WHITE SANDS, New Mexico - Boeing's CST-100 Starliner propulsion system was put to the test on Thursday at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.
Teams ran multiple tests on both the vehicle's in-space maneuvering system as well as the critical launch abort system.
The test used a flight-like Starliner service module with a full propulsion system comprising fuel and helium tanks, reaction control system and orbital maneuvering and attitude control thrusters, launch abort engines and fuel lines and avionics.
During the test:
-- 19 thrusters fired to simulate in-space maneuvers;-- 12 thrusters fired to simulate a high-altitude abort;-- 22 propulsion elements, including the launch abort engines, fired to simulate a low-altitude abort.
"With the safety of our astronauts at the forefront of all we do, this successful testing proves this system will work correctly and keep Starliner and the crew safe through all phases of flight," John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing's Commercial Crew Program said Thursday.
"The milestone paves the way for the upcoming pad abort test and flights to and from the International Space Station later this year."
With NASA as the anchor customer, Boeing's Starliner is setting the foundation for commercial passenger flights to and from low-Earth orbit destinations to include international astronauts, scientists and even tourists.