Today, at the US Air Force Cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral, the launch of the Atlas V rocket with the Boeing CST-100 Starliner manned spacecraft took place. The ship, which is being developed as part of the American program for the delivery of astronauts to the ISS, flew without a crew. Shortly after separation from the rocket, the ship began to have problems.
According to Boeing, Starliner had problems with orientation for maneuvering into orbit. Its engines did not turn on to enter a stable orbit. As the company later explained, Starliner was launched into an off-design orbit, but is in working condition and is oriented by the solar panels toward the Sun. A team of specialists is already evaluating further possible maneuvers.
Starliner has an off-nominal insertion, but we have spacecraft control. The guidance and control team is assessing their next maneuver.
— Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) 20 December 2019
25 hours after the launch, if it had passed normally, a docking should have taken place automatically with the International Space Station. And on December 28, Starliner is supposed to return to Earth and sit on parachutes.
As part of the program for the creation of manned ships, SpaceX also works. This company is testing the ship Crew Dragon. Starliner and Crew Dragon are two candidates, after the start of regular operation of which the United States will receive an alternative route for delivering astronauts to the ISS.