Twenty-four hours after leaving the mission from the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the United States, the Boeing Space Starliner capsule docked this morning at the International Space Station, next to the Harmony module, after a series of independent maneuvers supervised by Expedition 67 members aboard the station. Another phase of the space mission, a test of the Starliner capsule’s ability to transport humans to and from space, has been successfully completed..
Watch photos of the moment the CST-100 Starliner safely docked with the space station module
Boeing Starliner capsule I left on board an Atlas V missile and this time there were no passengers on board, But the capsule, which has a height of about 5 meters, is capable of carrying a crew of up to seven people.
distance Two failed attempts, in 2019 and again in the summer of last year, and this time the launch went well The capsule arrived at the International Space Station, where it will remain for the next few days, only to then return to Earth.
See the best photos of the mission
There are still some steps to be taken in order for the mission to be deemed a success and to ensure that Boeing can finally start doing what SpaceX has been doing for some time with its Crew Dragon spacecraft. First, it is necessary to overcome obstacles, because The launch was not without problems and after the mission has just begun, there is still a lot to check on the car’s systems.
In Starliner’s first flight test in 2019, software problems caused the capsule to be unable to reach the correct orbit after launch and position itself on the route that would take it to the International Space Station. It was explained at the time that a problem with the timing system meant that the capsule’s thrusters were not fired at the right time, too much fuel was expended and it could no longer be aligned with the correct trajectory.
This Thursday, the thrusters were back again. 31 minutes after the Starliner launch, the capsule detached from the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket that carried it into space and four thrusts were fired, burning for less than a minute and giving the thrust needed to position the capsule in the correct position. revolves in orbit.
A second after they started, one of the engines went out, a spare was turned on, which would also turn off earlier than expected, setting another backup on. The failure never jeopardized the mission, because the capsule is equipped with 12 thrusters and 10 have been shown to work, but it will be analyzed to identify the origin and prevent it from happening again, Steve Stitch, who is in charge of NASA’s commercial program for the crew, said in a post-launch press release. .Note that The thrusters will be reused to approach the International Space Station and put the Starliner into the correct orbit to return to Earth..
So far, it has been proven Vehicle sensor system capability to ensure automatic docking A door opened to receive it on the International Space Station. The flight also serves to verify that the systems on board the aircraft are working properly in the opposite direction and in all necessary steps to ensure the return flight.
The EEI was reached today at 19:10 ET, Lisbon dawn (00:10). The Starliner will spend five days on the podium and will return home on May 25 to land somewhere in the desert., in the western United States. If everything goes as planned, then the next mission will be manned and it should be prepared by summer, as for the selection of a team of four astronauts who will make the first flight, the date of the flight will be decided only after the end of this mission.
However, the American manufacturer will have to solve many problems. The Starliner parachute landing system is still being certified. The problem that prevented the second test flight last August, which was canceled hours before departure after it was confirmed that safety in some valves had failed, has not been definitively resolved. The solution used in the current task is temporary and when there is a final solution, it should be tested and approved.
The Starliner departed Cape Canaveral at 18:45 ET (23:45, Lisbon) on Thursday. The team of astronauts from the space station will open the capsule today at 11:45 a.m. ET (4:45 p.m., Lisbon), a moment that will be broadcast live by NASA. Inside you’ll find more than 350 kilograms of merchandise, including supplies and Boeing materials. Also making the trip is Rosie the Rocketeer, in one of the photos in the gallery below, taking a spot on Starliner’s next flight that will already be filled by a flesh-and-blood astronaut.
In the Returning to Starliner will bring more than 250 kilograms of material to Earth, mostly refillable oxygen solution systems that ensure breathing air for crew members on the station. The deposit will be renewed and returned to the EEI on the next flight.
The Boeing was one of the companies selected by NASA to sign a contract, as part of a program that will gradually transfer the development and operation of spacecraft to private companies.Financial support from the North American Space Agency. Since SpaceX faced many challenges in transitioning from the concept that made it exercise the NASA contract, it took Elon Musk’s company more time to get rid of it.