Boeing Launches Starliner Do-Over to ISS for NASA: How to Watch Today

Boeing hopes the second attempt will be the stimulus for its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Starliner was designed to ferry astronauts from the US to the International Space Station for NASA, but was plagued by technical glitches. On Thursday, Boeing will again attempt to reach the ISS with a repeat of its Unmanned Orbital Flight Test (OFT).

NASA TV will broadcast the launch live May 19 at 3 p.m. PT. Launch is scheduled for 3:54 p.m. PT. From Tuesday, The weather was favorable 70% of the time for the start.

Starliner will be launched on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket taking off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The capsule is loaded with 800 pounds (360 kilograms) of cargo and is scheduled to reach the ISS about 24 hours later. There will be no humans on board, but a sensor-equipped anthropomorphic test astronaut named Rosie the Rocketeer will accompany the ride.

“OFT-2 will test Starliner’s end-to-end capabilities from launch to docking, atmosphere reentry and a desert landing in the western United States,” NASA said in a statement Monday. “OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to ferry astronauts to and from the space station.”

Starliner will stay with the ISS for up to 10 days before returning for a dramatic ground landing. If the spacecraft passes muster this time, NASA will attempt to send up a manned test flight with astronauts.

That The first OFT took place at the end of 2019 and didn’t quite go as planned. While Starliner took off and landed safely, it was unable to reach the ISS due to a software issue. Boeing planned to repeat the launch in 2021 but continued to experience technical difficulties postponed the test flight to 2022.

Boeing and SpaceX are both part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to bring astronaut launches back to US soil after years of depending on Russian spacecraft. SpaceX is heavily engaged in crew rotation missions, having only sent Crew-4 to the ISS in late April. Boeing has some catching up to do, and OFT-2 is a crucial part of getting Starliner on track for actual astronaut missions. Boeing Launches Starliner Do-Over to ISS for NASA: How to Watch Today

Chris Barrese

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