WASHINGTON — A day after Boeing confirmed delays in test flights of its commercial crew vehicle, NASA said that the company’s crewed test flight will get an extended stay at the station when it does fly.
In an April 3 statement, NASA said that the Crew Flight Test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, expected no sooner than late this year, will be a long-duration flight that could potentially stay at the station for months. The exact duration of the mission will be determined “at a later date,” the agency said.
NASA announced a year ago that it was working with Boeing to examine the feasibility of an extended Starliner test flight at the station. That extended mission would effectively turn the test flight into a crew rotation mission as NASA’s access to Soyuz seats runs out.
The two NASA astronauts scheduled to fly on the Crew Flight Test, Nicole Mann and Mike Fincke, have been training on ISS systems in preparation for a potential extended stay at the station. They’ve been joined by the third crewmember for that mission, Boeing test pilot and former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson.
“NASA’s assessment of extending the mission was found to be technically achievable without ...