The Starliner was set to launch from Floriday last week, but technical issues pushed back the date to August 3. Learn more about the updated launch schedule and how to watch the launch online.
NASA Boeing Starliner Launch Update: New Test Flight Date and Time
According to CNN, when a new laboratory module from Russia called Nauka docked at the International Space Station on Thursday morning, the module's thrusters began unexpectedly firing,causing an issue in the ISS. The minor accident pushed the Starliner launch from July 30, Friday, to this week Tuesday.
NASA confirmed no one was in danger and the ground teams regained control of the space station after about an hour.
The launch of @NASA's @BoeingSpace Orbital Flight Test-2 mission is now targeted for Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 1:20 p.m. ET. Live coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET.— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) July 31, 2021
The Starliner spacecraft will dock to the @Space_Station on Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 1:37 p.m. ET. pic.twitter.com/2NMotQbJLK
The Boeing Starliner test launch is among the most important missions of the year for the company and NASA, as this would be Boeing's answer to SpaceX's Crew Dragon. Both spacecraft are developed under contract with NASA, though owned and operated by their respective companies. The spacecraft are designed to take not only astronauts and resources to and from the International Space Station but possibly tourists as well.
The starliner is to fly with an empty cabin save for the test flight dummy named Rosie and 475 pounds of cargo and supplies.
The first Boeing test flight back in 2019 was postponed due to a software defect and a communications link problem. The CST-100 Starliner capsule landed safely back to Earth.
Launch Update: Tues Aug 3rd @ 1:20pm EDT the @BoeingSpace Starliner OFT-2 will liftoff from SLC-41 at CCSFS. Riding aboard the #ULA #AtlasV rocket Boeing will repeat its certification test of OFT1 in Dec 2019. Latest weather forecast gives a 60% go. #NASA— Greg Scott (@GregScott_photo) August 2, 2021
📷Space Intelligence pic.twitter.com/5sAnwrkDVe
The upcoming Starliner test flight launch will be on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The upcoming uncrewed test mission will have the fully autonomous Starliner will spend five to 10 days in orbit, docking with the ISS on August 4 to demonstrate how the capsule is capable of executing the job safely.
It will return to Earth with more than 550 research samples and cargo from the ISS via a parachute landing in the New Mexico desert, said Cnet. According to NASA, the cargo would include the reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members.
NASA astronaut @Astro_Suni watches the #AtlasV rocket arrive on the launch pad with #Starliner for tomorrow's liftoff of #OFT2. She will command a future #Starliner mission to @Space_Station. pic.twitter.com/rFWoBOuXzz— ULA (@ulalaunch) August 2, 2021
How to Watch the Starliner Launch Online
The upcoming Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is set to be live streamed beginning at 9:20 am. PT, covering the launch which is scheduled at 10:20 a.m. PT or 1:20 p.m. ET on August 3.
The launch will be from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. A post-launch news conference will also be held the same day at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The docking of the Starliner will also be covered live by NASA's NASA TV, said Cnet.
This mission is a key step for NASA in running regular crewed launches from the US. This will end its reliance on Russian spacecraft for its missions.
The livestream is also available on the official NASA YouTube channel and the live stream is included below for easier viewing.