In preparation for the launch of the company’s commercial crew demonstration mission, Boeing has completed an exhaustive test of the CST-100 Starliner crew capsule’s propulsion system.
The hot fire test of the CST-100 Starliner’s propulsion system was conducted at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. The tests included firing both the spacecraft’s launch abort and in-space manoeuvring systems individually and at the same time. According to NASA and Boeing, the test was completed without incident ensuring the CST-100 Starliner is one step closer to being certified flight-ready.
“With the safety of our astronauts at the forefront of all we do, this successful testing proves this system will work correctly and keep Starliner and the crew safe through all phases of flight,” said vice president and program manager of Boeing’s commercial crew program, John Mulholland. “The milestone paves the way for the upcoming pad abort test and flights to and from the International Space Station later this year.”
The uncrewed demonstration of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crew capsule is currently scheduled to be launched in August this year. It will be launched atop a United Launched Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral in Florida. A crewed test is then expected before the end of 2019. However, if previous commercial crew launch schedules are anything to go by, the crewed flight will likely slip to 2020.