When NASA created the industrial crew program, it awarded contracts to 2 firms, Boeing and SpaceX, to develop spacecraft that might fly autonomously to the Worldwide Area Station, delivering cargo and crew regularly, and return to Earth. Up to now, solely SpaceX has been in a position to take action.
Tonight will probably be Boeing’s third try and launch Starliner, its entry into this system. SpaceX, in fact, already has accomplished 5 crewed launches to the area station below its contract with NASA. When the contracts have been awarded in 2014, nobody thought that’s how this system would unfold. So there’s lots using on this launch for Boeing.