February 17, 2016 – Engineers from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and Boeing dropped a full-scale test article of the company’s CST-100 Starliner into Langley’s 20-foot-deep Hydro Impact Basin. Although the spacecraft is designed to land on land, Boeing is testing the Starliner’s systems in water to ensure astronaut safety in the unlikely event of an emergency during launch or ascent.
Testing allows engineers to understand the performance of the spacecraft when it hits the water, how it will right itself and how to handle rescue and recovery operations. The test is part of the qualification phase of testing and evaluation for the Starliner system to ensure it is ready to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
Under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with NASA, Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft will be certified by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to fly crews to and from the International Space Station. The spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.