Starliner and Star Wars—Why This Weekend is Gonna Be Huge for Space Fans

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This Friday Boeing Launches a Critical Mission for Starliner and Star Wars Concludes the Saga with The Rise of Skywalker

The world is watching as two major events creep up on us in a couple of days. First, Boeing is going to launch its first uncrewed mission to the ISS for Starliner. And Star Wars finishes off a nine-movie, four-decade saga with Rise of Skywalker. Each event is a milestone in its own right. Here’s what to expect:

Boeing Starliner Launch

On Friday morning at 6:36 am, Boeing will send its Starliner commercial spacecraft into orbit and dock with the International Space Station. The mission represents the first such flight for the long-delayed commercial-crew-program vessel. Although, SpaceX accomplished a few months ago what Boeing is doing on Friday. Both Boeing and SpaceX have vehicles for NASA to use, but neither is ready yet. Rosie the Rocketeer—an anthropomorphic test device (ATD)—will provide crucial data on the flight. Sure, she’s named after a feminist icon, but she’s also got a ton of sensors that measure things like G-force, potential injuries, and the like. In short, she’s the modern version of that poor Russian space monkey. And she can’t actually die.

Once the data from Rosie comes back, scientists will be able to see how humans would fare on a Starliner flight. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I know it feels like the end. But it’s really the beginning. Let’s be honest, Star Wars was under a lot of fire when George Lucas had complete creative control. That’s not to say that Disney hasn’t incurred some of that same ire from fans. However, the criticism surrounding Episode 7 and 8, along with that of Rogue One, and Solo, pales in comparison to the maelstrom fans threw at Lucas during the prequels. 

Now here we are. Episode 9, the final “Skywalker Saga” movie, comes out on Friday. We’ve seen all of the trailers. Some of us even got to enjoy a special sneak peek at the end of the last “Mandalorian” episode. Now all that’s left is to buy the tickets and get in line on Friday. 

Regardless of how Rise of Skywalker turns out, however, we Star Wars fans can rejoice in the fact that Disney will continue to produce quality Star Wars content from here on out, unconstrained by the shackles and chains of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Boeing Starliner and Star Wars This Friday

It’s wonderful that these two events also happen to be scheduled for the weekend of the winter solstice. There’s a wonderful astronomical symmetry there. In the morning you can watch the Boeing launch its Starliner and Star Wars can be your evening dessert. Then, starting Saturday, the days get longer (here in the Northern hemisphere at least) for the next six months!

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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