Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule, which will eventually be used to transport astronauts into space, completed a key pad abort test on Monday when it soared for almost a mile before parachuting back into the New Mexico desert. There were no astronauts were onboard, but the abort system will provide a quick escape for three astronauts if there’s an emergency on the Florida pad or in flight. Read more for a video and additional information.
Boeing is set to launch the Starliner up to the International Space Station next month without a crew atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. During this test at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range, just two of the three main parachutes deployed, but NASA reported that the astronauts would have been safe if aboard. The capsule fired its four launch abort engines (LAEs) as well as multiple orbital maneuvering and attitude control (OMAC) thrusters.
.@BoeingSpace’s #Starliner spacecraft soared through a critical safety milestone in a major test of its launch abort system this morning. Lots of data analysis ahead, but we are one big step closer to flights with crew! pic.twitter.com/VDWSRt0g34
— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) November 4, 2019