Boeing’s Starliner Spacecraft Lifts Off

This morning at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Boeing’s Starliner sat atop an Atlas 5 rocket waiting for the chance to burst through our atmosphere en route to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams are buckled in and ready to make their way to the ISS. By 11:00 a.m. local time, the astronauts were on their way.

This successful lift-off was Boeing’s third attempt to launch the Starliner with astronauts aboard. This past Sunday’s attempt was scrubbed when the launch sequencer tripped a hold at T-minus 3 minutes and 50 seconds. NASA engineers scrubbed the launch to give themselves more time to study the issue.

Today’s mission, known as the Crew Flight Test, marked the last step needed for Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to get approved by NASA for manned missions. The spacecraft will rendezvous with the ISS about 24 hours after liftoff. The mission is a crew test, but is also ferrying important equipment to the ISS. The astronauts will spend about one week on the ISS before returning to earth. Starliner is designed to land on solid ground but can adjust land on water as well.

The Starliner ship was Boeing’s response to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and provide additional commercial options to send astronauts to the ISS.

This article was written by Atlas News contributor Jason Fraley as part of an ongoing series covering developments and news in the aerospace industry.