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Starliner's redo, part two. Plus, the story of Susan Borman, Apollo 8 commander's wife

Boeing’s Starliner sits in front of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket before being hoisted for spacecraft mate in preparation for OFT-2 in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Photo: United Launch Alliance
Boeing’s Starliner sits in front of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket before being hoisted for spacecraft mate in preparation for OFT-2 in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Photo: United Launch Alliance

Boeing’s Starliner is set for yet another test mission, a critical step before NASA lets its astronauts fly to space in it. An attempt to launch the capsule designed for NASA’s commercial crew program back in 2019 left the ground -- but failed to reach the space station.

An attempt at a new mission earlier this year was delayed due to faulty valves on the vehicle used to steer it in space. As Boeing works to work out the kinks, NASA’s other partner SpaceX is sending astronauts regularly to the station.

So what’s at stake for Boeing? And why is having two providers so important for NASA? We’ll talk with space policy analyst Laura Forczyk about the pressure Boeing’s Starliner faces.

Then, Frank Boreman commanded the first crewed mission around the moon in 1968 -- an incredibly risky but critical mission that got the first astronauts to the moon.

Boreman and Apollo 8 succeeded, but the mission took a tremendous toll on his wife, Susan. A new book “Far Side of the Moon: Apollo 8 Commander Frank Boreman and the Woman Who Gave Him Wings” examines the role astronauts’ wives played in the space race -- and the enormous price they paid. We’ll talk with author Liisa Jorgensen about her book.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.