Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft efficiently rolled out to its Florida launch pad early Wednesday (Could 18), setting the stage for an important check flight for NASA this week.
The Starliner spacecraft, perched atop an Atlas V rocket constructed by the United Launch Alliance, rolled out to its pad at House Launch Complicated 41 of the Cape Canaveral House Drive Station forward of a deliberate launch to the Worldwide House Station. Liftoff is about for Thursday, Could 19, at 6:54 p.m. EDT (2254 GMT).
Boeing’s Starliner is launching on the uncrewed Orbital Flight Check 2 mission (OFT-2) to point out that the area taxi is able to start flying NASA astronauts to and from the area station. The mission is important and one Boeing has tried to fly twice earlier than.
Dwell updates: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Check 2 mission to ISS
In December 2019, Boeing launched its first Starliner check flight, referred to as OFT-1, but it surely failed to achieve the Worldwide House Station resulting from software program points that prevented the capsule from reaching the correct orbit. By July 2021, Boeing was able to attempt once more, however caught valves on the spacecraft’s service module prevented the launch.
Boeing has since swapped out the Starliner service module and is assured it has an answer for the valve situation that thwarted final yr’s launch try. NASA apparently is, too, because the area company and Boeing cleared the Starliner OFT-2 mission for launch in a current flight readiness overview.
Boeing is certainly one of two corporations with multibillion-dollar contracts to fly NASA astronauts to and from the Worldwide House Station. The opposite firm is SpaceX, which has been flying astronaut missions to the station for NASA since Could 2020.
If all goes effectively, Boeing’s OFT-2 Starliner spacecraft will raise off Thursday evening and arrive on the Worldwide House Station on Friday night (Could 20) for a roughly five-day keep on the orbiting lab. Astronauts are anticipated to open the hatches to the capsule a day later, on Saturday (Could 21).
On the mission’s finish, Starliner will return to Earth for a deliberate touchdown at White Sands Missile Vary in New Mexico like its predecessor OFT-1. Starliner makes use of parachutes, airbags and retrorockets to cushion its touchdown on land.
Officers with the U.S. House Drive forty fifth Climate Squadron forecast a 70% probability of favorable climate for Boeing’s Starliner launch on Thursday. You’ll watch the launch on House.com, starting at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT).