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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Boeing CST-100 Starliner fails to reach the planned orbit

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The reusable spacecraft Boeing CST-100 Starliner entered the abnormal orbit during the first launch. Representatives of Boeing and ULA said that the device is in a stable orbit, and its solar panels are oriented to the Sun and provide power. Since this is the first mission of the device, there is no crew on board.

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner is one of two US manned spacecraft developed under the Commercial Crew Program along with the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Its first launch took place at 06:36 local time (11.36 GMT) today itself. One of the features of the launch was that the rocket was to put the spacecraft into orbit with a perigee of 72.8 kilometres, after which the spacecraft had to independently increase the altitude to avoid entering the atmosphere and enter into the orbit of the approach to the ISS.

After the launch, the spacecraft separated from the rocket, but after some time, the operators reported that it could not enter the calculated primary orbit, because the ship’s engines could not give a calculated impulse. However, they also announced that the ship is still in orbit, not a suborbital trajectory, and Boeing and NASA experts are developing a plan for further actions to correct the situation and correct the orbit.

The initial mission plan implied that the spacecraft would dock with the ISS on December 21, spent a week at the station, and then would return to Earth on December 28.

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