NASA astronauts assigned to the Starliner’s upcoming Crew Flight Test (CFT) completed the first part of a two-part Crew Equipment Interface Test (CEIT) this week. CEIT is a critical milestone for NASA, Boeing and the International Space Station program, typically conducted about two months prior to launch. It gives astronauts the opportunity for hands-on training with the actual tools, equipment and hardware they’ll use on orbit.
For Starliner’s first flight with crew, that included various familiarization operations inside the spacecraft for NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams, who are CFT commander and pilot, respectively, and backup test pilot NASA astronaut Mike Fincke.
Over the course of two days, the CFT crew worked closely with the Starliner team to perform in-cabin checkouts. They made adjustments to the spacecraft seats; inspected spacecraft interfaces; removed and replaced cargo shelf pins; and conducted floor panel and side hatch operations. They also had a chance to look over cargo and get hands-on experience with spacecraft tools prior to packing and stowing.
The second part of CEIT is scheduled to occur in early March, and will include the astronauts maneuvering about the cabin with cargo installed in the spacecraft.