Starliner Cargo Flying to Space on May 19 Includes N.C. A&T Paraphernalia

By Staff Report / 05/18/2022

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 19, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is among the 14 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) Boeing will honor during its CST-100 Starliner’s second Orbital Flight Test on Thursday, May 19.

The launch is scheduled for 6:54 p.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Flags and other items from the HBCUs and a few additional universities with which Boeing also has recruiting relationships will be included in the hundreds of pounds of cargo launching during the uncrewed flight test to the International Space Station.

The test is the last major step before the Starliner takes American astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

“Closing representation gaps in our company and our industry is a priority for Boeing, and inspiring diverse students to pursue careers in aerospace is an important part of that effort,” said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun. “By representing HBCUs on our Starliner mission, we are demonstrating our commitment to working with these institutions to advance equity and inclusion and help ensure a bright future for their students.”

The other represented HBCUs are Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium; Alabama A&M University; Allen University; Florida A&M University; Howard University; Morgan State University; Prairie View A&M University; Southern University and A&M College; South Carolina State University; Tennessee State University and Tuskegee University.

The practice of carrying items aboard a spacecraft goes back to the early days of America’s space program and helps to acknowledge the immense work and dedication required to develop, build and fly a spacecraft.

The cargo also plays a critical role in the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test when it comes to ensuring the proper weight of the vehicle since there are no crew members onboard, said Dee Dobson, a systems engineering technician who helped pack and weigh the cargo as part of Starliner’s Crew and Cargo Accommodations Team.

Live broadcasts of the launch and other dynamic phases of flight will be shared on NASA TV and the Boeing Starliner website, as well as on Twitter via @BoeingSpace.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu