Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Spacecraft Heads for Pre-Launch Processing At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is transported from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to a facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. (NASA Image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (NASA) – Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is transported from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to a facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.

Later in the day it was placed atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket ahead of Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station.

Boeing’s uncrewed flight test, which is targeted for Dec. 17, will provide valuable data on the end-to-end performance of the rocket, spacecraft and ground systems, as well as, in-orbit and landing operations.

The data will be used toward certification of Boeing’s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the space station.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry through public-private partnerships to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011.

The goal of the program is safe, reliable and cost-effective human space transportation to and from the International Space Station. This could allow for additional research time aboard the station and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration, which includes sending astronauts to the Moon and Mars.

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