A series of fresh images showcase the Boeing Starliner and the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket as they are brought to pad 41, which is located at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The Atlas 5 rocket was placed on a mobile platform and transported from the Vertical Integration Facility to the Complex 41 launch Pad. Boeing’s first commercial crew ship, the CST-100 Starliner, spent over ten years in development as the company strived to respect the strict guidelines and security protocols imposed by NASA.
An IDOLT or Integrated Day-of-Launch Test will take place soon as ULA and Boeing plan to observe and prepare launch day procedures. To facilitate the transfer of astronauts to the spacecraft, the Atlas 5 countdown timer has been increased.
The Boeing Starliner Arrived at the Launchpad
If everything goes well, the Atlas 5 launcher and the Starliner will be launched on December 19 to conduct an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station. The test is mandatory, and it will allow NASA and Boeing to verify that the crew capsule is safe and ready to be used by astronauts.
Boeing received a contract from NASA to develop the CST-100 Starliner, a crew capsule that can transport astronauts to and from the international space station. It will be able to carry crews of up to seven people, and it was designed with reusability in mind as it can be deployed several times before it has to be replaced.
Design cues were taken from Boeing’s experience from the previous NASA mission, among which we can count the Apollo, ISS, and Space Shuttle programs along with the Orbital Express project that was sponsored by the Department of Defense. SpaceX has also been hard at work on the Dragon Crew capsule, which has been tested successfully a few months ago. Boeing may have faced a few issues during the development, but the future of the Starliner is quite bright.