NASA Astronauts Gear Up for Boeing Starliner’s Groundbreaking Test Flight

Boeing Starliner ULA Rocket

Preparations are complete for the first crewed flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, featuring NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, who will launch aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket. Credit: Boeing

NASA’s first crewed Starliner mission is set with astronauts Wilmore and Williams, aiming for a May 6 launch and a week at the ISS before returning to Earth.

Launch preparations are moving full steam ahead to send two NASA astronauts aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft for the first time to the International Space Station. NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) recently completed a start-to-finish mission dress rehearsal on April 26, for the upcoming Crew Flight Test.

The mission will launch NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, commander, and Suni Williams, pilot, on Boeing’s Starliner on a ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for 10:34 p.m. EDT, Monday, May 6.

Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore Pose for Photos

From left to right, NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore pose for photos at the Launch and Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida following their arrival for the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test. Credit: Frank Michaux

During the dress rehearsal, Wilmore and Williams completed a series of launch day milestones including suiting up, working in a flight deck simulator, and operating the same software that will be used during the launch. After loading out Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and convoyed to the Vertical Integration Facility at nearby Cape Canaveral to run through countdown procedures with the integrated Atlas V rocket and Starliner stack.

The crew will spend about a week at the orbiting laboratory before the crew capsule returns to Earth, making a parachute and airbag-assisted landing in the southwestern United States.

After successful completion of the mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and its systems for crew rotation missions to the space station. The Starliner capsule, with a diameter of 15 feet (4.56m) and the capability to steer automatically or manually, will carry four astronauts, or a mix of crew and cargo, for NASA missions to low Earth orbit.

4 Comments on "NASA Astronauts Gear Up for Boeing Starliner’s Groundbreaking Test Flight"

  1. Starliner is no more “groundbreaking” than my breakfast cereal. Partially reusable capsule and expendable rocket booster, 1960s idea with a “modern” twist?
    Try SpaceX’s fully reusable Falcon rockets and Dragon capsule.

  2. NASA Astronauts Gear Up for Boeing Starliner’s Groundbreaking Test Flight

    “Short straw loses and goes on the flight, right guys?”


  3. The entire Starliner program is nothing but government pork and a sad attempt to keep SpaceX from having a monopoly in American manned spaceflight. Jettison it and the SLS program, to boot.

  4. Ralph Johnson | April 29, 2024 at 9:48 am | Reply

    I worked for a company about 35 yrs ago and they were working on producing thrust reverser components, I watched from of a distance doing my tasks with the company, about 2 half yrs they had a technical problem that was causing any part formed would not reach Boeing’s standards, a supervisor position came available and I knew the floundering attempts, a little simple thinking and a position of making change brought them the first ever accepted Boeing part about 3 months after I took over, moral of the story to agree with the status quo is not always the best for an achievement. Nasa could use a little simplicity.

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.