Boeing Ready for Critical Starliner Crew Capsule Pad Abort Test Monday

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft and its service module sit atop the test stand at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico ahead of the company’s Pad Abort Test. The test is scheduled for Nov. 4, 2019, and will demonstrate the spacecraft’s ability to quickly escape the launch pad in the event of an emergency on launch day.
Credits: Boeing

After years of anticipation, Boeing is on the verge of several major milestone flight tests for their new CST-100 Starliner crew capsule, starting tomorrow morning at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with a critical pad abort test to prove it can safely escape an exploding rocket to save the crew.

It’s their first flight test under a $4.2 billion contract for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, and will provide Boeing and NASA with loads of data to help evaluate and verify the performance of the spacecraft’s abort systems, before NASA will certify it as ready to put astronauts onboard for flights to and from the International Space Station.

The 16.5-foot test article is currently sitting atop its launch stand, which represents the height of ULA’s Atlas V rocket. The test is scheduled for 9 a.m. EST, with a three-hour test window.

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