December 20th CST-100 Starliner Orbital Test Flight
6:36 am EST atop an Atlas V N22, from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated launches of the year happened to be the last launch of the year for Florida's space coast. Riding on top of an ULA (United Launch Alliance) Atlas V rocket in the N22 configuration is Boeings crewed capsule named CST-100 Starliner. Crew Space Transporter was developed in the Commercial Crew Program under contract with NASA, Boeing it can carry up to seven passengers, or a mix of passengers and cargo for missions in low earth orbit. For NASA this means transportation to the International Space Station. For those missions it will carry four astronauts at a time, and the capsule itself is reusable up to ten times with a six month turn around.
The Atlas V lit up the early morning sky in striking fashion and performed flawless, as one expects from ULA's Atlas V rockets. Just minutes after lift off the CST-100 Starliner encountered a major software issue, the clock had been set wrong, leading the spacecraft using too much propellant in the wrong direction making it impossible for the craft to dock at the International Space Station. Later analysis showed over 61 software glitches that may have caused major issues during the flight.
As of March 2020 Boeing has stated they will re test the capsule at no further cost to the American tax payers. This launch is expected to occur in the later months of the year.