Boeing wins with Starliner. When do we all get to fly?

Orbital flight as a regular scheduled operation is a long way from reality.


The successful launch of Boeing’s CST 100 Starliner last week is a much-needed win for the company. The launch was impressive for the trouble-free nature of the countdown. It was also surprisingly similar to the process by which we launch crewed spacecraft in the 1960s. From launchpad operations, launch and mission control rooms, to the procedures used to launch the vehicles, it doesn’t seem to have changed a great deal, despite a drastically increased amount of available automation and software control. Even aboard the spacecraft, there are steel ringed binders and paper checklists. The dream of every space enthusiast everywhere has been that spaceships would be, Starliners. Craft that you could climb into, buckle up, and fly into orbit, a little like the way we use jets and airports. Fuel the vehicle, light the engines and go. This may happen someday…but not anytime soon. 

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Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.