With the NASA-Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) now complete and the CST-100 Starliner having achieved all flight test objectives, the team’s focus and attention now turns to the future. The next time Starliner flies, it will be carrying crew to and from the International Space Station, so every part of the flight test has been about understanding what astronauts will experience on the next flight.
“This team crossed the finish line today,” NASA astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams said during a post-landing news conference at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “I had an opportunity to talk to the crew on board the International Space Station and they loved it. It had that new car smell. Really looking forward to this mission completion because it paves the road for the Crew Flight Test.”
Now that Starliner is back safely on Earth in New Mexico, teams will transport the reusable crew module back to its factory in Florida, start digging into the data from the flight test, incorporate lessons learned, and work toward crewed flights and NASA certification.
“On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 15,” said Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program. “We wanted to learn, and we did. The team reacted to everything that was thrown at them perfectly. It was a great test flight, and it put us in a great position for the Crew Flight Test.”