🚀 Boeing's Starliner capsule docks with International Space Station
Crew Dragon just got some competition.
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We've covered SpaceX and thier various spacecraft on numerous occasions. One would be forgiven for believing that they're the only ones in the private space game. However, that's far from the case.
On May 20, Boeing's new capsule for low-earth orbit missions, the Starliner, performed its second test flight. It took off from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, atop an AtlasV rocket and docked with the International Space Station. It carried 250 kilograms of supplies to the ISS.
The flight was uncrewed and its purpose was to see if the craft is ready to carry crew to the space station. Upon docking, the intention is that the ISS crew will enter and perform tests on the craft before departing on May 25 and subsequently returning to earth.
Even before this first successful flight, NASA had confidence in the project and six crew-rotation missions have already been ordered.
The CST-100 Starliner
The Boeing Starliner, or Crew Space Transportation 100, can be seen as a competitor to SpaceX's Crew Dragon. It's being developed in collaboration with NASA and can carry a crew of up to seven passengers to destinations in low-earth orbit.
It can be reused up to ten times, has a six-month turnaround time, and features unique weldless construction. By eliminating welds, the resulting craft is lighter, more economical to make, and less likely to have weak points.
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