Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing’s Starliner mission

Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing's Starliner mission
Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing's Starliner mission/ANI
Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing's Starliner mission
Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing's Starliner mission/ANI

Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing’s Starliner mission

Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing’s Starliner mission

Sunita Williams set for space on Boeing’s Starliner mission

Key Highlights:

  1. Captain Sunita Williams and veteran astronaut Butch Wilmore will fly to the ISS on Boeing’s Starliner.
  2. The flight marks the first crewed test flight of Starliner, aiming to provide crew transport to the ISS.
  3. Scheduled for May 6, 10:34 p.m. EDT, the mission is expected to last about 26 hours.

Indian-origin astronaut Captain Sunita Williams and her fellow veteran NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore are poised to embark on a historic journey to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Boeing Starliner. The duo is set to launch into space from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 6 at 10:34 p.m. EDT, marking the first crewed test flight of the Starliner spacecraft.

If successful, this mission will signify a significant milestone, as it would become the second private firm capable of providing crew transport to and from the ISS. Boeing’s competitor, SpaceX, achieved this feat in 2020 and has since conducted 12 crewed missions to the ISS.

Piloting the flight, dubbed Boeing’s Crew Flight Test (CFT), Williams and Wilmore will be docked with the ISS for about a week. The test flight will involve rigorous testing procedures to ensure the spacecraft’s readiness for rotational missions to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Unlike previous US capsules that splashed down in the sea upon returning to Earth, the Starliner will touch down on land in the western United States. The astronauts will launch on a United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket to reach the ISS.

Williams and Wilmore, both former commanders of the ISS, bring extensive experience to the mission. Williams, a retired US Navy captain, has spent a total of 322 days in space on two missions and has established a world record for women at the time with four spacewalks. Meanwhile, Wilmore, aged 61, has logged 178 days in space and has extensive experience in extravehicular activities (EVAs).

Boeing has planned six manned missions for the Starliner platform over the next six years, aligning with NASA’s vision to send commercial crew missions to the ISS. Meanwhile, India is pursuing its own human spaceflight program, Gaganyaan, led by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), slated for launch in 2024-25.

Source: ANI

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