NASA, Boeing launch Starliner to the ISS: How to watch test flight live

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

Boeing/John Grant

Boeing is ready to relaunch its Starliner crew capsule (with no people on board) for a second try at docking with the International Space Station this Tuesday, Aug. 3. Boeing’s first try in late 2019 failed to attain the ISS however landed safely in the desert. 

The mission was initially scheduled to take off Friday, but it surely’s now aiming for Aug. 3 after an unexpected issue on Thursday with an ISS module firing its thrusters shortly after docking with the station. 

“The International Space Station team will use the time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival,” said NASA in an announcement.

Software defects and a communications hyperlink drawback led to a untimely finish to the unique Boeing test flight in 2019, 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 of three American astronauts 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 love 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, which is scheduled to happen at 1:20 p.m. PT (4:20 p.m. ET) on Tuesday Aug. 3. Coverage is anticipated to start at 12:30 p.m. PT. 

Starliner will carry off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The capsule can be full of round 400 kilos of crew provides and cargo. If all goes effectively, it will dock with the area station about 24 hours later, on Wednesday Aug. 4. Docking will even be coated live by NASA’s NASA TV.

Starliner will spend between 5 and 10 days at the ISS earlier than bringing analysis samples again to Earth. Boeing will purpose to carry the spacecraft again for a mild parachute touchdown in the desert 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. If all goes effectively, the first crewed mission, Boe-CFT, might launch in the subsequent six months.

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

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