Science

Boeing's Starliner Meets Its Rocket Ahead Of Space Station Mission

Boeing's Starliner Meets Its Rocket Ahead Of Space Station Mission”

The first flight will be uncrewed, and that launch is targeted for December 17.

The CST-100 is one of two vehicles funded by NASA under the Commercial Crew Program, and the other is the SpaceX Dragon II capsule.

Since 2011, NASA has paid about $4 billion to Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to carry astronauts to the ISS.

As Boeing moved its Starliner crew capsule to its pad Thursday for a launch next month, the company revealed the name of the test dummy on board. NASA astronaut Mike Fincke says that he looks forward to when we are launching people regularly.

Starliner was mated to the rocket's upper stage in ULA's Vertical Integration Facility after being transported this morning from Boeing's assembly building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. If not for a nasty fuel line malfunction that destroyed a spacecraft during testing in April, SpaceX might already be flying people into space.

However, in the last week, NASA's Inspector General has criticised Boeing over a report that its Starliner seat prices cost 60 percent more than SpaceX.

The report estimated that by using the Boeing-built Starliner, NASA will end up paying about $90 million per seat to fly astronauts to and from the ISS compared to just $55 million per seat on Crew Dragon. However, the above OIG report states that both Boeing and SpaceX would launch manned crew shortly before summer 2020.

Combined, Starliner and the Atlas V stand 172 feet (52 meters) tall. "The spacecraft touches back down to Earth on land, not a splashdown, something Boeing considers much safer". Boeing chose, however, to represent women by naming the dummy, Rosie.

Another Crew Dragon is being prepped for an uncrewed in-flight test of its launch abort system, and then SpaceX will be set for its own first-ever crewed flight early next year.

The only inhabitant onboard was a life-sized mannequin called "Ripley", named after Sigourney Weaver's character in the "Alien" films.

She detailed: "Rosie is a symbol of not only the women who re blazing a trail in human spaceflight history, but also of everyone who has shown grit and determination while working tirelessly to ensure the Starliner can transport astronauts safely to and from the International Space Station". The dummy has hundreds of sensors for the first Starliner test flight to the International Space Station. "They'll be especially interested in the forces she experiences through launch, ascent, re-entry and landing".



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