Canadian astronaut Joshua Kutryk has been selected to participate in the first official expedition to the International Space Station aboard Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.
This mission, scheduled for early 2025, will be carried out using the Atlas 5 rocket from United Launch Alliance.
Kutryk will join NASA astronauts Scott Tingle and Michael Fincke, and the fourth crew member will be named later.
They will spend about six months on the station. Before this mission, in April 2024, Boeing is to conduct a certification manned flight to the ISS.
Manned Flight of Starliner
NASA and Boeing announced that the first manned flight of the Starliner spacecraft will take place no earlier than April 2024, five years after its first unmanned test.
Starliner, a spacecraft with a complicated history, has undergone two unmanned tests: the first in December 2019 was only partially successful due to engine problems, and the second in May 2022 ended with a successful docking with the ISS, despite some difficulties.
The first manned flight was delayed due to issues with the parachute system and the use of flammable tape for wrapping wires. Boeing is currently addressing these shortcomings, including removing the hazardous tape, and plans to install updated parachutes by the end of the year.
An early 2024 capsule drop test is planned to check the parachutes, a key step before the manned flight.
This flight is significant for Boeing not only in terms of prestige but also financially, as delays have already led to losses of over a billion dollars.
Further postponements will increase financial losses, so the company is eager to start regular Starliner flights to the ISS as soon as possible.
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