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Boeing’s Starliner launches astronauts to space station for the first time

Boeing’s Starliner has launched its much-delayed first crewed test flight, a milestone in the aerospace giant’s ambitions to step up its competition with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The CST-100 Starliner, with two Nasa astronauts on board, lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday.

It was the third attempt at a crewed launch since early May after a pair of rocket-related problems, most recently last weekend.

The capsule is making its way to the International Space Station (ISS) and is due to arrive 24 hours after lift-off.

Nasa astronauts Sunita “Suni” Williams and Barry “Butch” Wilmore are expected to spend about eight days on the ISS before returning to Earth in the Starliner capsule.

Boeing was hired alongside SpaceX a decade ago to ferry Nasa’s astronauts to and from the space station. 

This story is being updated

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