NASA and Boeing are one step closer to using the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as a new vessel to carry astronauts to and from the ISS. However, before any humans can climb aboard the spacecraft, it needs to go through second uncrewed flight, which is scheduled to take place in December 2020.
Boeing has spent a majority of this year getting the spacecraft ready for the upcoming test, which includes making sure the hardware is up to standard, and that all the software used in the spacecraft is up to date. Currently, Boeing is in the final assembly stage of the crew service modules of the CST-100 Starliner that will fly to the space station in the final ‘flight test-2’, according to Slashgear.
Focusing on hardware in Florida, software coding and testing in Houston, and embedding important lessons learned throughout the #Starliner program, we’re now targeting late this year for a flight to the @Space_Station.
— Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) August 28, 2020
The Flight test-2 mission will be conducted to see if a reusable Starliner crew module can make it to the ISS and back without any issues. If this mission is a success, NASA will have another reusable spacecraft to fairy astronauts to and from the ISS, similar to the SpaceX crew Dragon 2.
The CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will be propelled to ISS via the United Lunch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
Image credit: Twitter/@BoeingSpace