Starliner astronauts arrive at launchpad for first crewed flight tonight

The Starliner astronauts arrive at the launchpad for the spacecraft's first crewed flight.
Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams make their method to the Starliner spacecraft. NASA

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams have arrived on the Starliner spacecraft that can take them to the International Space Station (ISS) within the first flight for the crew capsule.

A ULA Atlas V rocket will carry the Boeing-made Starliner and the 2 astronauts to orbit in a launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that’s scheduled for 10:34 p.m. ET tonight.

Digital Trends has full details on how to watch a live stream exhibiting the launch buildup and the early levels of the mission.

Wilmore and Williams had a brief chat with household and associates earlier than climbing aboard NASA’s Astrovan for the experience to the Atlas V rocket on the launchpad. Commentators following the proceedings stated a TV aboard the van was taking part in Top Gun: Maverick because it motored its method to the launch web site. After the Astrovan arrived, the pair exited the automobile and walked the brief distance to the launchpad. At the time of writing, the 2 astronauts are settling into the Starliner capsule for his or her experience to orbit.

The first crewed Starliner flight has been a very long time coming. The capsule took its maiden check flight in December 2019, however didn’t make it to the ISS after it was unable to succeed in the right orbit. The mission surfaced a slew of points that needed to be addressed earlier than a second check flight may happen.

It was ultimately able to fly once more in May 2022, and the mission was deemed successful after it managed to succeed in the ISS, dock, after which return to Earth in a parachute touchdown. Further technical points needed to be addressed earlier than the Starliner was prepared to hold a crew, and barring any last-minute issues, the historic flight ought to happen in only a few hours’ time.

Wilmore and Williams will totally check all the Starliner’s programs throughout their time contained in the capsule. They’ll spend a couple of week aboard the ISS earlier than returning to Earth in the identical automobile. If NASA and Boeing are pleased with the crewed check flight, the Starliner will start carrying crews to and from the house station in the identical approach that SpaceX has been doing with its Crew Dragon capsule lately.

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