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Boeing Starliner - Launch, Docking and Hatch Opening at the Space Station

Despite minor technical issues, Boeing successfully docked its spacecraft to ISS.

Starliner CST-100 docked to ISS harmony forward port (Credit: Samantha Cristoforetti)

NASA and Boeing's Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V N22 (AV-082) rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 2254 UTC (6:54 p.m. EDT) on Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. EDT Friday, May 20 (0028 UTC on May 21).

Boeing’s Starliner spaceship launches atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 19, 2022. Credit: United Launch Alliance

However, experts noticed an abnormal operation of the cooling system and a slightly early shutdown of the Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control (OMAC) thrusters that shut off early during the orbital insertion (OI) burn, but Boeing assured that the system as a whole was operating normally and was not at risk for the remainder of the mission. also during the docking, several technical problems arose, including with the engine, due to which the spacecraft joined the ISS an hour and a half later than planned. Despite this, in general, the experts evaluated the spacecraft's work well, which made it possible, unlike the first test in 2019, to dock it to the orbital station.

Photo Stream: NASA astronauts Bob Hines and Kjell Lindgren greet “Rosie the Rocketeer” and Zero-G toy; Jeb Kerman (a character in the PC Game "Kerbal Space Program") inside the Boeing Starliner spacecraft shortly after opening its hatch (Credit; NASA).

12 hrs Later, NASA Astronauts living aboard the International Space Station opened the hatch for the first time at 12:04 p.m. EDT (1604 UTC), Astronaut Robert "Bob" Hines enters the Starliner, followed by the Expedition-67 crew members inspecting the spacecraft and cargo packages.