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December 16-22, 2019 / Vol 38, No 50 / Hawai’i Island, USA

13 Dec 2019, 20:44 UTC
December 16-22, 2019 / Vol 38, No 50 / Hawai’i Island, USA
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Boeing Meets SpaceX as Starliner and Crew Dragon Test Flights Prepare for Launch

Boeing Starliner counts down toward Orbital Flight Test OFT-1 to ISS on December 20 atop Atlas V booster from Space Launch Complex 41C at KSC. The crewed OFT-2 in 2020 will carry veteran NASA astronaut Mike Fincke (replacing Eric Boe) and astronaut candidate Nicole Mann, potentially the 65th woman in space. As per tradition, the third crew member will be a Boeing test pilot, former space shuttle commander Chris Ferguson. The Starliner test will be the first crewed flight on an Atlas booster since the Mercury flight of Gordon Cooper in 1963. Because of delays at Boeing and SpaceX, the mission has been extended to a full crew rotation, meaning that the three astronauts could stay at ISS for up to 210 days. Starliner will return to land using retrorockets and airbags. SpaceX Crew Dragon is set for critical launch-abort test NET Jan 4, 2020. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will fly on Demo-2 to ISS later in 2020 atop a Falcon 9 from historic Launch Complex 39A. Crew Dragon, originally designed to set down on land, will now splash down in the Pacific off ...

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