Boeing has shared a video featuring an idyllic view from the window of its CST-100 Starliner capsule as it headed to space on its recent uncrewed test flight.
The footage shows Earth coming into view and includes an orbital sunset as the spacecraft makes its way to the International Space Station (ISS) for a short stay. Look carefully around the 43-second mark and you’ll also glimpse an object — whether a piece of space rock or a satellite — zipping by.
#TopGun pilots aren’t the only ones with the #NeedForSpeed!#RosietheRocketeer and Kerbalnaut Jebediah Kerman reached 17,500 m.p.h. when #Starliner was orbiting Earth on the way to @Space_Station. Check out the on orbit views here. pic.twitter.com/Ac0lj1adzv
— Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) May 28, 2022
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday, May 19, carried into orbit by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
The Starliner took Rosie the Rocketeer along for the ride, a sensor-equipped mannequin that allowed scientists to monitor and assess the conditions inside the capsule during its key five-day mission.
The spacecraft also carried Jebediah Kerman — a character from the Kerbal Space Program game — which acted as the flight’s zero-gravity indicator.
After dropping off 500 pounds of supplies for the ISS astronauts, the capsule returned home in a parachute-assisted landing in the New Mexico desert on Wednesday, May 25.
Engineers are still assessing all of the data from the mission, but the initial indications are that it went pretty much to plan.
The spacecraft certainly performed better than it did in its first flight in 2019 when software issues prevented it from reaching the ISS.
If the recent mission is confirmed to have been a success, Boeing will work with NASA to organize the Starliner’s first crewed flight to the space station, which could take place before the end of this year.
The crewed flight will aim to offer final proof of the capsule’s safety and reliability, enabling NASA to use it on a regular basis for astronaut missions to and from the ISS. At the current time, the American space agency only has access to one operational capsule — SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. The Crew Dragon completed its first astronaut flight in 2020 and is now an integral part of NASA missions to low-Earth orbit.