[지금은 우주-영상] ISS docking success ‘Starliner’ opens a new era

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Boeing’s manned spacecraft ‘Starliner’ docked on the ISS on the morning of the 21st. The one on the left is the ISS’s Harmony module. [사진=NASA/보잉]

[아이뉴스24 정종오 기자] Boeing’s manned spacecraft ‘Starliner’ docked at the International Space Station (ISS) Harmony module around 9:37 am Korean time on the 21st. Boeing’s Starliner Mission Control Center and the ISS crew finally confirmed the docking success at around 9:50 am and welcomed it with applause.

It was the moment when another manned spaceship was born against Space X’s ‘Crew Dragon’. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) delivered a real-time video of Starliner’s docking to the ISS today.

Starliner approached the ISS at a very slow speed of 55 centimeters per second. Before the docking 10m, the waiting time was quite long due to the review of the docking system, such as various commands and readjustments. If scheduled, it should dock at 8:10, but it is understood that there was a delay for accuracy and readjustment.

The Starliner Mission Control Center explained, “It took a long time to recheck the docking system.” SpaceX’s ‘Crew Dragon’ went smoothly without any problems from launch to docking, undocking, and launch of the ISS. It is understood that Boeing’s Starliner still has problems to solve in this whole process.

In this test flight, NASA will figure out what problems and homework there are in the whole process. When all of these processes are satisfied, a manned spacecraft can be deployed to and from the ISS with crew members on board in earnest. The problems identified this time seem to have to be addressed by Boeing.

Due to the delay in docking, the Starliner flew with the ISS for a period of time at about 420 km above Earth, at a distance of 10 m. The ISS orbits Earth 16 times a day at a speed of about 27,000 km/h.

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Earlier, the ‘Starliner’, called Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, Florida, USA on the 20th at 7:54 am Korean time. This is the second unmanned test flight. The first test flight in 2019 failed due to an emergency landing in the middle.

After successful launch, Starliner flew in orbit for about 24 hours and then docked at the ISS around 9:37 am on the 21st. One day after docking, the Starliner hatch will open.

“I am very proud of the successful launch of the Starliner to the ISS,” said Bill Nelson, director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“Since the first test launch in 2019, our team has learned a lot and made progress in many areas,” said Mark Nappi, director of Boeing’s commercial manpower program. I didn’t,” he said.

After staying on the ISS for about 5 days, Starliner undocks and returns to Earth on the 26th. She will land in the deserts of the western United States.

On the other hand, the docking on this day far exceeded the scheduled time, as well as evoking nervous tension in the process.

/Sejong = Reporter Jeong Jong-oh (ikokid@inews24.com)



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