Watch again as Boeing launches humans into space for first time

Watch again as Boeing launched its first-ever crew of humans into space using its long-delayed and over-budget Starliner spacecraft that has been in development under a multibillion-dollar Nasa contract.

Wednesday’s mission, a final test before Starliner can fly six more missions, was a critical moment for Boeing, whose commercial aeroplane unit and space unit alike have suffered successive crises in recent years.

The gumdrop-shaped CST-100 Starliner capsule, with two Nasa astronauts aboard, was due for liftoff at 10:52am ET (2:52pm GMT) from a launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Boeing intends for Starliner to compete with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which since 2020 has been Nasa’s only vehicle for sending International Space Station crew members to orbit from US soil.

Last-minute issues have pushed back Starliner’s first two crewed launch attempts.

A 6 May countdown was halted two hours before liftoff over three issues that required weeks of extra scrutiny.

Another try last Saturday was halted less than four minutes before liftoff because of a glitch with a launchpad computer.