When will Boeing’s “space taxi” launch to the International Space Station?
The CST-100 Starliner, developed by NASA and Boeing, will launch soon on its second attempt to reach the International Space Station (ISS). When is the Starliner capsule supposed to take off?
After NASA was forced to postpone the spacecraft’s scheduled launch date, Starliner will go into space next week at the earliest. The Starliner was supposed to launch on July 30, but a brief period of chaos on the International Space Station threw a wrench in the gears. NASA and Boeing stated late Thursday that the launch will be postponed to provide the crew of the International Space Station extra time to secure the recently docked Nauka module.
On Thursday, the Russian scientific module connected with the International Space Station and then abruptly launched its thrusters.
The mishap caused a 45-degree shift in the space station’s attitude, resulting in a momentary emergency.
Fortunately, the International Space Station appears to be in fine condition, and none of the station’s seven astronauts have been wounded.
“Launch preparations will restart following a final decision from the International Space Station and Commercial Crew Program teams for the next opportunity to send Starliner on its journey to complete the OFT-2 mission, which will set the stage for the first Crew Flight Test,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA has rescheduled Starliner’s launch to no earlier than Tuesday, August 3, following Thursday’s incident.
The launch is now slated for 6.20 p.m. BST (1.20pm EDT).
However, depending on the weather forecast and any unanticipated technical issues, this could alter.
At the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, the spacecraft will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.
On Thursday, the rocket and spacecraft arrived at the launch pad for pre-flight procedures.
After that, Starliner was returned to its Vehicle Integration Facility to be protected from the elements.
“We are rolling back to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) for the protection of the #Starliner and #AtlasV, and to avoid severe weather,” ULA tweeted on Friday.
“Starliner and Atlas V are in a safe, flight-ready configuration and require no near-term servicing,” NASA added.
“Starliner was transferred from Boeing’s spacecraft processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to adjacent Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 41 for mating atop the rocket during the month of July.”
The mission, called Orbital Flight Test-2, is Starliner’s second attempt at reaching orbit. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”