Thu. Apr 15th, 2021

NASA Statement on Boeing Orbital Flight Test

NASA Associate Administrator for the Office of Communications Bettina Inclán, left, NASA astronauts Michael Fincke and Nicole Mann, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Tory Bruno, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance, Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s Space and Launch Division, Steve Stich, Deputy Manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, and NASA ISS Program Manager Kirk Shireman, are seen during a press conference following the launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After a successful launch at 6:36 a.m. EST, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is in an unplanned, but stable orbit. The team is assessing what test objectives can be achieved before the spacecraft’s return to land in White Sands, New Mexico. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine released the subsequent statement regarding the Boeing Orbital Flight test:

“I am incredibly pleased with the NASA, Boeing, and United Launch Alliance teams and their ongoing add a dynamic situation to make sure the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is safe on its Orbital Flight Test. The teams continue their work to satisfy as many mission objectives as possible and return safely to Earth. We still gather critical data which will help us ensure safety and reliability for future human space flight missions.

“Early this morning, NASA and Boeing successfully launched Starliner on the primary human-rated United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida.

“The plan was for Starliner to rendezvous and dock with the International space platform and return home safely to Earth. While tons of things went right, the uncrewed spacecraft didn’t reach the planned orbit and can not dock to the International space platform.

“This is actually why we test. Teams worked quickly to make sure the spacecraft was during a stable orbit and preserved enough fuel to make sure a landing opportunity.

“Boeing, in coordination with NASA, is functioning to return Starliner to White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday.

“At NASA we do really difficult things, and that we do all of them the time. I spoke to vice chairman Pence, Chairman of the National Space Council, and he remains very optimistic in our ability to securely launch American astronauts from American soil. We remain positive albeit we did face challenges today. We’ll be getting tons more data within the coming days.

“One of the most important successes today was watching NASA, Boeing, ULA teams work to form the proper decisions for our astronauts and country. we’ll still share information. It’s within the interest of the state. We’ll share data as soon as possible.”

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