Boeing plans to conduct a pad abort test for its CST-100 Starliner crew vehicle on Nov. 4 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. A pusher abort system will be tested that will be capable of saving the capsule and its crew in the event of a malfunction of the Atlas V booster.
Boeing has also announced Dec. 17 as the date for launching a separate Starliner vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft, which will fly without a crew, will dock at the station and stay there for several weeks. The launch will take place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The abort and orbital tests are two key milestones that need to be completed before a crew flies to ISS aboard Starliner. That flight, which has not been scheduled yet, is set for a long duration stay at the orbital facility.