This weekend is a major test for Boeing as it’s new spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner is set to launch.
The spacecraft will be tested unmanned, although it can carry seven passengers, and is planned to fly to the International Space Station and dock 25 hours after takeoff.
The spacecraft will carry 270 kilograms for the ISS crew that includes food, clothing, radiation-detection equipment and holiday presents.
Although there won’t be people on board, a test dummy named Rosie wearing a red polka dot bandana (like Rosie the Riveter) will be sent up as well. Rosie is an anthropomorphic test device (ATD) which is covered in censors to record the onboard environment that can be expected by human passengers.
NASA gave money to Boeing and SpaceX to develop American spacecraft, as the U.S have been hitching rides on Russian crafts since 2011. Despite being incredibly late, with flights being anticipated in 2017 already, this launch is the next step for Boeing under the Commercial Crew Programme (CCP)
“Building new spacecraft and developing hardware is really hard, right? Folks say it looks like it’s taking a long time, but I think when you go back and look at development history over time, this programme’s been doing a good job of meeting its obligations,” NASA manager Kathy Leuders, told the BBC.
The mission is planned to land in New Mexico, using parachutes and airbags, on 28 December.