Boeing sets Dec 17 for launch of unmanned Starliner

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Capitalism in space: Boeing officials today announced that they are targeting December 17 as the date they will launch their Starliner capsule to ISS for its first unmanned demo flight.

The article also says they are have set November 4 for their pad abort test of the capsule.

If both are completed successfully they will be ready for their manned demo launch to ISS.



  • Col Beausabre

    If this goes according to schedule, this puts them marginally ahead of SpaceX, whose abort test is scheduled for the third week of December. I don’t think the December 17th date is coincidental – it will drown out its rival’s test. It will be intertesting to see if Musk causes the schedule to be radically revised – we’re dealing with BIG egos here. As a rail enthusiast, I’m inevitably reminded by the rivalry between the Pennsylvania and New York Central lines – if one announced a faster schedule New York-Chicago, the other matched it, with the same effective date. This should be entertaining!

  • Questioner

    Boeing should give up its extreme expensive and outdated rocket production methods and take SpaceX’s starship as an example. However, there even example of companies, which may help to produce Musk’s starship more efficient, faster and with higher quality.

    [detected at NSF]

    Building Stainless Steel Tanks on Location

    BTW, Musk says that later Raptor engine will cost only 250,000 dollar a piece, which means that all engines for SH/SS (>40 engines) will cost not more as one SLS RS-25D/E engine!

  • Brian

    Bob you mentioned the pad abort test Nov 4 and the unmanned flight to the ISS Dec 17, but I believe Boeing has to do a flight abort test before they can fly a manned flight to ISS. Spacex has there flight abort test scheduled for mid Dec, if successful, after that they will be ready for there first manned flight to ISS

  • mkent

    I believe Boeing has to do a flight abort test before they can fly a manned flight to ISS.

    No, they don’t. Their sequence is pad abort–>unmanned test–>manned test–>six operational flights. Boeing’s manned test will be an extended flight lasting several months.

  • Brian

    mkent, You are correct after some more research, Boeing has chose not to do an inflight abort test, because they are not required to do one, and Spacex is not either, but they chose to do one anyway.

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