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Boeing's Starliner Crew Flight Test: Joshua Kutryk takes the helm as capcom

CSA astronaut Joshua Kutryk will be the capcom for the ascent and orbital insertion of NASA's Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), and for the atmospheric re-entry and landing. NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will lift off no earlier than at 10:34 p.m. ET atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida . They will stay aboard the Space Station for about a week before coming back to Earth.

Capcoms, or capsule communicators, represent both the flight crew aboard the spacecraft and the technical control team on the ground. This position demands communication skills to address emergency situations and minimize the potential for misinterpretation. For Joshua, who will be the next Canadian to fly to the Space Station no earlier than as part of the Starliner-1 mission, this role is an opportunity to garner mission experience and comprehend the decision-making processes on the ground. "Working with this flight control team has been challenging, exciting and fulfilling. The team overseeing this initial test flight is comprised of exceptionally talented engineers and operators. I am grateful to have been trusted with this position, excited to see this spaceship fly, and proud to be flying on Starliner during its first long-duration expedition to ISS next year."

As the very first crewed flight of Starliner, and the first time in over 10 years that a crewed spaceship's launch and ascent will be controlled from Houston, this mission represents new technology, engineering, and innovation. For Joshua, "the crewed flight test mission represents a bright future for humans in low Earth orbit."

Joshua became a part of the Starliner team based in Houston in , chosen as the capcom for the ascent and re-entry of the CFT. Since then, he has been actively involved in the development of the Starliner spacecraft, contributing to test and certification endeavours. As a member of the flight control team on the ground, he has also served as a test subject and has taken part in many simulations as capcom. In , he was officially assigned to the Starliner-1 mission to the ISS, where he will live and work for approximately six months. With this assignment, he will be the first CSA astronaut to participate in a mission under NASA's Commercial Crew Program, slated for no earlier than .

Live coverage of the launch of the ULA Atlas V rocket and Boeing Starliner spacecraft will begin on NASA TV on , starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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