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Boeing's Starliner sits atop the ULA Atlas V at SLC-41
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft sits on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ahead of the Orbital Flight Test mission on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed mission, called Orbital Flight Test, was the first launch of the Starliner on the Atlas V rocket as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Boeing's Starliner launches atop the ULA Atlas V at SLC-41
Starliner launched on the Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. EST Dec. 20 on Starliner’s maiden flight test, designed to test the end-to end capabilities of the new, crew-capable system. This was the first launch of the human-rated Atlas V rocket.
Boeing's Starliner launches atop the ULA Atlas V at SLC-41
In this black and white infrared image, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Boeing's Starliner launches atop the ULA Atlas V at SLC-41
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Rosie the Rocketeer seated in Starliner
Inside the spacecraft, which is designed to carry up to four astronauts for NASA missions to the International Space Station, carried an anthropometric test device – Rosie the Rocketeer. Rosie was wearing Boeing’s crew spacesuit and was outfitted with sensors to collect as much information, or data, as possible about what astronauts will experience when they fly missions aboard the Starliner.
the Starliner separates from the second stage of the Atlas V
Although Starliner did not reach its planned orbit and dock to the International Space Station as planned, teams worked quickly to ensure the spacecraft was in a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel for landing opportunities at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.

Boeing still was able to complete a number of test objectives during the flight test, including:


• Successful launch of the first human-rated United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket
• Checked out the Starliner propulsion systems
• Tested space-to-space communications
• Confirmed Starliner tracker alignments using its navigation system
• Tested Starliner’s NASA Docking System
• Validated all environment control and life support systems
• Completed a positive command uplink between the International Space Station and Starliner



a recovery convoy awaits the landing of Starliner
Boeing, NASA, and U.S. Army personnel prepare for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft landing in White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019.
Starliner parachutes back down to Earth
Starliner completed the first land touchdown of a human-rated capsule in U.S. history Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the company’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Starliner parachutes back down to Earth
Starliner settled gently onto its airbags at 7:58 a.m. EST (5:58 a.m. MST) in a pre-dawn landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings at the same site. The landing followed a deorbit burn at 7:23 a.m., separation of the spacecraft’s service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.
a team secures Starliner after landing
“Congratulations to the NASA and Boeing teams on a bullseye landing of the Starliner. The hardest parts of this orbital flight test were successful,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “This is why we conduct these tests, to learn and improve our systems. The information gained from this first mission of Starliner will be critical in our efforts to strengthen NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and return America’s human spaceflight capability.”
the recovery teams gather after landing operations
Louis Atchison, chief of launch and recovery operations, Boeing Commercial Crew Program, speaks to the teams from NASA, Boeing, and the White Sands Missile Range, after the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft landed in White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019.
Starliner after landing
Starliner will be refurbished for Boeing’s first operational crewed mission, following the Crew Flight Test. After the landing, NASA astronaut Suni Williams, who will fly on that mission, dubbed the spacecraft “Calypso” after the ship of famed explorer Jacques Cousteau.

“I love what the ocean means to this planet,” said Williams. “We would not be this planet without the ocean. There’s so much to discover in the ocean, and there’s so much to discover in space.”



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To learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew program, click HERE.


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