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Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is prepared for the first manned space mission

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is prepared for the first manned space mission

a The information was provided Friday by NASA and the North American aircraft manufacturer. The head of the North American Space Agency's Commercial Crew Program, Steve Stitch, confirmed that the final preparatory reviews for the mission were positive and the spacecraft received final permission for its flight.

Powered by a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, the capsule will lift off from a pad at Cape Canaveral at 22:34 on Monday (03:34 Lisbon), carrying NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Sonny Williams on board.

“We will have a whole new adventure. This is an important part of our space exploration and what I call the 'Golden Age of Space Exploration,'” NASA chief Bill Nelson said Friday.

The success of this mission means that NASA will have a second supplier, after SpaceX, to transport manned missions and cargo to the space laboratory, after contracts signed with the two companies in 2014.

“We strived for the commercial team to have two independent teleport systems,” Stitch explained.

If a successful launch, the spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station on Wednesday and its two-person crew will remain on the station for about a week, before returning to the southwestern United States via the enhanced Starliner parachute system.

Last year, problems were discovered in the parachute system and in some fiberglass straps, forcing the mission to be postponed when there was a month and a half before the scheduled July 21 liftoff.

Boeing successfully launched the uncrewed OFT 2 mission on May 19, 2022, which docked with the International Space Station the next day, where the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft remained for four days before independently detaching and landing in New Mexico (USA).

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The capsule, 5 meters high and 4.6 meters in diameter, is reusable (up to 10 uses) and seats a maximum of seven people, although crewed missions commissioned by NASA under this program typically have four or five passengers.

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