NASA to live stream key Boeing Starliner spaceship ‘zero-zero’ test

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NASA to live stream key Boeing Starliner spaceship ‘zero-zero’ test 1

NASA continues to pursue its plan to return crewed spaceflight launches to the US for the first time in almost a decade. Boeing is one of two commercial companies with NASA contracts to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

The other company is the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, which launched an un-crewed orbital test flight earlier this year.

SpaceX is also expected to test the abort engines of its Crew Dragon capsule later this week.

But before they can launch astronauts into space, both Boeing and SpaceX have to prove the spacecraft can keep their human cargo safe during an emergency prior to launch.

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner currently sits on a test stand at New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range ahead of the “zero-zero” pad abort test, scheduled for 6am PT (2pm GMT).

READ MORE: NASA unveils stunning photo of ISS transiting Sun

On September 27, one day before Mr Musk’s presentation, the NASA head tweeted: “NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the American taxpayer. It’s time to deliver.”

Mr Bridenstine again cited the interest of the American taxpayer while revealing today Boeing’s Starliner test would be live streamed.

He tweeted: ”Thank you to @BoeingSpace. At my request, Monday’s @Commercial_Crew Starliner pad abort test will be broadcast live. Transparency for the taxpayer.

NASA’s interest in getting Commercial Crew off the ground and into orbit is not only about fiscal responsibility.

The space agency is almost out of seats on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft reserved from the Roscosmos space agency.

All astronauts have been launched to orbit via Soyuz rockets since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, and NASA is desperate to return launches to the US.

If Monday’s test goes well, it is hoped a Starliner launch carrying humans could take place in the coming months.


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