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NASA Astronauts Enter Quarantine As Boeing Starliner Test Flight Approaches
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NASA Astronauts Enter Quarantine As Boeing Starliner Test Flight Approaches

Apr 24, 2024
Boeing CST-100 Starliner Spacecraft in Orbit

An artist’s illustration of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in orbit. Credit: Boeing

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams are in pre-flight quarantine ahead of their historic launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft on May 6, from Cape Canaveral. They will first stay at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and then at Kennedy Space Center until launch day.

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, who are set to launch to the International Space Station on Monday, May 6, entered pre-flight quarantine in preparation for the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test mission.

Flight crew health stabilization is a standard process ahead of any human spaceflight mission to ensure the health and safety of the crew prior to liftoff, as well as prevent sickness of the astronauts at the space station. During quarantine, astronaut contact is limited, and most interactions are remote – although family and some launch team members also may be in quarantine or cleared before interacting with the crew.

NASA Boeing Crew Flight Test Official Crew Portrait

The official crew portrait for NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test. Left is Suni Williams, who will serve as the pilot, and to the right is Barry “Butch” Wilmore, spacecraft commander. Credit: NASA

Preparations for Historic Flight

Wilmore and Williams will launch aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft on a ULA (United Launch Alliance) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The duo will make history as the first people to fly on the Starliner spacecraft.

Wilmore and Williams will quarantine at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston before traveling to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than Thursday, April 25, where they’ll remain in quarantine until launch.

Final Review and Launch Details

Meanwhile, teams also are preparing for the Flight Test Readiness Review, which will take place over the course of two days – Wednesday, April 24, and April 25. That review brings together teams from NASA, Boeing, ULA, and its international partners to verify mission readiness including all systems, facilities, and teams that will support the end-to-end test of the Starliner.

Following a successful flight test, NASA will begin certifying the Starliner system for regular crew rotation missions to space station for the agency.

Launch is scheduled no earlier than 10:34 p.m. EDT on May 6.


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