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Indian-origin Sunita Williams' Boeing Starliner spacecraft successfully docked to ISS

Boeing Starliner spacecraft was commanded by Butch Wilmore and Sunita Wiliams was the pilot of the spacecraft. The Starliner mission aims to carry astronauts and cargo for future NASA missions to low Earth orbit, and beyond.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Published on: June 07, 2024 11:15 IST
Sunita Williams arrived at the International Space Station
Image Source : X Sunita Williams arrived at the International Space Station

Indian-origin NASA astronaut Sunita Williams arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Boeing Starliner spacecraft in the early hours of Friday. She will spend about a week at the ISS with NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore.

“Docking confirmed! @BoeingSpace's Starliner docked to the forward-facing port of the @Space_Station's Harmony module. NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will spend about a week. That feeling when you're back on the station!” NASA said in a post on X.

The seven members of Expedition 71, along with the two crew flight test members, gathered for a team portrait aboard the space station. The spacecraft was launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The mission is part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program and is the first crewed flight for the Starliner spacecraft. Its goal is to transport astronauts and cargo for upcoming NASA missions to low Earth orbit and beyond. The crew flight test aims to certify the spacecraft for regular space travel to and from the space station.

Meanwhile, billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched its fourth test flight on Thursday. The 400-feet-tall Starship rocket, along with the Heavy booster, lifted off after 6 p.m. IST from SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Beach in South Texas on June 6.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the flight on Tuesday after all safety and licensing requirements for the test were met. The large Starship's raptor engines ignited during hot-staging separation. Flight 4 followed a similar trajectory as the previous test flights, with the Starship splashing down in the Indian Ocean. The fourth flight test is aimed at moving "closer to the rapidly reusable future on the horizon", as stated by the company.

ALSO READ: China’s Chang'e-6 successfully lands on Moon's far side for sample collection

Inputs from IANS

 

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