Boeing’s Starliner carried a ‘Kerbal Space Program’ character to the ISS

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After two-and-a-half years of delays, Boeing’s Starliner capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station. It was an important milestone for a institution that has, astatine slightest successful the fashionable imagination, struggled to drawback up with SpaceX. So it’s fitting however Boeing decided it would observe a palmy mission.

When the unit of the ISS opened the hatch to Starliner, they recovered a astonishment wrong the spacecraft. Floating adjacent to Orbital Flight Test-2’s seated trial dummy was a plush artifact representing Jebediah Kerman, 1 of 4 archetypal “Kerbonauts” featured successful Kerbal Space Program. Jeb, arsenic he’s amended known by the KSP community, served arsenic the flight’s zero-g indicator. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took a tiny doll with him connected the first-ever quality spaceflight, and ever since it has go a contented for astir abstraction crews to transportation plush toys with them to marque it casual to spot erstwhile they've entered a microgravity environment.

If you’ve ever played Kerbal Space Program, you person a consciousness of wherefore it was truthful fitting Boeing decided to nonstop Jeb to space. In KSP, designing spacecraft that volition transportation your Kerbonauts to orbit and beyond is nary casual task. Often your archetypal designs volition fall and crash arsenic they conflict to alert escaped of Kerbin’s gravity. But you spell backmost to the drafting committee and tweak your designs until you find 1 that works. In a way, that’s precisely what Boeing’s engineers had to bash aft Starliner’s archetypal trial formation successful 2019 failed owed to a software issue, and its 2nd 1 was delayed pursuing an unexpected valve problem.

Boeing kept Jeb’s beingness connected OFT-2 concealed until the spacecraft docked with the ISS. A spokesperson for the institution told collectSPACE that Starliner’s engineering squad chose the mascot successful portion due to the fact that of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics lessons KSP has to thatch players. Jeb volition walk the adjacent fewer days with the unit of the ISS earlier they spot him backmost successful the spacecraft for its instrumentality travel to Earth.

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