Boeing readies Starliner capsule for crew test flight in April

Boeing will send two astronauts into space in first crew flight

Crews mate the Starliner capsule to a new service module. (Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Boeing is a step closer to an April crewed test flight for its Starliner capsule.

Boeing said it has mated the Starliner capsule to a new service module at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for the flight.

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The spacecraft will undergo weight and center of gravity testing before moving to the United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch complex at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams will be the crew for the Boeing test flight when it happens in April.

Starliner is expected to launch aboard an Atlas V rocket, and then land eight days later in White Sands, New Mexico.

If the crew flight test is successful, NASA will begin certifying Starliner for future crew missions to the International Space Station.

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An uncrewed launch of the capsule happened at the end of May 2022 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Boeing’s Starliner launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket for its second-ever orbital test flight.

In 2019, a malfunction during the capsule’s first flight test caused it to return to Earth 48 hours after launching, as a maneuver critical to getting Starliner to the ISS was missed shortly after takeoff.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.