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Boeing is putting astronauts in space and competing with Space-X

Boeing is putting astronauts in space and competing with Space-X

the number of Private companies involved in the space race It continues to grow. This time, it was the North American company Boeing that sent astronauts into space.

Capsule Starliner It was launched This Wednesday, 10:52 a.m. (local time) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Towards the International Space Station (ISS), After postponing two previous attempts, at the beginning of May and last week.

On board are astronauts Butch Wilmore, 61, a fighter pilot and retired U.S. Navy captain, and Sonny Williams, a Navy test pilot who has flown more than 30 aircraft. Butch (who is the leader) and Sonny passed together Over 500 days in space Which transported them to the International Space Station on previous missions.

The capsule was launched attached to an Atlas 5 rocket, built by Unites Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. About four minutes after starting, Atlas V He freed himself of the main thrusters and shortly afterwards the capsule itself completely separated from the rocket Then travel by your own means.

Mark Nappi, Boeing's president, described the launch as “perfect.” Track the journey that will continue 24 hours to the space station located 400 kilometers away from Earth.

The space race accelerates

One of the goals of Boeing's mission is Meet the requirements necessary to obtain NASA certificationThis will allow regular manned flights to the lowest layers of Earth's orbit.

The project (funded by NASA itself) aims to achieve this It competes with Space X, which has been transporting astronaut crews between Earth and the International Space Station since 2020. It is a competition that is in the interest of NASA itself, which in the current circumstances is completely dependent on Elon Musk's company.

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Boeing and Space X are also leading the way Providing NASA with reusable capsules for missions to the MoonWithin the scope of the Artemis program. Musk reacted chivalrously to Boeing's feat. “Congratulations on the successful launch,” he wrote.

Currently, Boeing intends to build two capsules, but the number could be higher if there is interest in a third party acquisition of equipment for the aircraft. – Carrying out trips of a tourist nature.

NASA is also funding the project Construction of space stations by private companiesWhich could replace the International Space Station in the near future. This is the situation Blue originalWritten by Jeff Bezos. This will increase the demand for capsules like Starliner.

However, in addition to the difficulties in meeting deadlines, the value of Boeing's contract with the space agency, set at €4.2 billion, has already been substantially exceeded (by at least €1.5 billion).

Therefore, the success achieved with the launch on Wednesday is of special importance, especially after Question marks resulting from failed launch attempts Setbacks have continued in recent weeks regarding Boeing's aviation business.

The market reacted, albeit timidly, immediately to this historic success of the North American giant and the company's shares rose 0.7%.

However, it is still too early to declare fame.”mission accomplishedThis is because the mission will not be truly completed until the capsule is no longer in existence A successful reunion took place Thursday with the space stationReturn to Earth with the two astronauts, Salim Ganmin.