran astronauts who have completed four previous spaceflights, 11 spacewalks, and 500 days in orbit between them, will ride the Starliner atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket at 22:34EDT (02:30GMT) on Monday, May 6.

”In less than two weeks, the next flight we take we’ll be laying on our backs and (launching) into the heavens,” Wilmore told reporters after arriving at Kennedy Space Center.

Completing the Starliner’s Crew Flight Test, or CFT, will “broaden (NASA’s) capability to and from space station, and that’s vitally important,” he said. “We’re excited to be here.”

NASA awarded two contracts in 2014, one to SpaceX valued at $2.6 billion and the other to Boeing for $4.2 billion, to develop independent spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Boeing launched its Starliner on two unpiloted test flights in December 2019 and May 2022, but the craft experienced major software and parachute issues.

Wilmore and Williams, both former Navy test pilots, will dock at the ISS on May 8 and return to Earth on May 15 or shortly after that. If the mission goes well, NASA plans to begin operational Starliner crew rotation flights in 2025, alternating crew launches with SpaceX.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 26/04/2024; STORY: Graphic News
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