Sunday, May 23, 2021

Next Starliner flight will test capabilities to carry astronauts on future missions

NASA's Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for launch in July. This will be the second uncrewed flight test of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft for NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Liftoff on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Starliner is targeted for 2:53 p.m. EDT July 30, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The uncrewed mission will test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket from launch to docking to a return to Earth in the western United States. Following a successful completion of the OFT-2 mission, NASA and Boeing are targeting late 2021 for NASA's Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT), Starliner's first flight with astronauts aboard. Currently, NASA launches U.S. astronauts to the space station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft and U.S. SpaceX Dragon vehicles.

OFT-2 and CFT will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying Boeing's crew transportation system for regular flights with astronauts to and from the space station.

The rollout of the Starliner spacecraft from Boeing's Commercial Cargo and Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is scheduled for 4 a.m. EDT July 17.

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