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Fri, May 27, 2022

First Uncrewed Starliner Flight to ISS Successful

Boeing's Long Road Finally Has the Destination in Sight After Orbital Flight Test-2

NASA's patience with the problem child of the commercial spacecraft program has been rewarded after the CST-100 Starliner touched down in the western desert following the successful Orbital Flight Test-2. 

The flight proved that the Starliner could fulfill its mission as a cargo and crew lift vehicle, opening up additional avenues to the International Space Station and (hopefully) bringing down costs for the agency. The flight proves that the Starliner system can complete a crewed flight, among a raft of other objectives for the various parts and systems involved in the launch and deployment process. 

Steve Stich, NASA commercial crew program manager, said the flight provided a wonderful amount of information about the Starliner program. “I am incredibly proud of the dedication and perseverance shown by the NASA, Boeing and ULA team culminating in the successful completion of Starliner’s second Orbital Flight Test from start to finish. Throughout this process, Starliner has provided a tremendous amount of valuable data, which we’re continuing to assess in our effort to bring the spacecraft online and fully operational for crew flights to the space station as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The mission has opened the way for additional flights for the program, most likely crewed ones should the data point to a safe journey. “NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and our industry partner, Boeing, today took a major and successful step on the journey to enabling more human spaceflight missions to the International Space Station on American spacecraft from American soil,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The OFT-2 mission represents the power of collaboration, which allows us to innovate for the benefit of humanity and inspire the world through discovery. This golden era of spaceflight wouldn’t be possible without the thousands of individuals who persevered and poured their passion into this great achievement.”

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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