The First Women to Fly to the International Space StationEarlier this year‚ NASA announced that the astronauts aboard the International Space Station will be the first women to travel to the station. The two astronauts will be joined by their anthropometric test dummy Rosie the Rocketeer. The astronauts will spend two months on the ISS before returning to Earth. They will continue to do this test flight as many times as needed in order to perfect the vehicle.
In preparation for docking‚ Boeing's Starliner spacecraft hangs before the International Space Station. (NASA via twitter) Boeing's CST100 Starliner space-taxi‚ the CST-100 Starliner Space Taxi docked today with the International Space Station during an uncrewed test flight. This marks another big step towards being authorized to transport astronauts into orbit. But it wasn’t easy. These last hours were exhausting‚ Kathy Lueders (NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Operations)‚ acknowledged in a.
Lueders and the other NASA leaders and Boeing team members were pleased‚ despite a few glitches. Launch from Florida on Thursday Continue on with the hours-long sequence of orbital maneuvers. Lueders stated that we have learned so many things from this mission in the last 24 hours. Original docking time was 7:10 PM PT. ET (or 4:10 PM PT) but the docking was delayed by a problem with the docking system for over an hour. Starliner was ordered to pull its docking rings‚ reset the system‚ and make another attempt. Official time of docking occurred at 8:28 pm. ET (5:28 p.m. PT). Also‚ mission managers reported issues with spacecraft's thermal cooling systems and some of its reaction control system thrusters. However‚ workarounds were found quickly. Mark Nappi (Boeing's vice-president and program manager for commercial crew)‚ said that the cooling loops might have become too cold due to the lack of warm-blooded humans inside the capsule. Rosie the Rocketeer‚ a sensor-equipped mannequin was the only occupant. Two of Starliner’s most powerful maneuvering thrusters‚ the more powerful one‚ was still being repaired by engineers. The malfunction occurred during Thursday’s orbital insert. Nappi stated that there could be three possible causes of the shut downs. However‚ Starliner will still complete the test mission with the thrusters intact. Aerojet Rocketdyne built the thruster system in Redmond‚ Wash. It is intended to be ignited with Starliner's rest of Starliner’s service module during atmospheric reentry. Nappi stated that we may never find out the true cause because we can't get our vehicle back. On Saturday‚ the crew of Starliner will open Starliner's hatch and start a series on-orbit checks. The spacecraft will undock on Saturday and then descend to New Mexico for a landing. NASA and Boeing have the option to wait for unfavorable weather or choose another landing spot in the west U.S. Starliner is now able to go further through the checklist than in 2019 when it was unable to complete its task due an error with the automated timer. The team had to abandon plans for a space station docking.. Boeing was required to pay $595 million for an uncrewed second test flight. This test mission could see Boeing's Starliner join SpaceX's Crew Dragon to become a U.S.-built spaceship that NASA astronauts can ride in the future. NASA reimburses the companies per ride‚ similar to taxi services.