According to official sources, the unmanned test flight of the Starliner spacecraft will take place in August at the earliest, with the manned launch set for the end of the year. Boeing is currently actively testing the spacecraft. Its parachutes, intended for the crew’s safe landing on Earth inside a capsule, were recently tested in terms of functionality.
Starliner is a semi-autonomous spacecraft developed by Boeing, with NASA funding a $18 million grant for its creation. The machine’s main competitors are Dragon V2 by SpaceX, Orion by Lockheed Martin and Russian project ‘Federation’.
There has been a particularly large amount of news about Dragon V2, which has recently exploded and crashed into the ground during testing. This happened because the parachute did not open in time, which is why Boeing is doing everything they can to avoid repeating their competitor’s mistake.
In a video posted by the company, we can clearly see that all tests were successful: all parachutes opened, enabling a smooth and soft landing for the capsule. The device can be used up to 10 times, with the option of landing both on water and solid land. This is made possible thanks to a thermal protection technology and a special airbag that serve to protect the crew.
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