"We don't have any safety concerns."
On Friday, Boeing’s Starliner launched for the first time, but due to an error with the spacecraft’s onboard timing system, what was supposed to be an eight-day-long mission — complete with a stop by the International Space Station — would ultimately end after just two days, and without ever visiting the ISS.
That failure hasn’t seemed to sour astronauts on the spacecraft, though.
Fincke is one of three astronauts scheduled to be Starliner’s first crew, with NASA’s Nicole Mann and Boeing’s Chris Ferguson rounding out the trio. No word yet on when that crewed mission will take place, but even before Starliner’s safe landing, Mann was already expressing her confidence in the spacecraft.
“We are looking forward to flying on Starliner,” she said during a news conference following the launch on Friday. “We don’t have any safety concerns.”
SpaceX > Boeing
NASA contracted both Boeing and SpaceX to build crafts that could ferry astronauts to and from the ISS so that the agency would no longer need to rely on Russia for lifts.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully completed its first uncrewed mission to dock with the ISS in March, and it could be ready for its first crewed test as soon as February 2020 — potentially putting it well ahead of Boeing’s schedule.
READ MORE: ‘I Can’t Wait to Try It Out’: Starliner’s 1st Riders Welcome Capsule Back to Earth [Space.com]
More on Starliner: Boeing’s Starliner Fails First Attempt to Reach Space Station