Starliner first flight test completed by Boeing, NASANews
June 21, 2022
WHITE SANDS, New Mexico. The Starliner Spacecraft completed its first flight test at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, according to officials from Boeing, the Starliner builder. This test of an uncrewed orbital flight vehicle was flown to demonstrate the quality and performance of the transportation system prior to crewed flights.
Beginning on May 19, the flight test commenced with a launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Starliner demonstrated capabilities such as:
- Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft performance through launch, ascent, on-orbit, re-entry, and landing;
- the performance of the spacecraft’s autonomous software as well as the on-orbit operation of its avionics system, electrical power systems, docking system, communications/telemetry systems, environmental control systems, solar arrays, and propulsion systems;
- Ability to hold docking attitude, receive commands from the space station crew, and command holds and retreats during final station approach;
- Battery charging, hatch open and close, establishing joint ventilation with the station, file transfer and cargo transfer.
“We have had an excellent flight test of a complex system that we expected to learn from along the way and we have,” says Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program. “With the completion of OFT-2, we will incorporate lessons learned and continue working to prepare for the crewed flight test and NASA certification.”
When Starliner completes its next flight, Boeing will have met NASA’s goal of having two commercial vehicles to transport astronauts safely, reliably, and sustainably to the station.