Boeing Starliner mission with Sunita Williams safely on its way to ISS

The Boeing Starliner’s first-ever crewed mission is safely on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams and Butch Wilmore onboard, NASA said on Thursday.

The capsule carrying NASA astronauts was expected to reach the orbiting space laboratory at 9.45 p.m. on Thursday.

Starliner will then approach the space station for a docking to the forward-facing port of the Harmony module.

Sunita was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1998 and is a veteran of two space missions, Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33. This is her third mission aboard the International Space Station.

According to the US space agency, with 50 hours and 40 minutes, Sunita held the record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut for a long time, before it was overtaken by Peggy Whitson with 10 spacewalks.

The Indian-origin astronaut (also a retired US Navy Captain) has spent a cumulative total of 322 days in space.

The Starliner mission aims to carry astronauts and cargo for future NASA missions to low Earth orbit, and beyond.

This crew flight test aims to certify the spacecraft for routine space travel to and from the space station.

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