Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Boeing's Starliner capsule docks with space station in uncrewed flight test

Stock Markets May 22, 2022 02:11AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule is seen, after the launch to the International Space Station was delayed for a do-over test flight in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. August 4, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo 2/2

By Joey Roulette and Steve Gorman

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Boeing (NYSE:BA)'s new Starliner crew capsule docked for the first time with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, completing a major objective in a high stakes do-over test flight into orbit without astronauts aboard.

The rendezvous of the gumdrop-shaped CST-100 Starliner with the orbital research outpost, currently home to a seven-member crew, occurred nearly 26 hours after the capsule was launched from Cape Canaveral U.S. Space Force Base in Florida.

Starliner lifted off on Thursday atop an Atlas (NYSE:ATCO) V rocket furnished by the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance (ULA) and reached its intended preliminary orbit 31 minutes later despite the failure of two onboard thrusters.

Boeing said the two defective thrusters posed no risk to the rest of the spaceflight, which comes after more than two years of delays and costly engineering setbacks in a program designed to give NASA another vehicle for sending its astronauts to and from orbit.

Docking with ISS took place at 8:28 p.m. EDT (0028 GMT Saturday) as the two vehicles flew 271 miles (436 km) over the south Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia, according to commentators on a live NASA webcast of the linkup.

It marked the first time spacecraft from both of NASA's Commercial Crew Program partners were physically attached to the space station at the same time. A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule has been docked to the space station since delivering four astronauts to ISS in late April.

BUMPY ROAD BACK TO ORBIT

Much was riding on the outcome, after an ill-fated first test flight in late 2019 nearly ended with the vehicle's loss following a software glitch that effectively foiled the spacecraft's ability to reach the space station.

Subsequent problems with Starliner's propulsion system, supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne, led Boeing to scrub a second attempt to launch the capsule last summer.

Starliner remained grounded for nine more months while the two companies sparred over what caused fuel valves to stick shut and which firm was responsible for fixing them, as Reuters reported last week.

Boeing said it ultimately resolved the issue with a temporary workaround and plans a redesign after this week's flight.

Besides seeking a cause of thruster failures shortly after Thursday's launch, Boeing said that it was monitoring some unexpected behavior detected with Starliner's thermal-control system, but that the capsule's temperatures remained stable.

"This is all part of the learning process for operating Starliner in orbit," Boeing mission commentator Steve Siceloff said during the NASA webcast.

The capsule is scheduled to depart the space station on Wednesday for a return-flight to Earth, ending with an airbag-softened parachute landing in the New Mexico desert.

A success is seen as pivotal to Boeing as the Chicago-based company scrambles to climb out of successive crises in its jetliner business and its space defense unit. The Starliner program alone has cost nearly $600 million in engineering setbacks since the 2019 mishap.

If all goes well with the current mission, Starliner could fly its first team of astronauts to the space station as early as the fall.

For now, the only passenger was a research dummy, whimsically named Rosie the Rocketeer and dressed in a blue flight suit, strapped into the commander's seat and collecting data on crew cabin conditions during the journey, plus 800 pounds (363 kg) of cargo to deliver to the space station.

The orbital platform is currently occupied by a crew of three NASA astronauts, a European Space Agency astronaut from Italy and three Russian cosmonauts.

Russia's Roscosmos space agency Director General Dmitry Rogozin noted the docking in a social media post on Saturday, adding: "The station is not in danger. Aboard the Russian segment of the ISS there is order."

Since resuming crewed flights to orbit from American soil in 2020, nine years after the space shuttle program ended, the U.S. space agency has had to rely solely on the Falcon 9 rockets and Crew Dragon capsules from Elon Musk's company SpaceX to fly NASA astronauts.

Previously the only other option for reaching the orbital laboratory was by hitching rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Boeing's Starliner capsule docks with space station in uncrewed flight test
 

Related Articles

Dow Futures Trade Lower After Positive Week
Dow Futures Trade Lower After Positive Week By Investing.com - Jun 26, 2022

By Oliver Gray  Investing.com - U.S. stock futures were trading lower during Sunday's evening deals, easing from a major rebound last week as investors monitored growing recession...

Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 1.79%
Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 1.79% By Investing.com - Jun 26, 2022

Investing.com – Israel stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Real Estate, Banking and Communication sectors led shares higher. At the close in Tel Aviv,...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (7)
John Laurens
John Laurens May 21, 2022 4:13AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I'd choose the SpaceX flight if I were going..
Obrien Sayien
Obrien Sayien May 20, 2022 10:00PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
am not to be in a position that is a good time to be in concert world
Obrien Sayien
Obrien Sayien May 20, 2022 10:00PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
am not to be in a position that is a good time to be in concert world
Obrien Sayien
Obrien Sayien May 20, 2022 9:59PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
is it a pace a
Obrien Sayien
Obrien Sayien May 20, 2022 9:59PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
is it a pace a
Obrien Sayien
Obrien Sayien May 20, 2022 9:59PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
is a far away crew to space in concert for it?
Obrien Sayien
Obrien Sayien May 20, 2022 9:59PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
is a far away crew to space in concert for it
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email