Boeing’s Starliner Has Finally Launched a NASA Crew Into Space | Technology

“It fits in with the general narrative of Boeing having lost its way,” says McDowell.

Starliner, like Crew Dragon, is a capsule-shaped spacecraft like the Apollo missions of old. Capable of carrying up to seven astronauts, the craft is largely autonomous, requiring major input only in the event of an emergency. During the test mission beginning tonight, Wilmore and Williams will test out this eventuality, purposefully pointing the spacecraft off course to ensure they can manually get it back on track, as well as assessing the spacecraft’s general life support and navigation systems. While docked to the space station, the vehicle will be put through further tests, including practicing using it as a lifeboat in case astronauts needed to evacuate the ISS.

Starliner is reusable, with Boeing saying it can be flown on up to 10 missions. The spacecraft sports no toilet—unlike Crew Dragon—and has about the same livable volume as an SUV, making for a relatively cozy rise to and from…


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