The first astronauts transported by the Boeing Starliner spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station

The first astronauts transported by the Boeing Starliner spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station

Two astronauts joined the International Space Station thanks to this new device, despite problems that occur during the flight.

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Astronauts Butch Wilmore (left, front) and Sonny Williams (right) on the International Space Station, June 6, 2024. (HANDOUT / NASA / AFP)

Big step for Boeing. The first two astronauts transported by the American company's Starliner spacecraft entered the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, June 6. This successful docking represents a decisive step for this mission, which has been awaited for years, despite problems that occurred during flight with the capsule’s propulsion system.

As usual, the bell was rung to welcome the new arrivals. ““What a wonderful place, and it's great to be back here.”NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore announced with a smile that this is his third stay on the International Space Station (ISS), just like his colleague Sonny Williams. This first crewed Starliner mission represents a major challenge for the aerospace giant and NASA. It aims to prove that the vehicle is safe to begin regular operations.

Ten years ago, the US Space Agency ordered two new vehicles from the American companies Boeing and SpaceX to transport its astronauts to the International Space Station. If SpaceX has already been playing this role as a space taxi for four years, Boeing's program has been slow to produce the expected results.

After taking off from Florida on Wednesday, the spacecraft approached the International Space Station more than an hour late. NASA explained that five of these small engines, out of 28, failed at some point. But four of them were eventually restarted, providing the necessary numbers for the operation. The ship's hatch opened about two hours after docking, allowing the astronauts to welcome the other seven people already aboard the flight laboratory (NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts).

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