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Starliner, Boeing capsule, reached the International Space Station for the first time

Starliner, Boeing capsule, reached the International Space Station for the first time

This is a victory for Boeing, which wants to take astronauts to NASA in the future. From Friday night, May 20 to Saturday, May 21, the American aeronautics firm Starliner Capsule was launched for the first time at the International Space Station (ISS). The docking took place at 2:28 a.m. (French time) more than an hour earlier than originally scheduled due to final tests during maneuvers that were precisely danced at an altitude of 400 km above our heads.

The astronauts at the ISS and the control room in Houston closely monitored the approach. The Starliner was first leveled about 250 m from the station. Then, after a slight improvement, the capsule was pulled back to show that it was capable of retraction if needed. Finally, after a new restricted stop, the subtle final maneuver was carried out while the train was moving at a speed of 28,000 km / h, despite being 10 m longer than expected. Slowly approach until the vehicle is in contact.

“The Starliner spacecraft successfully completes its historic first dock with the International Space Station, opening a new avenue for a manned flying laboratory.”Said a commentator on a live broadcast by the U.S. space agency at the time.

The hatch of the capsule carrying about 230 kg of material on behalf of NASA will not be opened until Saturday. The Starliner must be docked on the ISS for about five days before landing on white sand in the desert of the US state of New Mexico.

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This drone had already been tried in 2019, but the capsule then encountered several problems and had to return without being able to reach the station. Since then, Boeing has been struggling to capture SpaceX, which has been carrying astronauts to NASA since 2020 after the successful launch of its Dragon capsule.