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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Tucked inside a former space shuttle parking garage is Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule. It's one of two new private space taxis that NASA has commissioned to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
On Aug. 9, Boeing invited members of the media into the company's facilities here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for a behind-the-scenes tour and a chance to meet the astronauts who will be flying the spacecraft as early as next year.
Boeing - Starliner - Crew - Construction - Boeing
Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, the first to carry a human crew, is seen under construction inside the Boeing Starliner Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch NASA astronauts Eric Boe, Nicole Aunapu Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson in 2019.
Before Starliner becomes operational, it must go through a series of uncrewed and crewed test flights. During each of these, Starliner will launch and dock with the space station. While the capsule is in orbit, crews will evaluate the vehicle's systems, ensuring that everything is working as planned. The first of those tests, an uncrewed mission, could be carried out as soon as the end of this year, NASA officials have said.
Flight - Test - Mission - Boeing - Chris
Following that flight will be the first crewed test mission. Boeing's Chris Ferguson will join NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Eric Boe in the Starliner capsule as it ferries its first set of people to the space station.
This test flight, scheduled for mid-2019, could mark the first time astronauts will have launched into space from U.S. soil since the end of the shuttle program, in 2011. (However, SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule — the other private astronaut taxi — is currently slated to fly its first crewed test mission in April 2019.) Ferguson, now a private astronaut working for Boeing,...
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