NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test Finally Launches

On June 5, 2024 NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test launched. Image credit: NASA TV.

After multiple launch delays in the past month, NASA’s first crewed Starliner for the Crew Flight Test mission finally launched. Onboard the capsule were NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, commander, and Suni Williams, pilot.

Liftoff was on time at  10:52 a.m. Eastern. The launch of Starliner from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida went without any hitches and the weather was perfect.

According to NASA, the mission will be historical for several reasons. “As the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, Williams is the first female astronaut to fly on the first flight of a crewed spacecraft. The launch also marks the first crewed launch on the ULA Atlas V rocket and the first crewed launch on an Atlas-family class rocket since Gordon Cooper on the last Mercury program flight aboard “Faith 7” in May 1963.”

NASA said the it will take roughly 25.5 hours before Starliner rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) with an expected docking expected at 12:15 p.m. Eastern tomorrow.

Working as capcom, capsule communicator, for the launch is Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk who is scheduled to be part of the Starliner-1 mission to the ISS. That mission scheduled for 2025 will be Kutryk’s first time in space and it will be a long duration mission whereby he’ll be at the ISS for about six months.

Kutryk recently told SpaceQ that “My primary role (for the CFT) is to be the CAPCOM for some of the more dynamic phases of that mission, mainly the ascent, the docking, the undocking, and the re-entry back to Earth’s atmosphere after it’s all said and done.”

Watch NASA’s short video recapping today’s launch.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and Executive Vice President, Content of SpaceNews. Boucher has 25+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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