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Graphic truth: Spacex vs. Boeing

Graphic truth: Spacex vs. Boeing

Boeing’s long-awaited Starliner space vehicle has made its first successful manned trip, docking with the International Space Station on Thursday after a decade of rocky going — including on the way to space. Astronauts aboard had to patch helium leaks detected at the last minute and scramble to compensate when five of the craft’s docking rockets failed at the 11th hour.

It’s a slow start for America’s aerospace behemoth’s bid to serve NASA missions with commercial spaceships. And while Boeing has struggled for a decade to get its manned missions off the ground, upstart rival SpaceX has built nine spacecraft, which have collectively made 13 crewed launches and another 10 without astronauts aboard. It also just launched an unmanned test flight of its next generation of space vehicles, the rather unimaginatively named Starship.

They may not be winning any marketing awards, but they have their eyes on a much bigger prize: government contracts. With NASA aiming to hitch all its rides aboard commercial spaceships, whoever can deliver the most reliable rockets stands to see their valuation go straight to the moon.


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