Boeing“™s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft has been shipped from NASA“™s Kennedy Space Center and is now in transit to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The space agency said Friday that this leads to preparations for Starliner“™s orbital flight test launch to the International Space Station scheduled for Dec. 17 under NASA“™s Commercial Crew Program.
“We“™ve got to get astronauts flying on U.S rockets from U.S. soil and this is just a huge step forward,“ said Bob Cabana, director of Kennedy Space Center, who joined officers and employees to watch Starliner exit out of the commercial crew and cargo processing facility.
The spacecraft underwent placement on the United Launch Alliance-made Atlas V rocket that consists of a booster stage, solid rocket boosters and a Centaur upper stage for the upcoming launch.
The flight test aims to gather data on Starliner and Atlas V“™s systems for NASA“™s evaluation to certify the spacecraft for transporting astronauts.