Boeing Starliner do-over ISS mission delayed: How to watch test flight live

Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft sits atop a ULA Atlas V rocket in July 2021.

Boeing/John Grant

If at first you do not succeed, strive, strive once more to ship your spacecraft into orbit. Boeing is about to relaunch its Starliner crew capsule (with no people on board) for a second try at docking with the International Space Station. Boeing’s first try in late 2019 failed to attain the ISS.

The mission was initially scheduled to take off on Friday, but it surely’s now delayed after an unexpected issue on Thursday with an ISS module firing its thrusters shortly after docking with the station.

“Currently, launch teams are assessing the next available opportunity,” NASA said in a statement. “The move allows the International Space Station team time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos’ Nauka module and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival.”

Software defects and a communications hyperlink drawback led to a untimely finish to the unique Boeing test flight, although the CST-100 Starliner capsule landed safely again on Earth. The upcoming Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission is an opportunity for Boeing to totally vet its {hardware} and software program earlier than a crew flies on Starliner.

Both Boeing and SpaceX are a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is all about sending astronauts to the ISS from American soil. SpaceX has now delivered 10 astronauts to the ISS, and Boeing would really like to catch up. First, it will need to present that its Starliner can safely attain the ISS and return to Earth.

NASA will livestream the launch as soon as it is rescheduled.

Starliner will raise off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The capsule will probably be full of crew provides and cargo destined for the ISS. If all goes effectively, it’s going to dock with the ISS about 24 hours later. Starliner will spend between 5 and 10 days on the ISS earlier than bringing analysis samples again to Earth. 

Boeing will goal to carry Starliner again for a delicate parachute touchdown in a desert space of New Mexico.

“OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station,” NASA said in a statement July 22 after efficiently concluding a flight readiness review.

The mission is a key step for NASA’s plans to run common crewed launches from the US, ending its reliance on Russian spacecraft. 

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to keep up to date with all the newest house information this 12 months. You may even add it to your personal Google Calendar.    

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