“The Boeing CST-100 Starliner docked to the International Space Station for the first time on Friday night.
The spacecraft made its first connection with the International Space Station’s (ISS) Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. EDT.
Boeing said that – in addition to ground controllers in Houston – astronauts on the space station monitored Starliner throughout the flight and sometimes commanded the spacecraft to verify control capabilities.
Despite the failure of a couple of thrusters, the automated rendezvous went off without a major hitch.
The Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 6:54 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is the second uncrewed test flight of a commercial crew spacecraft.
“This image from NASA TV shows the Boeing Starliner preparing to dock at the International Space Station, Friday, May 20, 2022. Boeing’s astronaut capsule has arrived at the International Space Station in a critical repeat test flight. Only a test dum (NASA via AP / AP Newsroom) The mission was designed to give Boeing and NASA enough data to certify the spacecraft for long-duration crewed missions to the ISS.
“Starliner spent its first hours in space performing a series of system demonstrations allowing mission managers to verify the spacecraft was healthy and able to maneuver safely. After docking, the Starliner recharged its batteries using solar arrays located on the service module,” Boeing said.
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While docked, the crew of the station will float inside the Starliner, conduct an initial cabin tour and periodically perform system checkouts while ground controllers evaluate data gathered during its flight.”