Starliner, a Boeing capsule, arrives at the International Space Station for the first time

Starliner, a Boeing capsule, arrives at the International Space Station for the first time

It’s a success for Boeing, which should transport future astronauts to NASA. The US aviation giant’s Starliner capsule docked for the first time on the night of Friday 20 May to Saturday 21 May at the International Space Station (ISS). The docking took place at 2:28 a.m. (French time) more than an hour later than initially scheduled due to final checks during maneuvers, which were meticulously designed 400 km above our heads.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station and the Houston control room watched this approach closely. The Starliner was first settled about 250 meters from the station. Then, after a slight advance, the capsule retracted to show that it was able to retract if necessary. Finally, after a new controlled, although longer than expected, stop at 10 meters, the final accurate maneuver was started, which is carried out while the station speeds up at 28000 km / h. The car approached slowly, until it touched.

“The Starliner spacecraft has successfully completed its historic first docking with the International Space Station, opening a new avenue for laboratory crews to fly.”He was a commentator on the US space agency’s live broadcast at the time.

The hatch for the capsule, which was carrying about 230 kilograms of supplies on behalf of NASA, will not open until Saturday. The Starliner must remain docked at the International Space Station for about five days, before descending to Earth for a landing in the deserts of the US state of New Mexico, on a white sand foundation.

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This unmanned test flight was actually attempted in 2019, but then the capsule had many problems and had to return without being able to reach the station. Since then, Boeing has been struggling to catch up with SpaceX, which has already been transporting NASA astronauts since 2020, after the successful flights of its Dragon capsule.

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