A video United Launch Alliance (ULA) released Thursday shows what it’s like to ride a rocket into orbit.
The video depicts a simulated space flight in a Boeing Starliner docking with the International Space Station (ISS). ULA, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, created the video, and Boeing’s Youtube channel published it.
Boeing released images in October showing the assembly of a nearly complete CST-100 Starliner prototype.
The Starliner uses Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines, which are currently part of the workhouse rocket for the U.S. military’s space program.
The U.S. Air Force is considering shifting satellites slated to be launched on RD-180 powered rockets onto more expensive but American-made rocket engines.
ULA had a near-monopoly of parts in the rocket launching business for decades but is now facing increasingly stiff competition. ULA lost its competitive edge on space launches when SpaceX won U.S. Air Force certification for national missions.
Boeing was deeply involved in the Apollo program that sent astronauts to the moon. The company is currently developing NASA’s Space Launch System, which will eventually send astronauts to Mars.
The aerospace giant is also working to build commercial space operations, betting on a future where spaceflight is more routine.
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