Boeing has successfully docked its Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 6, 2024, 26 hours after its long-awaited launch into orbit, lifting off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on June 5, 2024.

On the way to the ISS, the crew completed a series of tests including manually flying Starliner for the first time in space. The two Starliner astronauts, who are joining seven others currently living on the station, will assist with various tests and conduct scientific experiments while in space. The spacecraft is carrying 345 kilograms of cargo.

“It is both amazing and humbling to join the fleet of commercial spacecraft capable of conducting crewed transportation services to and from the space station for NASA. Our teams have done some great work to get us to this point,” said Kay Sears, vice president and general manager of space, intelligence & weapon systems for Boeing’s defence, space & security division.

NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams were onboard the spacecraft; the first to board the Starliner capsule as well as the first to launch on an Atlas V rocket.

“This crew flight test represents the beginning of a new era of space exploration as we watch astronauts Wilmore and Williams put Boeing’s Starliner through its paces on the way to the International Space Station,” said Boeing’s defence, space & security division president and CEO Ted Colbert. “This is a great start. We look forward to getting the astronauts safely to the space station and back home.”

After spending about a week on orbit, Wilmore and Williams will board Starliner and return home.