Boeing has shared new video clips of parachute tests related to its Starliner spacecraft, providing the public with a behind-the-scenes look at these various sessions. According to the company, the parachute test is part of the overall process to qualify the Starliner’s full landing system. The company plans to conduct its first crewed launch later this year.
The Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner is a capsule being developed for human transportation under the NASA Commercial Crew Program. The capsule will be able to transport a mixture of cargo and people, or up to seven people without cargo, for missions into low-Earth orbit.
Boeing says its Starliner spacecraft will be reusable up to 10 times and offer a 6-month turnaround time. The company has packed a huge number of features into the spacecraft, including tablets and wireless Internet for crew, backup manual controls, and support for land-based (rather than water) returns.
Boeing points out in its new video that its ability to land the Starliner crew capsule on land is a world’s first — until now, these spacecraft has made water landings. The aerospace company gives us a look at this technology in the video, where we see parachutes deploy for four out of five related tests.
Assuming nothing unexpected happens, Boeing is now scheduled to conduct its first uncrewed Orbital Flight Test in August, followed by a crewed flight test that is expected to happen by the end of the year. The company has experienced multiple delays during its time on the project, and the potential exists that these dates could be bumped farther into the future.