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Boeing’s Starliner Will be Tested on July 30, Reveal Sources

After many failed first attempts to make it to the International Space Station, Boeing’s Starliner is ready for a second shot. NASA is moving forward with the craft’s upcoming July 30th uncrewed orbital flight test. The capsule will be launched from the Space Force’s Cape Canaveral Station mounted on an Atlas V rocket at 2:53 PM ET. If NASA postpones the flight, it will again attempt to carry out the test on August 3rd.

The purpose of the flight is for NASA to conduct an end-to-end test of Boeing’s Starliner capabilities. It wants to know if the capsule can handle every aspect of a trip to the ISS, including launch, docking as well as atmospheric re-entry. The agency said that the Orbital Flight will give data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station.

If the flight is a success, NASA will move forward with a crewed test of the Boeing’s Starliner. Steve Stich, commercial crew program manager at NASA, said that could happen as soon as later this year. Boeing and NASA have invested a lot into the viability of Starliner. For the aerospace company, its decision not to conduct an end-to-end test of the craft before its failed 2019 flight left the agency surprised, leading to questions about the project.

NASA is keen to have two capsules that can transport its astronauts to the ISS. NASA has selected SpaceX for launching its first mission to explore one of Jupiter’s 79 moons, Europa, with a total contract award amount of $178 million. As Europa’s internal global ocean is twice the size of Earth’s, scientists would like to assess if the conditions there are suitable for life.

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