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Astronauts to train with new Boeing simulator at NASA’s Space Center in Houston

Astronauts bording Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will train using a new simulator that arrived at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

According to a blog post by NASA, the Boeing Mission Simulator is a full-scale mock-up of the Starliner outfitted with the same state-of-the-art interior as the real spacecraft. NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Suni Williams worked with the simulator after its assembly in St. Louis before it was shipped to Texas.

The purpose of the simulator is to allow astronauts to rehearse all aspects of a mission to the International Space Station so the detailed functions they might need to perform will seem as routine as possible. The Starliner is autonomous, but the training tools designed for the spacecraft will allow an astronaut to go beyond the typical mission parameters to train for the unexpected while in a safe environment.

Boeing is building the Starliner system in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Boeing is one of two companies that will take astronauts to and from the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit so NASA can focus on deep-space exploration. The public-private partnership brings together industry innovation with NASA’s long history of human spaceflight experience.

John Beckett