Boeing’s Starliner Reaches Orbit, Adding to Recent Better News for the Stock

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft aboard.

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Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images

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Boeing investors have needed good news and this week they got some.

The latest: Boeing’s (ticker: BA) Starliner spaceship is orbiting earth on its way to the International Space Station after taking off Thursday night from Cape Canaveral, Florida, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

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This is an uncrewed test flight for the spacecraft. After Starliner passes all its tests, it will carry crews and cargo to and from the ISS, just like SpaceX and its Dragon spaceship.

“Boeing’s Starliner is a symbol of perseverance and pride — designed, built, tested and flown by a team of people who are committed to their mission of safely and reliably transporting astronauts,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Ted Colbert in a company news release. The team “will remain laser-focused on the spacecraft and its performance throughout this flight test.”

The ship should dock with the station in about a day.

The successful launch adds to a couple other bits of good news for Boeing. International Consolidated Airlines Group on Thursday announced a firm order for 50 MAX jets with options to purchase 100 more. More than 1,000 MAX jets have been ordered since the plane returned to service in November 2020. But IAG was a little more significant because all its airlines, including British Airways, currently fly Airbu s (AIR.France) single aisle jets.

The 737 MAX is a single aisle jet that competes with the Airbus A320 family of jets.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the tragic crash in March of a China Eastern Airlines (CEA) 737-800 flight wasn’t caused by any plane-related issues.

A 737-800 isnt a 737 MAX jet. That’s an earlier version of Boeing’s popular 737 family of jets.

Coming into Friday, Boeing shares have traded flat for the week, which is actually a win. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have fallen 3% and 3.1%, respectively.

Boeing shares have dropped about 37% this year and 51% from their 52-week high in June of more than $258 a share. Investors have sold stock amid rising interest rates and inflation as well as Boeing-specific problems related to rising debt levels and lower jet deliveries.

Boeing bulls are hoping this week represents a turning point for the company and the stock.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]


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