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The Boeing CST-100 Starliner is a reusable crew capsule designed to transport crews to the International Space Station (ISS) and other private space stations. Starliner can accommodate up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo. The spacecraft can be reused up to ten times.

Starliner is slightly larger than the Apollo command module with a diameter of 15 feet. It is designed to be compatible with the Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan Centaur launch vehicles.

In 2010, Boeing was awarded $18 million by NASA for the preliminary development of Starliner. In the following years, NASA would continue to award Boeing with more money as it continued its Commercial Crew Program. As part of that program, Starliner embarked on its maiden voyage, Starliner Orbital Test Flight, an uncrewed flight to the ISS. Unfortunately, due to software glitches, Starliner had to return to Earth, never reaching the ISS. Boeing continues to develop the spacecraft for future crewed flights.

Boeing targets mid-summer launch for second Starliner uncrewed orbital flight test to ISS

Boeing is one step closer to joining SpaceX in launching astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. The company’s Starliner spacecraft will conduct its second uncrewed orbital flight test, known as OFT-2, as soon as July 30. OFT-2 is Boeing’s second shot at having its spacecraft reach ISS, dock, and undock before returning to Earth.

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NASA and Boeing set new date for second Starliner test ahead of astronaut missions

Boeing is positioned to start flying astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA as soon as this year, but the Starliner spacecraft must complete an orbital flight test without crew. NASA and Boeing now have a new date set for when the OFT-2 mission will be conducted. If successful, Boeing’s Starliner will join SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in transporting astronauts from the U.S. to the ISS for NASA’s Commercial Crew program.

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Boeing’s Starliner flight software has received a formal requalification

In December 2019, Boeing’s Starliner crew ship failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS) during its Orbital Flight Test mission. Later it was discovered that multiple errors in Starliner’s software caused the failure. Because of this, if Boeing wanted to test Starliner again, its software would need to achieve a formal requalification.

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Boeing wants to send NASA astronauts to space, but first it must prove Starliner is ready

In a decision that has been months in the making, Boeing has announced that its Starliner spacecraft will conduct a second orbital flight test before it can demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities for NASA.

SpaceX passed its orbital flight test for NASA in March last year when its Crew Dragon capsule traveled to the International Space Station and back.

Boeing attempted its own orbital flight test in December, but the mission went awry within minutes of Starliner leaving the planet.

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