Atlas rocket for Boeing crewed mission arrives at the Cape
The booster and its second stage began their journey to the Cape after leaving ULA’s production facility in Decatur Alabama on June 14. The rocket components were transported by the company’s appropriately named “Rocketship” by river and sea to reach its destination just outside the gates of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Boeing’s CFT mission is expected to launch later this year, and will be Boeing’s first crewed launch to the International Space Station in support of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The launch will loft the company’s CST-100 “Starliner” spacecraft into orbit, taking NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Nicole Mann and Mike Fincke to the station.
CFT will be the third Starliner mission to space, if all goes according to the current plan. While this hardware was originally intended to support the second crewed mission, the launch of crew was delayed following an in-flight failure to reach the ISS during the first Orbital Flight Test mission in December of 2019. The failure resulted in a NASA and Boeing agreement to re-fly an uncrewed mission, dubbed OFT-2, currently targeted for launch no earlier than July 30.
Matt Haskell is a published aviation and spaceflight photographer and writer based in Merritt Island Florida. Born and raised outside Edwards Air Force Base and NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, he moved to Florida’s Space Coast and began photographing and reporting spaceflight professionally full time in 2018.