Boeing’s Starliner capsule is prepared for launch on the uncrewed Orbital Flight Take a look at 2 (OFT-2) mission to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS).
Following a flight readiness evaluate on Might 11, NASA and Boeing are focusing on an on the spot launch window of Might 19 at 6:54 p.m. EDT (2254 GMT) for liftoff from Starliner atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. This can be Starliner’s second try to achieve and dock with the ISS, and a crucial milestone in NASA’s certification of the Boeing spacecraft for human passengers.
Starliner’s first OFT mission, in December 2019, actually fell wanting expectations, failing to achieve the orbit wanted to achieve the worldwide area station attributable to software program points. Boeing readied Starliner for a relaunch in early August 2021, however pre-flight checks hours earlier than takeoff revealed issues in additional than half of Starliner’s propulsion system oxidation valves, and the launch was cleaned up. The capsule was unstacked from its Atlas V and returned to Boeing for restore.
In image : Boeing’s Starliner OFT-2 mission in photos
Now with the valve issues lastly solvedStarliner was declared able to roll as soon as extra.
NASA is relying on the success of OFT-2 to start sending extra astronauts to the area station. NASA’s almost decade-long reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft Taxiing crews to and from the orbital lab was solely just lately facilitated by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which launched its fourth operational crewed mission to the ISS final month.
In 2014, NASA, recognized for an abundance of cautious redundancy, signed contracts with each SpaceX and Boeing to design and develop autos to ship astronauts to the area station. Starliner’s eventual certification will totally understand NASA’s objectives for its industrial crew program and permit the area company to scale back its reliance on a single human spaceflight launch vendor.
NASA says Starliner will spend between 5 and ten days docked with the ISS on OFT-2 earlier than returning to Earth for a touchdown within the western United States. If profitable, NASA and Boeing hope to launch the capsule with its first crew earlier than the top of 2022.
OFT-2 is because of dock with the forward-facing port of the ISS’ Concord module a couple of day after launch, and it’ll ship greater than 400 kilos (180 kilograms) of meals and different provides for present crews from the station. Within the occasion of technical or climate points throughout Thursday’s countdown, NASA stated a backup launch window is accessible Might 20 at 6:32 p.m. EDT (2232 GMT).
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