First Starliner flight to the ISS a success
Posted on 31 May 2022 and read 651 times
CST-100 Starliner spacecraft successfully touched down at the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last week. The safe return to Earth brings a close to the end-to-end uncrewed orbital flight test that demonstrated the quality and performance of the transportation system prior to crewed flights.
Mark Nappi, Boeing Commercial Crew Program vice president and program manager, said: “We have had an excellent flight test of a complex system that we expected to learn from along the way and we have. Thank you to the NASA
and Boeing teammates who have put so much of themselves into Starliner.”
The flight test completed began on 19 May with a launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and completed on 26 May. Capabilities the Starliner demonstrated included: end-to-end performance of the Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft through launch, ascent, on-orbit, re-entry and landing; Starliner’s autonomous software and the on-orbit operation of its avionics system, docking system, communications/telemetry systems, environmental control systems, solar arrays, electrical power systems, and propulsion systems; ability to hold docking attitude, receive commands from the space station crew, and command holds and retreats during final station approach; and battery charging, hatch open and close, establishing joint ventilation with the station, file transfer and cargo transfer.
Once Starliner has completed its next flight, Boeing will have fulfilled NASA’s goal of having two commercial vehicles to transport astronauts safely, reliably and sustainably to the station from US soil.
Mr Nappi added: “With the completion of OFT-2, we will incorporate lessons learned and continue working to prepare for the crewed flight test and NASA certification.”