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BOEING’S THIRD LAUNCH ATTEMPT NEARS FOR EMBATTLED STARLINER SPACECRAFT

BOEING’S THIRD LAUNCH ATTEMPT NEARS FOR EMBATTLED STARLINER SPACECRAFT

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On Thursday, aerospace company Boeing is set to conduct a critical test flight of its new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner —

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a mission that will launch the gumdrop-shaped capsule to the International Space Station without any people on board.

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It’s a flight that Boeing desperately needs to go well after a long journey to the launchpad that’s been marked by numerous failures, false starts, and lengthy delays.

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Starliner is, in essence, a space taxi. Designed to carry up to seven passengers, the capsule is meant to launch to orbit on top of an Atlas V rocket, automatically dock with the International Space Station, or ISS,

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and then eventually land back on Earth again under a suite of parachutes.

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Once it’s deemed operational, Starliner will primarily transport NASA astronauts to and from the station to help keep the ISS continuously staffed.

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